Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Grilled Tofu

vietnamese noodle salad

It’s hot outside and all I want to do is sit in front of a fan with a gigantic bowl of this Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Grilled Tofu because it’s both light AND hearty. It’s the type of salad that’s best served cold. It gives you the most pleasant after taste and doesn’t put a lead weight in your stomach like most noodle salads. I bet it’s the perfect thing to eat if you’re planning on making out with someone later. Let me know how that goes!

vietnamese noodle salad

Thinly sliced cucumbers, crunchy red peppers, tangy lime juice mixed with spicy chili sauce and the hugest dose of mint? YES, PLEASE. Did I mention the grilled marinated tofu? I don’t think I did! It’s a known fact that grill marks are sexy and just look at those grill marks!  Get a bowl, sit in front of a fan, add a jar of fancy Iced tea and chow down. Your taste buds are begging to be awakened.

And we’re off!

Dressing ingredients. Do it. Oh!  Add another lime. I didn’t notice this until the next step.


Ahh two limes. Nice of you to join us. This dressing has no oil. I repeat NO OIL. Awesome!


Vermicelli. Don’t you love that word? These are bean threads. Rice noodles will do. Make sure they’re thin.

bean threads

Soak them in boiling hot water. 8 minutes or so.


Rinse them with REALLY cold water. Drain. Set aside in a big bowl.


Chop some onions. Try not to cry. We’re onto the salad part.

please don't cry

Welcome to vegetable town!! Population: Mint, Cucumber, Red Pepper & Carrots.


Vegetable town gets introduced to noodle & dressing town. A new town is made!


Hello, new town. I’ll call you Vietnamese Noodle Salad Town.

get in there

Hello Tofu…cut into 8 segments.


And make them into triangles.


Here they are marinating in some of the dressing.


They get grilled…told you grill marks were sexy!


While they’re grilling add the done ones to the plate with the marinade. Soak it up! Pour marinade on noodles.

a little soak

Chop up peanuts & mint. GREMOLATA!!! Not to be confused with a gremlin.


Plate it up! Top with the gremolata…Make sure you have it close by at all times.

vietnamese noodle salad

You’ll like this. I’m sure.

Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Grilled Tofu

Serves 6

(recipe slightly adapted from Appetite for Reduction, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons honey (or agave syrup)
  • 3 tablespoons chili garlic sauce (3 is quite spicy! Do 2 if you’re sensitive)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 (8-ounce) package of thin rice noodles (I used bean thread vermicelli)
  • 1 medium-size cucumber thinly-sliced half-moons
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
Peanut-Mint Gremolata:
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint

To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together and stir vigorously.  Set aside.

Slice the tofu into eight equal pieces width-wise, then slice those rectangles corner to corner to form long triangles.

Place in a single layer on a large plate and pour 6 tablespoons of the dressing over the slices. Also, drizzle the tofu with 2 teaspoons of soy sauce. Let marinate, flipping occasionally, while you prepare everything else.

Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Usually they say to boil water, turn off the heat, and soak the noodles for about 8 minutes. Once cooked, drain in a colander and run the noodles under cold water for about a minute until they are fully cooled. Set aside to drain while you finish prepping everything.

Mix all of the vegetables and the mint leaves into the noodles. Just use your hands–it’s messy, but the best way I found to incorporate everything. Mix the dressing into the noodles and toss to coat. Refrigerate while you prepare everything else.

Combine the gremolata ingredients in a small bowl.

To grill the tofu, heat a cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Spray pan/skillet with cooking spray or else the tofu will stick. Grill the tofu on each side for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the excess marinade to the noodles.

To serve, plate the noodles, add a few grilled tofu pieces to the side and sprinkle with the gremolata. Serve with lime wedges and extra chili garlic sauce on the side.

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