Tofu Amaranth Salad

Tofu Amaranth Salad Recipe

A good number of you were curious about the tofu and amaranth salad pictured next to these chive pancakes a few weeks back. Apologies for taking so long to write it up! The salad was inspired by two things. I wanted to make something with crunch, structure, and creaminess to go along (or inside) the paper-thin chive pancakes. And, I wanted something fresh, with a nice protein component - enough to make a meal of. I picked up beautiful little gem lettuces, fuchsia amaranth leaves, ripe avocado, and flowering basil. The dressing was coconut milk based. I used a partial can for the crepe batter, and didn't want the rest to go to waste, so it ended up in the dressing. I'm imagine a coconut green goddess dressing would also be great.

Tofu Amaranth Salad RecipeTofu Amaranth Salad Recipe

It's not a big deal if you can find amaranth leaves...just toss whatever you like into this bowl, really. The little gems, avocado, and dressing are a nice backdrop for all sorts of things - as we're heading toward fall, I think a roasted squash version would be equally nice! Or do a version with grilled tofu. Thanks again for your patience. xo -h

Tofu Amaranth Salad

HS: If you can't find little gems, any structured lettuce will work here - baby romaine would be a nice substitute.

1/2 small clove garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon sunflower oil

4 scallions, thinly sliced 

2/3 cup / 160ml coconut milk (full fat)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste

2-3 heads of little gem lettuces, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch ribbons

a handful of amaranth leaves, or red lettuce, or spinach
12 ounces extra firm tofu, pat dry and cut into tiny cubes
1 small handful of basil leaves
1 small avocado, thinly sliced

Start by making the dressing. In a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic and chile flakes into a paste along with the salt. Alternately, you can use a food processor. Add the oil and the scallions, and smash or chop a bit more. Transfer the mixture to a jar or bowl, and whisk in the coconut milk, then the lemon juice. Taste, and adjust with more salt or lemon juice if needed. You can store the dressing in a refrigerator for up to a week.
Be sure your lettuce and amaranth is well washed and dried, then combine in a bowl along with the tofu and basil. Toss gently. You can either dress at this point or serve the dressing to the side. Add the dressing a bit at a time, until the lettuce is coated to your liking. Taste, and salt, if needed. Add the avocado last and give the salad once last gentle toss.

Serves 4.

Prep time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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  • I was on Fillmore over the weekend at Nest being a typical tourist. Every inch of that store reminded me of you...

  • your avocados are consistently perfect; unblemished and sliced in a way that is delicate. They embody your love and care (a funny thing to say, I know! that an avocado embodies you...well, that's how I see it;)

    marie frances
  • Loving this. Something about fall in California makes basil post October 1st absolutely acceptable, even exciting. Going to try this with the roasted squash.

  • Heidi, your avocados are always cut so beautifully. Do you have a preferred technique? Please share! This salad looks simple yet stunning.

    HS: Hi Blaine Arin...First, I make sure it's nice and ripe. Then I cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and cut each half into quarters. Then, I cup one of the quarters in the palm of my hand, and carefully slice thinly on a diagonal. Run the knife along the skin to release the slices....That said, it's probably much safer to cut the avocado directly on the cutting board...

    Blaine Arin @ Feel-good Food
  • Congratulations on having an item from your shop mentioned in Bon Appetit! Beautiful things ...

  • Very beautiful! And it looks so delicious! I also love your dish wares. Where do you get such wonderful pieces?

    HS: Thanks Lara! That was a gift from my friend Molly - her sister makes beautiful pottery.

  • So gorgeous! I particularly love the way you sliced the avocado. Where did you get your lovely bowl? It's looks like the perfect size for lunch salads and cozy eating. :)

  • Looks beautiful! I love the color from the amaranth leaves, I'm thinking I might try a variation with a bit of Thai basil...

  • Looks gorgeous, delicious, and healthy. A winning combination! Thanks!

    Rockin Arugula
  • Perfect pictures... really adorable light and healthy food...Chiara

    c h i a r a
  • This looks so yummy! And simple to make too. Perfect! Lucy xo

  • I have been using red amaranth leaves generously these days thanks to my garden. This salad looks yum with such an interesting dressing.

    sangeeta khanna
  • They are so pretty (yes I do love to eat pretty foods)...Where did you get these? I see some red leaves at the market but they tell me it's NOT amaranth. Something Chinese and red, but I always ask and never get amaranth. Maybe the Ferry Building?

    HS: Hi Phi - yes, I got these at the Saturday market at the Ferry building :)

    phi @PrincessTofu
  • This salad is so beautiful. I especially love how you used the amaranth greens. I recently bought a bunch of greens that look just like them (with that pretty purple color). I actually have a picture of them on my blog. The farmer told me they were called Chinese spinach...but I swear they were amaranth greens. They were delicious, so I guess it doesn't really matter anyways!

    Renee @ Nourish The Roots
  • No need to say sorry for taking so long! I have been waiting for this and I know you are very busy. Very clear description on what you wanted here. I can not wait to try this with my twist on your pancakes ( I made them into waffle version!) That dressing sounds phenomenal!

    Belinda @themoonblushbaker
  • Great colors here. One thing I'll always remember from elementary school was learning "a colorful meal is a healthy meal"

    jaime @ asweetroad
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