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Sesame Cabbage Noodle Salad with rice noodles, crispy tofu, scallions cilantro and crunchy roasted peanuts. Vegan, Gluten-free!
This Sesame Cabbage Noodle Salad is eighty percent cabbage and twenty percent rice noodles. To make it a meal, add a little protein. The tofu is optional and can be switched out for shredded chicken if you prefer. Crunchy, flavorful and healthy, this is one of my favorite summer salads, not only because it tastes delicious, but because it can be made ahead and keeps well over several days – perfect for meals on the go or weekday lunches.
I like the vibrant purple cabbage, but feel free to use any cabbage of your choosing. Here I’ve used half a head which translates to about one pound of cabbage.
If short on time, use store-bought, pre-shredded cabbage to save time. And yes, of course can embellish and add other summer veggies too, but I wanted to keep this simple.
In the recipe, I only used 2 ounces ( dry) vermicelli rice noodles– which seems like nothing, but it was just enough! I really wanted to highlight the healthy cabbage. When cooking the rice noodles, add to hot boiling water ( turn heat off) and soak only for 1-2 minutes, just until just soft and pliable, then rinse in cold water. You want them al dente, so try not to over cook these or they will disintegrate into the salad.
If adding tofu, you can purchase pre-baked tofu, or either pan-sear or bake your tofu at home.
If baking the tofu, I use a marinade of equal parts soy sauce and either sesame or olive oil. Bake on parchment in a 400F oven for 25-35 minutes.
To sear, just sauté in a large pan, with a little olive oil, salt and pepper until golden.
If using chicken, leftover rotisserie would work great here, shredded into small bites.
Top with sesame seeds, scallions & cilantro. Add crunchy roasted peanuts!
Give a good toss.
Serve it up in bowls.
How simple is that?
Enjoy! Sesame Cabbage Noodle Salad with rice noodles, crispy tofu, scallions cilantro and crunchy roasted peanuts. Vegan, Gluten-free!
Sesame Cabbage Rice Noodle Salad with Crispy Tofu ( or chicken)
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 1x
- Category: Main Salad- Vegan, Gluten Free
- Method: Tossed
- Cuisine: Asian
A healthy delicious recipe for Sesame Cabbage Noodle Salad with Tofu ( or chicken) that can be made ahead- perfect for meals on the go or workweek lunches!
- 2 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
- 1/2 head purple cabbage- finely sliced
- 4 scallions, sliced at a diagnol
- 1/8–1/4 cup finely sliced red onion
- 12 ounces baked or seared tofu ( see notes) or shredded chicken
- 1 bunch cilantro ( chopped)
- 2– 3 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts ( optional)
- handful sunflower sprouts ( optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey (or agave or cane sugar)
- 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger ( or ginger paste)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce or GF Liquid Amino Acids
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- squeeze of lime
Set water to boil for the noodles.
Decide what tofu or chicken option you want to use and start that process. ( see notes)
Thinly slice the cabbage and add it to a big bowl. Add the scallions, red onion and cilantro and toss.
Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and toss with the cabbage.
Soak the noodles in the hot water ( turn heat off) for 1-2 minutes, stirring until just pliable. Do not boil the noodles! Just let them get tender and pliable. Al dente is perfect, they will get softer in the salad. Rinse with cold water, until they feel very cold. Drain well and add to the cabbage salad. Toss.
Add your choice of protein. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and roasted peanuts and sprouts if using.
If adding tofu, you can purchase pre-baked tofu – or either pan-sear it or bake your tofu at home. If baking, I use a marinade of equal parts soy sauce ( or GF liquid Amino) and either sesame oil or olive oil. Cut into cubes. Toss lightly with marinade. Bake on parchment in a 400F oven for 25-35 minutes, until a little crispy. Add a little sriracha or chili flakes to the marinade if you like, for heat.
To sear, just sauté in a large pan, in a little hot olive or peanut or coconut oil – seasoned with salt and pepper – sear until most sides are golden. Sometimes I’ll add a a smashed garlic clove to the hot oil, to infuse it before cooking the tofu. If you like extra crispy tofu, coat it in cornstarch first.
If using chicken, leftover rotisserie would work great here, shredded into small bites. Or simple seared chicken breast.
- Serving Size: 1 ½ cup
- Calories: 269
- Sugar: 7.3 g
- Sodium: 395.7 mg
- Fat: 16.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 24.1 g
- Fiber: 4.8 g
- Protein: 10.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: noodle salad, asian cabbage salad, asian noodle salad, vegan noodle salad, tofu noodle salad, crispy tofu
I had a function on the weekend and thought to make this dish to share. What a hit. Everyone was asking who made the salad and I was able to share this website with everyone. Looking to make another recipe for tomorrows event.
Awwww… thanks for sharing Sarah- very appreciated!
Dr just told me i need to eat tofu and fish. I’ve found so many great recipes from you! Doubled up on the recipe and it made a giant bowlful. Delicious!
Honestly you’re my favorite recipe site. Love the flavors, and everything is so easy to make.
I took this dish to a cookout last year to ensure that I would have something yummy to eat. Needless to say, all of my carnivore friends fell in love with this vegan dish. It is now requested at all gatherings and potlucks. In fact, my one friend refers to it as “Vegan Crack” since it is so addictive. Kudos!
Haha, love it Vernon!
SYLVIA, EVERY SINGLE RECIPE OF YOURS THAT I HAVE MADE IS A KEEPER!
Thanks so much Vernon!
One of my favorite FAH recipes. I add a bit of garlic to the dressing, and zucchini noodles for me (rice noodles for my kiddo). Love the Trader Joe’s sriracha tofu with this – so EASY. Great dinner, fab leftovers.
Love your adaptions Jaeden!
We love this, I’ve made it twice. I use a great baked tofu recipe with a marinade heavy on garlic and ginger. Delicious!
I like white cabbage, no tofu but kidney beans instead. I like spiralised courgette more than noodles.
Perfect! The recipe is very adaptable. 🙂
How’s it going, Chow for now.
I was harvesting a cabbage out of my garden found this recipe so I pulled a red onion and grabbed cilantro and found tofu in the fridge. Done More Times than not when I find a great recipe it’s Feasting at Home. Thank you for another delicious recipe.
I made this twice. First as listed and the second time I decreased the oils and in creased the pasta. Wrong! Make it as stated and chop the peanuts.
C’est excellent! Cette salade est la star des mes repas! Frais, goûteuse et appétissante! Merci !
thanks Annie, appreciate it!
I made a batch of this on a Sunday and used it for my lunch all week. It was as tasty on Friday as it was on Monday. I used the air fryer for the tofu and it was excellent! Thanks for another great recipe! .
Thanks Linda! I need to get one of those! Do you like it?
What are the other greens pictured, but not mentioned, in the recipe? Pea sprouts?
Those are the optional sunflower sprouts that are mentioned in the recipe
Sylvia, this is SO GOOD. I made some adaptations to use it as a one-bowl dish for workweek lunches, I added raw carrot noodles (fancy spiralized carrots – very pretty!), some steamed shelled edamame, and shredded chicken, and I doubled the noodles and halved the cabbage (I wasn’t sure I could handle whole meal’s worth of cabbage). I also added the zest and juice of a whole lime because, well . . . I really love lime. 🙂 It’s an easily adaptable recipe, the dressing is divine, and I will be making it again for lunches next week because it is just so darn tasty and filling. It is really beautiful and colorful as well!
I just made this for our weekly Friday night supper club and it is soooo easy plus beautiful and full of flavor!!! I made it with chicken as a main dish with a fresh herb frittata on the side and butternut squash curried coconut soup. A color-fest of wonderful flavors. thank you!
Yay!!! So happy you like this- yes so colorful and fresh looking! Sounds like such delicious meal- love the pairings!
Love that this noodle dish is more veggies than noodles- Looks perfect for these oppressively hot days we are experiencing.
Today I looked in the refridgerator and wondered what to do with a forgotten block of tofu and an elderly red cabbage. Now I find your cabbage salad recipe. Perfect timing!
I love the colours of this salad Sylvia, and it sounds perfect for those on-the-go weekday lunches.