Chinese Tofu Chop Salad w/ Orange Sesame Miso Dressing

July 12, 2016

Chinese Tofu Chop Salad with an Orange Sesame Miso Dressing // by Faring Well

I’m a little embarrassed to say, but during the year and a half we called Colorado home there were a series of boxes we neglected to unpack which stood on top of one another in the corner of the living room. To redeem our laziness, however, I’m happy to report that after only three weeks in our new-to-us home here in California, we currently have fewer boxes to unpack than the aforementioned stack. This is a good sign, and helping to declutter our space in time for my mom to drive over from Phoenix this weekend! It’s hard to convey the level of excitement I’m feeling about having my sweet momma (and best friend) come hang out with me for a few days. But try to imagine a little kid in his favorite superman suit eating an ice cream cone while having a sleep over with all of his friends wearing glow-sticks in Disneyland (why did I make this hypothetical kid a “he”? I’m a “she”, I swear). That’s about a quarter of the level of excitement in my bones right now. Excuse me while I go do a zillion happy dances and whip up every recipe I’ve ever created for her to taste. Come hungry, momma!

In the midst of all the dancing and cooking – time is a exceptionally valuable commodity as of late. With the balancing act of settling into a new home, figuring out a work life balance (seeing as we both work from home now, and can easily work all the time), and trying to intentionally prioritize time with friends. A huge time saver around our home during the summer just so happens to be a hefty flavor enhancer, as well as a jolt of nutrients. Salad. I have had a few recipes of the sort floating around in this space lately. One, because it is summer and fresh food is abundant, and two, because it is a real reflection on what I eat on a daily basis. I love a big bowl of raw veggies everyday, and have been challenging myself to create a few variations for both my, and your, pallets’ sake.

The Chinese tofu chop salad, not one you haven’t seen before, but with a few twists. It is a mixture of shredded carrots, cabbage, and romaine tossed with sliced scallions, snow peas, and blanched almonds. A little baked tofu for protein, and blanched broccoli rabe for the “twist”. Here I created a special dressing to jazz it up, and is one I promise you will be licking the spoon of once you give it a try. It is addicting – the perfect (to me) blend of orange and miso that I think you will love. However, the most unique and new-to-me vegetable I incorporate here is the broccoli rabe. Surprisingly enough it isn’t broccoli at all, but closer in relation to cabbage! Which makes it perfect for asian dishes such as this salad here. Chopped and blanched, it adds a little crunch with a slight bitterness that is mellowed out with the sweet orange dressing. It is also full of wonderful health benefits which you can read more about here. I’m flipping over all of the flavors and textures in this salad, and hope it makes the cut for your summer tables too.

Chinese Tofu Chop Salad with an Orange Sesame Miso Dressing // by Faring WellChinese Tofu Chop Salad with an Orange Sesame Miso Dressing // by Faring WellChinese Tofu Chop Salad with an Orange Sesame Miso Dressing // by Faring WellChinese Tofu Chop Salad with an Orange Sesame Miso Dressing // by Faring WellChinese Tofu Chop Salad with an Orange Sesame Miso Dressing // by Faring WellChinese Tofu Chop Salad with an Orange Sesame Miso Dressing // by Faring Well

This post was sponsored by Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe. All words and opinions are my own, and I truly love their produce. Thank you for supporting Faring Well by supporting it’s wonderful sponsors!

Makes 4 servings.

1 bunch of Andy Boy broccoli rabe
4 cups chopped romaine
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup sugar snap or snow peas, sliced
1/2 cup sliced scallions
4 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 – 14 ounce package of firm tofu

2 tablespoons mellow white miso
2 tablespoons raw honey
2 teaspoons tahini
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons tamari
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Drain and rinse the block of tofu, patting dry with a few paper towels. Slice into 32 cubes, about 1 inch in size, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Flipping once halfway through. Transfer to the counter to cool while you prepare the salad, or let fully cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use (will last 2 days).

Add all of the ingredients for the dressing to a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed, and transfer to a jar. Set aside while you assemble the salad.

Trim the broccoli rabe so you are left with only the florets, leaves, and their soft stems (about 4 loosely packed cups worth). Break into bite size pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Bring a kettle of water to a boil on the stove and pour over the broccoli rabe. Let the rabe sit in the hot water for about 10 seconds, then drain. Pour cold water over the rabe and drain again. Lay out the broccoli rabe pieces on a few layers of paper towels to drain while you assemble the rest of the veggies.

Add the chopped romaine (pieces should be about 1 inch in size) to a large mixing/serving bowl. On a large cutting board shred the carrot on a box grater, or using a mandolin. Shred the cabbage using a mandolin, or thinly slicing with a knife into 1 inch pieces. Slice the sugar snap or snow peas (whichever you choose) on an angle into strips, and slice the scallions the same. Add all of the prepared veggies, including the broccoli rabe, to the bowl with the romaine.

Give the veggies a toss and add the baked tofu, toss again, and drizzle with the dressing. Mix well to coat everything with the dressing, taste, and add more salt if needed. Divide into four bowls and top each with a tablespoon of slivered almonds. Enjoy right away.

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  • Reply Jess @ Nourished by Nutrition July 12, 2016 at 3:31 am

    Salads are my go-to lunch. I feel I’m missing something if I don’t incorporate a large plate of raw veggies daily. Purchasing broccoli rabe will be new for me too but I’m anxious to give it a try now, especially with this dressing. Orange, miso heart eyes! Have fun this weekend with you’re momma and her friend! Let your inner “he” run wild with excitement ;) Sending hugs!

    • Reply Jess @ Nourished by Nutrition July 12, 2016 at 9:08 am

      I realized you said you mom was YOUR best friend, not her best friend. Have fun with just your mom! :)

      • Reply Faring Well July 14, 2016 at 1:27 pm

        Jess! Thank you for your comment here girl, I really think you will love this dressing! High fives for bowls of salad, and for trying broccoli rabe for the first time soon too! xx

        Ps. Thank you for your sweet wishes too on my mom visiting! You are the cutest ;) hugs right back at ya!

  • Reply Abby @ Heart of a Baker July 12, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Salads have been a total go-to this summer especially since it’s been so dang HOT! I’m happy to hear you are all settled in and unpacked, enjoy the visit with your momma!

    • Reply Faring Well July 14, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Aw thank you Abby! You’re so sweet. And heck yes on cool, summer salads – xx

  • Reply Hallie July 12, 2016 at 6:48 am

    This looks delicious and so refreshing!!! Can I ask how you got your carrots so perfectly julienned! Do you have a special tool for this? Also- the directions do not indicate you marinated the tofu prior to baking, does it pick up enough flavor from the dressing after mixing it altogether? Just curious.

    • Reply Faring Well July 14, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Hallie! Thank you tons! For the carrots, I used a mandolin with a toothed blade. And for the tofu – it picks up the dressing and gets coated when you toss everything, so there is no marinade needed! Hope this helps <3

  • Reply Maya | Spice + Sprout July 12, 2016 at 8:02 am

    This salad looks awesome! So full of summery love and freshness <3

    • Reply Faring Well July 14, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      Thank you so much Maya! It really does taste like a big bowl’o’summer ;)

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full July 12, 2016 at 8:47 am

    I hope you have a great time with your mom, Jessie! My mom is my best friend too and I couldn’t imagine living more than a half hour away from her (which I never have!). I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time full of delicious food, laughs, and hugs!! :D

    • Reply Faring Well July 14, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Aw that is so sweet! I wish she was closer like yours, that is so very special. You enjoy your momma too and I will do the same, thanks Sarah! xx

  • Reply Shelley Ludman July 12, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Love the colours, love the flavours and love the textures! Perfect summer salad/slaw situation. Also, could you be any cuter over the excitement of your mom coming to visit? I’m sure you’ll plan a fabulous few days and you will eat splendidly. Have fun girl! x

    • Reply Faring Well July 14, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Sheesh Shelley! You are too sweet :) thank you tons friend. I cannot wait to have her here, will make the new place really feel like “home”. Hope you have a gorgeous, summery weekend lined up too girl! xx

  • Reply Pia July 13, 2016 at 4:17 am

    Girl, do you even realize how freaking adorable you are? Seriously, I just love how genuine, down-to-earth, and open you are, and how you don’t set out to be anything you’re not, you know? So thank you SO much for that <3
    In regards to the rest of this post, though, I do have a few questions if you don't mind (and if you do, then just leave them unanswered – I totally respect that, too!) Okay, so first of all, as someone who has never had miso, I was wondering if you could share with me what it's like, and of there is anything you would compare its flavor to? And secondly, seeing as you took up the topic of work, how exactly are you making a living from home, and what does your lucky man do? I'd love to know :)
    Hugsies and enjoy your mother-daughter time xxx

    • Reply Faring Well July 14, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      Goodness, Pia, you are too too sweet. Thank you for your note here, and all your kind encouragement <3! As for the miso, that is a toughy. It has a mellow tang and saltiness, and real "umami" flavor for sure! You'll just have to give it a try ;). And as for work, I do recipe developing and photography for companies both here on the blog and on the side as well. Scott works as the head photographer for a company called Artifact Uprising. We both feel so blessed to work from home together doing these two things <3.

      • Reply Pia July 16, 2016 at 4:25 am

        The only one that needs to be saying ‘Thank you’ is me. So merci beaucoup :) Not only for giving me at least a hint of what miso is like, but also for sharing the details of your work life situation , which honestly sounds epic! And it must be beyond incredible for both of you to be able to make a living doing such fun and creative things. Go you! xxx

  • Reply betty July 13, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    AH So lovely!!!!!! I’ve never thought of using broccoli rabe this way – I must try it. I’m in the need for a perfect summer salad situation over here :).

    • Reply Faring Well July 14, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      Betty! Thank you girl! You are so sweet. I always get so excited when I see a note from you :) hope you are having the best week friend! xx

  • Reply Brooke @ Chocolate + Marrow July 13, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Ohhh do you know how much I LOVE seeing this?! Mostly because 1) it means you’ve got boxes whittled down and 2) because we got to see a snippet of your new kitchen! Loving that white backsplash situation you’ve got going on, girl. Hope you and your sweet momma get to spend all kinds of good time together, making food and testing recipes and doing all the things that moms and daughters get to do. xoxox

    • Reply Faring Well July 14, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      Aw thank you Brooke! I love your excitement! It’s only multiplying mine ;). And thank you about my momma too, you totally know where I’m at right now <3 this time is so special. Hugs for days girl - xx

  • Reply Jodi July 14, 2016 at 10:29 am

    AH have the best time with your mom, Jessie. I always feel so lucky to host my parents when they visit. It’s such a wonderful thing doing something for them. So I hope you get lots of sunshine and salads and beach time and real time face time and ice cream this weekend with Mamma Faring Well. Never too many versions of a good slaw. x

    • Reply Faring Well July 14, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Yes, yes it is – you so nailed it there Jodi! And ha – I love that name for her ;) I’ll have to tell her about her new “title” hehe ;). Thank you for your sweet note, and I hope you have a gorgeous weekend full of adventure friend, adore you <3

  • Reply Dina July 18, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Looks gorgeous! I will try this at once now that I’m back in my kitchen (after a 2 1/2 trip away in Europe and finding some challenges in terms of eating fresh and healthy). Hope you’re having fun with Mom! xo

    • Reply Faring Well July 19, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Oh yay! Thank you so much Dina! So very sweet of you to say. Welcome home <3

  • Reply KJ | Om Nom Herbivore August 6, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    YUM!! This will make an awesome work lunch! I’m glad you’re feeling content and happy enough in CA to unpack :)

  • Reply J July 14, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Hi, thanks for this beautiful recipe :)
    I had a question as a very, very new (I’m talking two days new) vegan — at least I am attempting to go vegan.
    I had just read about honey not being something vegan’s should eat (because they are an animal product). Do you have a different view on that? I saw raw honey in your ingredients list, so I wondered. As a singer, I love honey, so I am curious to know if this could stay on the vegan foods list!
    Thank you so much :)

    • Reply Faring Well July 17, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Oh congratulations on moving to plant based Janice! So so excited for you and happy to help in any way. Honey is not an animal product since it is produced by bees, but it is a living-things-product. So it really is up to you and your views as to whether you wish to allow it in your diet or not. We choose to on occasion over here, but I know others choose not to. <3

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