Salad is usually more of a side dish or appetizer for us; it’s not a meal on its own. Whenever I pack salad to bring to lunch at work, I always end up hungry in the middle of the afternoon. Even if it has a hard-boiled egg in it! This salad is different. Like Jessica’s Salad Nicoise, it stands alone as an entree salad. It’s packed with protein and substance from the soba noodles and tofu, so it’s healthy, filling and delicious.
There’s this mini-chain of restaurants that serves up fresh and filling salads. It’s not kosher, so that’s why we had to recreate the recipes at home! This specific salad is usually paired with carrot ginger dressing, but I thought it would pair well with this spicy peanut dressing as well. Feel free to use whichever you prefer.
You could buy pre-shredded carrots, but I find them to be a bit dry usually, so I like to shred them myself. Plus, it’s cheaper and I get to use my food processor!
Also, I wish I had a grill pan (or a real grill!) because the tofu would look so pretty with grill marks, but it tastes just as good fried up on a cast iron pan, as well.
Tokyo Salad inspired by Ocean Cafe
- For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar/agave for vegan version)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- juice of 1/2 lime
- about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sriracha (depending on your spice preference/tolerance)
- about 1/4 cup peanut, vegetable or other neutral oil
For the salad:
- mixed greens
- 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 block of extra firm tofu
- 6 ounces soba noodles
- 3 to 4 shredded carrots
For the dressing:
- Shake together all ingredients except for oil in a jar, or mix in your food processor. Add the oils in last and pulse.
For the salad:
- Cook the soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Drain the tofu, cut into triangles, and pat dry. Fry it up on a grill pan or cast iron skillet. Set aside
- Put your salad greens in a bowl. Arrange the noodles, carrots, tofu and mandarins on top of the lettuce.
- Dress and enjoy.