Tofu Nicoise Salad {recipe}

Tofu Nicoise Salad

“I made a vegan Nicoise salad with tofu instead of tuna!” I announced, proudly presenting the bowl.

Wait. Oh. Fuck

“I marinated the tofu in fish sauce.” I threw the bowl onto the dining room table and walked back into the kitchen, pouting.

He was probably too nice to remind me that there were whole anchovies curled atop, too.
Tofu Nicoise Salad
So I guess there’s no hook to this salad. Not vegan, not even a vegetarian version of Nicoise Salad. I thought maybe substituting filler potatoes with superfood sweet potatoes would make this an Anti-Aging One Bowl Wonder, but then I should have kept the omega-3-rich tuna. Without tuna, haricot verts, capers, or potatoes, it actually bears little to no resemblance to the Provencal classic, so I guess in the end, it’s just its own little salad.

Even if you never make this weird little salad, make the Fish Sauce Marinated Tofu (a piscine play on Real Food Daily‘s Gingered Tofu, so I guess there is a twist of some sort after all).

The tofu is so awesome, it now has a permanent position on The Delicious Life List.

Tofu Nicoise Salad with Fish Sauce-Marinated Tofu {recipe}

There isn’t a special dressing for this particular Nicoise-esque salad because there is quite a bit of flavor and salt from the tofu, anchovies, and olives. Just keep a little bit of extra olive oil, salt and pepper on the table when you serve it.

serves 2


For Fish Sauce-Marinated Tofu

1 block firm tofu
¼ cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
oil for sautéing

For Salad

4-5 handfuls greens (I used arugula, parsley leaves, and finely chopped Romaine hearts)
2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
2 hard boiled eggs
a handful of cherry tomatoes or about 1 large tomato, chopped
handful of radishes, quartered
fresh sugar snap peas
sweet potato, roasted then cubed
4-5 garlic cloves, roasted with sweet potatoes
handful of oil-cured olives
fish sauce-marinated tofu


Make Fish Sauce Marinated Tofu

Slice block of tofu in ½-inch-wide intervals. Pat dry the tofu slices with paper towels.

Place a stack of 4-5 paper towels on a large rimmed baking sheet or tray. Place the tofu in a single layer on the paper towels. Place another stack of about 4-5 paper towels on top, place a flat cutting board or tray on top and allow the tofu to press and drain for about 1 hour.

Whisk together fish sauce, vinegar and olive oil in a bowl to blend. Pour half the marinade into a non-reactive container that will fit the tofu slices. Place the drained tofu in the container (you can stack them or place them however they fit). Pour the rest of the fish sauce marinade over. Cover the container and refrigerate, allowing to marinate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight. (Any longer and the tofu starts to disintegrate.)

Remove the tofu from the marinade. Cut into cubes (for this recipes, though you can leave them as whole slices for other recipes).

Heat a small amount of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the tofu and fry until the tofu is golden brown on all sides. Remove from pan on drain on paper towels.

Assemble the Salad

In a large bowl, toss greens with olive oil and vinegar to coat the leaves. Place greens in serving bowl. Arrange each of the salad components on top.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marla Meridith August 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

LOVE this take on a nicoise!


2 tofulover August 16, 2012 at 6:42 am

It’s a fishoise! I can make this.


3 Rebecca August 22, 2012 at 11:34 am

i just laughed so hard! hehe


4 Sherry August 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Hi Sara,

Wanted to invite you to lunch at our cafe – how can we contact you privately?



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