This Peanut Noodle Salad with Sesame Tofu is a combo of crunchy raw veggies, vermicelli rice noodles, crispy sesame tofu and spicy peanut sauce!
There is nothing like a peanut noodle salad! I could eat peanut sauce every day of my life - drown me in that stuff. But this recipe is a step up from your typical peanut noodle salad with the addition of sesame crusted tofu. Yep, we're bringing everything but the bagel seasoning to the table and it takes tofu to a whole other level! Serve this with the tofu hot or cold. Perfect make ahead lunch that is packed with veggies!
How to make the sesame crusted tofu
This sesame crusted tofu is beyond tasty and sooooooo easy to make. Start out by pressing a firm block of tofu for 20-30 minutes. This will get the excess moisture out and allow the tofu to fry up nicely. Once it is pressed, slice it into blocks, squares or triangles - whatever shape you are feeling.
Add some corn starch, soy sauce (or tamari for GF), sriracha and sesame oil to a shallow dish. Give it a good whisk then add the tofu pieces and coat on both sides. Spread out some everything but the bagel seasoning on a plate and press the tofu pieces into the seasoning. NOW, let's talk about something. Everything but the bagel seasoning brands are not made equal. Some are SUPER salty! So, if you're seasoning is on the salty side - instead of completely coating each piece in the seasoning, you can also sprinkle it on top. Either way, just be sure to press it into the tofu so it sticks.
To cook the tofu, heat some olive in a pan over medium heat. Add the tofu to the hot pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until crispy and browned on both sides.
What veggies are in Peanut Noodle Salad with Sesame Tofu?
One of my favorite parts of this recipe are all of the crispy veggies! You have lots of options when it comes to veggies, but the ones I used are purple cabbage, green cabbage, zucchini and bell pepper. Some other great options are broccoli slaw, carrots or spinach!
I also added plenty of fresh cilantro right before serving, but this would also be tasty with green onions or chives on top!
How to serve Peanut Noodle Salad with Sesame Tofu
Once you have your noodles cooked, peanut sauce blended, tofu fried and veggies chopped, it is time to bring everything together. I like to toss the noodles and veggies with half of the peanut sauce. Grab some tongs and a BIG bowl and toss it around for a minute or two.
Serve up the noodles and veggies in separate bowls and top with the tofu, cilantro and a drizzle of the remaining sauce. I also like to add a pinch of everything but the bagel seasoning and a couple lime wedges to the side of each bowl.
You can easily make this ahead of time and add it to separate containers to eat throughout the week. Just be sure to serve the sauce on the side so that the veggies don't get soggy.
Need more recipe inspo? Check these out:
Peanut Noodle Salad with Sesame Tofu
FOR THE SESAME TOFU
- 1 block firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or tamari for GF
- 1 tablespoon sriracha optional
- everything but the bagel seasoning
- olive oil
FOR THE PEANUT SAUCE
- ½ cup unsalted peanut butter
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari for GF
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 jalapeño chopped, seeds & stems removed if you're sensitive to heat
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- ¼ cup water
FOR THE NOODLE SALAD
- 8 oz vermicelli rice noodles dry
- sesame oil
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- ¼ head purple cabbage shredded
- ¼ head green cabbage shredded
- 1 zucchini shredded or spiralized
- cilantro, lime wedges for serving
- Remove the tofu from the package and place between two plates to press. Allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes, draining the liquid as needed.
- While the tofu is pressing, prepare the veggies and noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Add the noodles to a large bowl with a drizzle of sesame oil. Cut all of the veggies and add to the noodles. Toss to combine.
- Add all of the peanut sauce ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside.
- Combine the corn starch, sesame oil, soy sauce and sriracha in a shallow dish. In a separate dish, add a layer of everything but the bagel seasoning. Cut the tofu into squares, blocks or triangles and add to the marinade. Coat on both sides then transfer to the bagel seasoning and coat on both sides.*
- Heat some olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the coated tofu to the hot pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until browned and crispy. Remove from the pan.
- Right before serving, toss the noodles/veggies with half of the peanut sauce. Serve the noodles/veggies in separate bowls topped with the tofu, cilantro, lime wedges and a drizzle of the remaining peanut sauce.
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Have made this recipe multiple times and it's always a hit! I like to add shredded carrot and substitute cucumbers for the zucchini since I don't like raw zucchini 🙂
So glad you enjoyed this salad!
Wonderful recipe! I have plenty of leftovers for lunches all week (not a bad thing!). One question- do you think soba noodles would work in this as well? I have some on hand and thought they might be useful for this recipe as well.... But an overall outstanding recipe!!
Hi Charity - so glad you liked this! And yes, I love using soba noodles in peanut salad. Just be sure to rinse them as soon as you drain them so they don't stick together 😉
Made this today and it was the perfect light lunch to get in the mood for spring! The whole family (even the meat eaters) enjoyed it. I've been struggling to like tofu since going veggie but this was super flavorful! Will definitely make again.
Woowho! So glad the whole fam liked it!
Such a delicious salad! So easy to make. I will try these at my home. Thank you
You're so welcome! 🤗