This Tofu Puff Salad is our variation of the traditional Gado Gado. Stirred through with our homemade peanut butter dressing, this salad is great to have on its own.
What are Tofu Puffs?
Tofu puffs are crispy baked tofu or round-ish looking balls of bean curd. The texture is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are easily available from any Asian supermarket in the fridge section.
The tofu puffs are very absorbent, so they are great for salads that are particularly saucy. The airy pockets will capture the peanut butter dressing and make every mouthful well balanced.
Tofu comes is a really wide variety of consistencies. As a result of their variety we’re able to create some fantastic recipes such as Five Spice Tofu Salad with Vietnamese Cha Lua, Asian Eggplant Salad with Miso Dressing and Gochujang Chicken Salad with Noodles and Tofu.
What Are Snake Beans?
Snake beans, also known as yardlong beans, long-podded cowpea, Chinese long beans, or pea beans, was a vegetable I ate a lot of when I was growing up in Malaysia. They are particularly delicious when stir fried with some homemade sambal, which is a spicy condiment made of chillies and shrimp paste with a combination of aromatics such as onions, garlic and ginger.
Snake beans can grow up to 1 meter in length. Compared to a normal green bean, the snake bean looks somewhat shrivelled. The texture is therefore less crunchy.
The snake bean doesn’t need stringing which means it saves me time having to go through that process. I just wash and cut as I need it. Bonus!
Why I Love Tofu Puff Salad with Snake Beans and Peanut Butter Dressing
This is a Gado Gado inspired salad and it is an Indonesian staple. It’s like pizza to Italians or Pho to the Vietnamese.
And over the years, there have been so many variations of exactly what goes into the Gado Gado salad. But it’s the signature peanut butter sauce or dressing that makes this salad world renowned.
I have changed up some of the ingredients and their quantities to suit my palate as I love a good tofu salad recipe. I have also omitted some of the regular additions like cabbage and the Indonesian rice cake, lontong. Don’t get me wrong, I love lontong but it’s not exactly easy to find. If you can however, get some! They are so delicious when doused in the peanut butter dressing.
I just love the flavours of this salad. I also like that it’s a heavy salad, good enough for a meal on its own.
How to Make Tofu Puff Salad with Snake Beans and Peanut Butter Dressing
How to Prepare Tofu Puff Salad
Cut the tofu puffs in half and set it aside.
Cut the snake beans into lengths of about 6 cm (just under 2.5 inches). Place them into a small saucepan of boiling water with a pinch of salt for 2 mins. Drain and run under cold water. Pat it dry and set aside. Don’t boil it for too long or the beans will be too soft. For a salad, it needs to be crunchy.
Boil and peel the eggs. You want the eggs to be hard boiled so boil it for 8-10 minutes. I like cutting the eggs into wedges of 6 so there is more to go around.
Peel, cube and boil the potato.
Peel the cucumber and cut into chunks.
Toast the crushed peanuts in a small frypan for no more than 1 minute.
Once you have prepared all of the above plus the dressing below, the last step of the process is to toast the tofu puffs in the oven. Just for 2 mins at 180°C or 350°F. You want to do this last so that its slightly warm when you serve the salad.
How to Make Peanut Butter Dressing
The dressing is to resemble more of a diluted sauce. Not too thick or runny.
In a small mixing bowl, add peanut butter, soy sauce, maple syrup, sugar, grated garlic and ginger, the juice of the lime, chilli flakes and salt. Start the mixing process.
Then 1 tablespoon at a time, add water to the mixture. Do so until you get the consistency you require. The measurements listed on this recipe will yield you ½ cup of peanut butter dressing.
How to Assemble Tofu Puff Salad
The only component that shouldn’t be tossed are the eggs. We don’t want them to disintegrate so we will build this salad.
Mix all the salad ingredients (except the eggs) with peanut butter dressing.
Place half the dressed salad onto your serving plate. Gently place half the eggs on and around the salad. Place the remaining salad on top and finish off with the rest of the eggs.
Sprinkle the toasted crushed peanuts on top. Serve this immediately.
This Asian inspired tofu puff salad recipe is so hearty and full of flavour. You can have this varied version of the gado gado salad as a meal on its own or it can be served alongside your delicious main course. Either way, your guests will no doubt enjoy this tofu salad!
More Budget Salad Recipes:
- Risoni with Spiced Roasted Butternut Pumpkin
- Quick Tomato Salad with Burrata
- Spicy Green Salad with Avocado
- Tropical Mango Salad with Coconut Flakes
- Yellow Watermelon Salad with Mint
Easy Salad Dressing Recipes:
Tofu Puff Salad with Snake Beans and Peanut Butter Dressing
- Cut the tofu puffs in half.
- Cut the snake beans in lengths of about 6 cm (just under 2.5 inches).
- Place into a small saucepan of boiling water with a pinch of salt for 2 mins. Drain and run under cold water. Pat dry and set aside.
- Boil eggs for 8 minutes so they are hard boiled. Peel the eggs and cut into 6 wedges.
- Peel the potato and dice into cubes of about 1 cm (just under half an inch). Boil for 10 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Set aside.
- Peel the cucumber. Cut the cucumber about 1cm (just under half an inch) in width and then cut them in half.
- Dry toast the crushed peanuts in a small fry pan for 1 minute.
- In a small mixing bowl, add peanut butter, soy sauce, maple syrup, sugar, garlic, ginger, lime, chilli flakes and salt.
- Mix the ingredients together and add the water 1 tbsp at a time until you get a creamy consistency that you can pour over the salad.
- Once all the preparation has been completed and the dressing is made, toast the tofu puffs. Line the sheet pan with baking paper. Lay the tofu puffs on the sheet pan. Place in the oven for 2 minutes at 180°C or 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the toasted tofu puffs, snake beans, potato, cucumber, and peanut butter dressing. Mix well.
- Lay half the salad on your serving plate. Gently place half the eggs on and around the salad. Place the rest of the mixed salad on top. Place the remaining eggs on and around the salad.
- Sprinkle the toasted crushed peanuts all over the dressed salad.
- Season with pepper to taste.
- Any firm tofu can be used for this salad. You just won’t be able to have that warm, toasted ingredient to add from the oven.
- You can use crunchy peanut butter if that’s your preference. May have to add more water to thin it out. As you’re adding the water a tbsp at a time, do so until you get the creamy texture desired.
- Snake beans can of course be substituted with normal green beans or even yellow beans.
- For a gluten free salad, ensure peanut butter and maple syrup are gluten free versions. Substitute soy sauce with tamari.
- For a nut free version, substitute peanut butter with tahini.
- If you would like to eat this salad as a meal with nothing else, double the recipe to create 4 serves. Otherwise, this is enough for a side as it’s very filling.