Curry tofu salad

Before J and I started cooking regularly (but after we stopped eating most of our lunches and dinners out at restaurants), I used to buy a fair amount of food from the Whole Foods salad bar and deli case. It was a super easy way to get fresh, veggie-filled meals for us. One of my regular purchases was their curry tofu salad. While we were grocery shopping this week, an idea that I’d had eons ago resurfaced, and we decided to try to make this dish ourselves from scratch. The employees behind the counter weren’t sure if this was one of the Whole Foods recipes available online, so to be safe I took a picture of the ingredient list.

Photo by The Conscientious Omnivore (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

I was glad that I’d snapped the picture, since the best J could find was this recipe from another blogger. Since it didn’t quite seem to match the Whole Foods ingredients, we made our own best guesses at proportions and merged the two. Our taste test suggests that we did pretty well; this dish is also the sort that should be even tastier once the flavors get a chance to blend, so I expect it to be even better tomorrow. (UPDATE: I was right!) I didn’t do a careful cost analysis, but I’m guessing that we saved at least 50% by making this ourselves, not to mention the fact that virtually all of the ingredients in our version were organic (none are in the Whole Foods version). It was also super easy; it’s mostly just chopping vegetables, since the tofu is the only thing we actually cooked. We will definitely be making this again!

Photo by The Conscientious Omnivore (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Here’s a quick rundown of our version of the recipe. Some measurements are a bit inexact since we were winging it. We also increased the amounts below by 50%, but that’s because we are big eaters and were preparing a big batch for lunch this week.

  • 2 packages tofu, extra firm, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions (substitute one small onion if necessary)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • chopped cilantro in whatever amount you like and have available
  • ½ cup raisins
  • about 2 oz slivered almonds
  • 1 small “toe” of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • ½ cup vegan mayonnaise
  • juice of ½ large lemon
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • a dash of Cayenne
  • a dash of white pepper
  • several cranks of fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan over med to med-high heat, sauté tofu (in a bit of olive oil, if you’d like) until browned and firmed. Pour off excess liquid as needed (or if you prefer, do that squeeze-the-tofu-brick-between-two-plates-with-something-heavy-on-top trick before dicing and cooking). Set aside to cool.
  2. In a separate bowl, blend the dressing ingredients. Taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking.
  3. Add the tofu and the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Enjoy!
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11 comments

  1. Millie Moss

    I tried various tofu curry recipes, but the tofu just fell apart in the skillet. Then I looked up “how to make tofu firm.” I was told to freeze the tofu block at least 24 hours and then squeeze out the water. Nobody mentions the freeze part. Is that something everyone knows to do and they’re just not mentioning it? I started with extra firm tofu, but it still fell apart before I began the freezing procedure.

  2. Ginger

    I just made this and I must thank you a thousand thank you’s….. it is SO amazing. Perhaps even better than WF’s. I marinated and baked my tofu so it’s more chewy but that’s about the only variation I did. Tomorrow I’m sure it will be even better… if it makes it that far!! 🙂

  3. Tonya

    Thank you for this! I love WF version but it is not always available. I made yours but i baked the tofu instead of skillet frying and I added tumeric. It is perfection! Thanks!

  4. Dee

    I just made this recipe and it is exactly like I remember the WF to be! You guys are Superstars in my books! If you have recreated the Whole Foods Kung Pao Tofu, PLEASE share it with us as you are obviously really good at this. I wish I took a picture of the ingredients to share with you, but maybe you already did. Hope so cuz they don’t make it anymore. THANK YOU!

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