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Crispy Tofu and Shiitake Mushroom Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

Crispy tofu and shiitake mushrooms are a go to when I’m trying to cut down on meat in my diet. Tofu is one of those ingredients that people either love or hate, but I’d like to try and persuade you that anyone can love tofu- if it’s made right. Crispy and golden on the outside, silky on the inside, and packed full of bold flavors like soy, ginger, and garlic.

Crisping tofu can be tricky. I’ve tried a million different ways, but the one technique that works for me every time is soaking it in a hot salt water bath for a few minutes (a trick I picked up from Cook’s Illustrated) and then baking it at a high temperature. Is it the quickest cooking method? No. But it’s legit good, and addicting, and is a great accompaniment to just about anything that needs a little crispy umami boost.

I’ve chosen to use it in a salad of the kale variety, because it’s my favorite, and who doesn’t need more hearty greens in their diet?, all topped with a miso ginger dressing that I just can’t get enough of. Crispy mushrooms and lots of accoutrements come to this salad party, making it something you’ll want to eat on repeat. You’ll be a tofu convert in no time. Pinky swear.

Crispy Tofu and Shiitake Mushroom Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

Crispy Tofu and Shiitake Mushroom Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

Crispy Tofu and Shiitake Mushroom Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

Ingredients:

1 14 oz block of organic firm tofu

1/4 C + 1/4 tsp kosher salt

4 C water

5 Tbsp avocado oil

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp fish sauce

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

3 Tbsp unseasoned rice wine vinegar

2 tsp ginger, grated

1/2 tsp garlic, grated

6 oz shiitake mushrooms, woody stems removed

1 Tbsp white miso paste

1 tsp honey

1 bunch kale, chopped

avocado, sliced

cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

green onions, sliced

roasted cashews

sesame seeds

aleppo pepper flakes

Maldon flake salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut tofu into 10 slices, approximately 1/4-1/2” thick, cutting on the short end of the block. Place tofu in a large bowl. In a saucepan, dissolve 1/4 C kosher salt in 4 C water, and bring to a boil. Pour salt water over tofu and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain tofu and pat dry.

While the tofu is getting a salt water bath, make the marinade. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, 1 Tbsp rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp avocado oil, 1/2 tsp grated ginger, and grated garlic. Place drained and dried tofu onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and pour marinade over the top. Make sure to get each side of the tofu coated in the marinade. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes, flipping the tofu twice during cooking, and bake until crispy and brown on the outside. The tofu will be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Cut tofu into smaller bite sized chunks.

On a small baking sheet coat shiitake mushrooms with 1 Tbsp avocado oil and 1/4 tsp kosher salt. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the mushrooms are golden and crispy.

Make the dressing by combining 1 1/2 tsp grated ginger, miso paste, 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 3 Tbsp avocado oil, and honey in a small jar. Use a spoon to dissolve honey and miso, and then secure the lid onto the jar and shake until the dressing has emulsified and become thick.

Assemble the salad. Place chopped kale into a large bowl. Dress with 1-2 Tbsp of the miso ginger dressing and massage it into the kale. Top with crispy tofu, shiitake mushrooms, sliced cherry tomatoes, green onions, avocado, roasted cashews, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds, aleppo pepper, and Maldon salt flakes. Toss all together and add more dressing as needed.

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Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms.jpg