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Horizontal image of a plate of tofu and green bean salad on a patterned napkin.

Fried Tofu with Charred Green Bean Salad

  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This just might be the best tofu recipe ever. We serve marinated and fried tofu cubes on top of a charred green bean and squash salad.



For the Tofu:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari, if gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 box firm tofu
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or almond flour, if gluten-free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain salt

For the Salad:

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into half-moons
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 4 cups torn kale
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts


For the Tofu:

  1. Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili paste, ginger, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Mix well with a whisk.
  2. Drain the tofu and cut in half. Place the halves in one quart-sized airtight plastic bag. Add the marinade. Carefully seal, then shake until the marinade is evenly distributed on the tofu. Marinate for at least one hour, or overnight.
  3. When the tofu has marinated, drain the marinade into a measuring cup or small bowl. Reserve the marinade. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes.
  4. Toss the cornstarch, flour, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the cubes of tofu and toss until evenly coated.
  5. Heat 1-inch of vegetable oil in a large pot to 350°F. Carefully add the tofu in small batches to allow each cube to cook evenly. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until golden. Remove to a plate covered with paper towels to drain.

For the Salad and Assembly:

  1. Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add the green beans and cook for just a couple minutes, until bright green, about 1-2 minutes. Add the squash and most of the green onion. Toss occasionally, but not too often, until slightly charred, about 5-8 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Assemble the salad. Divide the kale on the bottom of four plates. Add the quinoa, vegetables, and tofu on top. Garnish with the remaining green onions, pine nuts, and a splash of the reserved tofu marinade. Serve and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: vegetarian, gluten-free, tofu, quinoa, kale