Sesame-Crusted Tofu Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

This Sesame-Crusted Tofu Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing is wonderful for either lunch or dinner! It’s a hearty vegetarian meal that can easily be made vegan by swapping out the honey in the dressing. This tofu salad recipe has so much flavor, even meat-lovers will enjoy it!

Sesame Crusted Tofu Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing - Vegan Recipe ~ Savory Simple

I love tofu and am always taken aback when I hear people dismissing it as something just for vegetarians. I recently read a great article from Food52 titled ‘In Defense of Tofu’ that sums up what a versatile ingredient it can be.

Well-pressed tofu that has been marinated and pan fried with a flavorful sauce is a wonderful, healthy, inexpensive way to enjoy dinner.

The key is to have well-pressed tofu, something that can be a bit of a pain.

I don’t do a lot of product reviews these days. I pretty much have everything I need in the kitchen so I turn down a lot of offers.

But once in awhile something comes along that I think is really cool. And if *I* think it’s cool, I hope that means you’ll find it interesting as well. When Ben from EZ Tofu Press contacted me about doing a review and giveaway I was immediately intrigued. This was a something I could really use.

Below is a phone picture taken last year demonstrating how I used to press the water out of tofu. I referred to it as “The Leaning Tower of Tofu.”

Sesame Crusted Tofu Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing - Vegan Recipe ~ Savory Simple

Occasionally dishes would come crashing down. Paper towels were wasted and the process could take over an hour. Compare that with this photo taken a few days ago where I used the EZ Tofu Press:

Sesame Crusted Tofu Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing - Vegan Recipe ~ Savory Simple

I think this is such a cool, sturdy gadget. It’s incredibly effective and I can’t believe I’d never used something like it in the past. The tofu is completely pressed in less than 15 minutes and no paper towels are wasted.

It’s dishwasher friendly, which I always appreciate. I used the pressed tofu to prepare a recipe for Sesame Crusted Tofu Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing which you’ll find below.

The pressed tofu really absorbed the marinade beautifully and the final results were exactly what I was hoping for; a crunchy sesame exterior with a dense, tasty tofu.

Can you make this dish without the EZ Tofu Press? Certainly, but this tool makes the entire process easier, faster and less wasteful.

Print Pin Recipe

Sesame Crusted Tofu Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

5 from 1 vote
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Japanese
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 3 -4 salads
Calories 260
Author Jennifer Farley


Marinated sesame tofu:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu, packed in water
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Spicy peanut dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (use light agave nectar for vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon water

Additional ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 3-4 tablespoons roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 3-4 tablespoons scallions, sliced thin


  • Press as much water out of the tofu as possible. Slice into square cubes.
  • Add the garlic, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes and cubed tofu to a large plastic bag (do not add the sesame seeds or dressing ingredients). Seal and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • While the tofu is marinating, whisk together the spicy peanut dressing ingredients and set aside.
  • Mix together the toasted and black sesame seeds in a small bowl. Dredge each piece of tofu in the sesame seeds (I only dredged two sides).
  • Heat a large nonstick pan over medium low heat. You can add a small amount of oil or cooking spray but the sesame oil in the marinade should prevent sticking. Add the tofu and allow it to brown a bit before flipping sides. Periodically swirl the tofu around and keep an eye on the heat to make sure the sesame seeds don't burn. It should take several minutes per side.
  • Serve the tofu over mixed greens. Top each salad plate with peanuts and scallions to taste (1-2 tablespoons each per salad is a good estimate).
  • Drizzle spicy peanut dressing over salad and serve.


Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 895mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 7.7% | Vitamin C: 11.5% | Calcium: 13.8% | Iron: 15%

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Disclaimer: I was compensated for creating a recipe to use with the EZ Tofu Press. As always, all opinions are my own!

About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Posts may contain affiliate links. I am a participant in the rewardStyle and Amazon affiliate programs, which help support Savory Simple by providing me with a small commission fee when you shop through my links, at no additional cost to you.

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