This recipe is sponsored by EZ Tofu Press. All opinions are 100% my own.
Crispy fried tofu salad with creamy avocado, fresh berries, and strawberry basil vinaigrette on crunchy romaine lettuce is perfect for brunch, lunch, or dinner!
Y'all, I am obsessed with this crispy tofu salad. It's such a delicious way to celebrate strawberry season!
I love the mix of crunchy lettuce, sweet strawberries, and warm, crispy tofu in this salad. Every bite is just an explosion of flavors and textures!
Pressing the tofu
Pressing your tofu for this recipe is crucial. Getting the excess water out is how you get that restaurant-style texture. It also makes the tofu pieces extra thirsty, so they'll drink in the marinade.
I press my tofu with the EZ Tofu Press. The EZ Tofu Press removes an average of ½ cup of water from each block of tofu, making it super firm.
It also maintains the shape of the block, which is key to a recipe like this, where you want nice, uniform tofu "fingers".
Start by getting your tofu pressed and marinated. While you wait for the tofu to marinate, you have plenty of time to make the strawberry-basil vinaigrette in the blender.
When the marinating time is up, get that crispy tofu coated and into the pan.
Rather than dredge each tofu piece individually, this recipe uses a shake-and-bake-style method. Just toss the tofu with cornstarch and then with seasoned flour before frying.
There are a few of keys to success when you're frying your tofu:
- Use a nonstick pan. I have made this tofu in my cast iron skillet, and the results just aren't as good. Doable, but not ideal.
- Place the tofu pieces into the pan one at a time. Don't dump the bowl in! You want to arrange these so they aren't touching, and one by one is the best way.
- Leave them alone. Don't mess with the tofu until it's time to flip. If you do, you can mess up the coating. Trust the process.
After frying, arrange the tofu on beds of chopped romaine lettuce and sprinkle with avocado, green onion, and fresh strawberries.
Top it off with a drizzle of the vinaigrette, and you are ready to eat.
How to store and reheat
I definitely recommend storing all of the elements of this salad separately. It tastes best if you toss it together and serve it fresh.
Plus, if you keep the tofu separate, you can warm it back up, and it will get crispy again! Warm it on a lined baking sheet in the oven at 350° F for 10-15 minutes. You can also warm it in the air fryer at 350° F for five to seven minutes.
Crispy fried tofu salad
For the crispy tofu
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce - low-sodium is OK
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 block extra firm tofu - pressed and sliced into 24 "fingers"
- ¼ cup flour - white, wheat, or white wheat are all fine
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch - or potato starch
- ¼ cup sunflower oil
For the strawberry-basil vinaigrette
- 1 cup strawberries - stems removed
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup sunflower oil
- ¼ cup basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the salad
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 Haas avocado - chopped
- ½ cup strawberries - sliced
- ¼ cup chopped green onion - Both white and green parts is fine.
Make the crispy tofu
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder. Pour over the tofu pieces in a shallow dish, then set aside to marinate for 15-30 minutes. Mix together the flour, salt, remaining garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl or mug.
- Transfer the tofu to a large bowl, discarding any extra marinade. Add the cornstarch to the bowl, and toss together until the tofu is well coated. Then, add the flour mixture to the same bowl, tossing to coat evenly again.
- Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet on medium-high heat, making sure that the pan is hot before adding the tofu. To check, wet your fingers under the tap, and flick a few drops of water into the oil. If it sizzles off immediately, the pan is ready. Add the tofu to the pan, one piece at a time, making sure that the pieces don’t overlap.
- Cook the tofu for 7-8 minutes, until you can see that the bottoms have turned golden brown. Use a spatula to flip the cubes over, and cook for another 6-7 minutes, so they’re browned on the other side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels or a clean cloth napkin to drain for a few minutes.
Make the dressing
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in your blender or food processor, and puree until smooth.
Assemble the salad
- Divide the romaine between your bowls, and top each salad with the tofu, avocado, strawberries, and green onion. You can either add the dressing now, or put it on the table, so everyone can dress their own salads.