Chinese Sliced Tofu Salad (凉拌豆腐丝)

5 from 5 votes
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Chinese sliced tofu salad is a quick cold dish you can toss together in 10 minutes and is perfect for summer. Learn how to use tofu noodles to make a nutrition-packed vegetarian dish that has a wonderful texture. {Vegan, Gluten-Free adaptable}

Chinese Sliced Tofu Salad | Appetizer | Healthy | Recipe | Gluten Free| Vegan | Vegetarian | Summer | Easy | Vegetables |

After moving from Beijing, one thing I’ve missed most is the array of tofu and soy products available. If you go to a supermarket in China, you’ll find the tofu aisle is as gigantic as the cereal section of a grocery store in the US. Not only can you find various types of tofu, there are also many products to help you create a vegetarian meal with great texture and flavor. For example, tofu noodles, mock meat (pre-seasoned fried tofu), tofu puffs, and thin sheets made of soybeans.

Last week I was delighted to find out that our Asian market in Austin is now carrying a few more tofu products. (Seems like they’ve been slowly improving their products and services, since Ranch 99 and H-Mart announced they’re coming to Austin.) I couldn’t wait to stuff my shopping cart with packages of sliced and smoked tofu.

I made this sliced tofu salad for dinner, just like my mom always does in summer. My husband devoured a big plate of it and told me that it tastes like China 🙂

Chinese Sliced Tofu Salad | Appetizer | Healthy | Recipe | Gluten Free| Vegan | Vegetarian | Summer | Easy | Vegetables |

What is sliced tofu?

Sliced tofu, or Dou Fu Si (豆腐丝), is cut from thin sheets of tofu. This type of tofu is quite similar to extra firm tofu, but it has a denser texture and contains seasoning. You can get a better idea of sliced tofu if you look at its nutrition facts.

  • One serving of extra firm tofu (50g) contains 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of protein.
  • One serving of sliced tofu (50g) contains 7 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbs, and 18 grams of protein.

You can see that the sliced tofu has almost triple the nutrient density of extra firm tofu.

Chinese Sliced Tofu Salad Cooking Process

Sliced tofu usually comes mildly seasoned. The brand I got contains salt, fennel, Sichuan peppercorn, anise, and cassia bark (cinnamon). These tofu slices are like protein noodles and hold their shape very well. We usually use them in salads, soups, and stir fries.

You can use the sliced tofu straight from the package. However my mom usually blanches it for a few seconds, to remove the strong soy taste and soften its texture.

How to create your own tofu salad

Tofu salad is the type of dish my mom will toss together without any recipe, with whatever ingredients she has on hand.

The recipe below shows the flavor that my family uses most often – a refreshing vinegar-based dressing that brings out the ingredients. If you like a heavier seasoning, you can add a spoonful of homemade chili oil to spice up your salad. Or you can use the sauce from my Dan Dan noodle recipe to make a boldly flavored Dan Dan tofu salad. If you like a nutty sauce, go to my chicken spring roll recipe and use the peanut butter sauce there.

Chinese Sliced Tofu Salad Cooking Process

There are limitless ways to add veggies to this salad. The most common ingredients include carrot, cucumber, pepper, and onion. You can also use zucchini, cabbage, summer squash, and radish. I found a great ratio to follow is 4 cups of sliced tofu to 2 cups of sliced veggies of your choice. I cut all the veggies with a knife, but feel free to use a julienne peeler.

Again, this sliced tofu salad is designed to be a simple and quick dish. It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to put together. And do feel free with play with it and figure out your favorite combo 🙂

Chinese Sliced Tofu Salad | Appetizer | Healthy | Recipe | Gluten Free| Vegan | Vegetarian | Summer | Easy | Vegetables |

More Chinese appetizer & sides

Chinese Sliced Tofu Salad | Appetizer | Healthy | Recipe | Gluten Free| Vegan | Vegetarian | Summer | Easy | Vegetables |

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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Chinese Sliced Tofu Salad | Appetizer | Healthy | Recipe | Gluten Free| Vegan | Vegetarian | Summer | Easy | Vegetables |

Chinese Sliced Tofu Salad (凉拌豆腐丝)

5 from 5 votes
Chinese sliced tofu salad is a quick cold dish you can toss together in 10 minutes and is perfect for summer. Learn how to use tofu noodles to make a nutrition-packed vegetarian dish that has a wonderful texture.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4


  • 4 cups sliced tofu
  • 4 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 carrot , shredded
  • 1 cucumber , slices (or pepper, or celery)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free option)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons homemade chili oil (Optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish (Optional)


  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the sliced tofu and stir for a few seconds. Rinse the sliced tofu with tap water, drain thoroughly, and set aside to cool.
  • Add sesame oil and garlic into a small bowl. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds, or cook until the oil just starts to bubble and the garlic turns tender.(*Footnote 1)
  • Right before serving, add sliced tofu, carrot and bell peppers into a big bowl. Add the sesame oil and garlic, green onion, rice vinegar, salt, and chili oil (if using). Toss to mix well.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve as an appetizer.


  1. This step helps to make the garlic flavor milder. However do feel free to use the raw garlic without heating in the sesame oil if you like that pungent flavor.


Serving: 1serving of the 4 servings, Calories: 108kcal, Carbohydrates: 6.9g, Protein: 5.4g, Fat: 6g, Sodium: 452mg, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugar: 2.6g
Did You Make This Recipe?Don't forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. mary jane says:

    where can you buy sliced tofu and is it a dry or fresh product

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Mary, you should able to find the sliced tofu in Asian market at the refrigerated section, along with tofu. It is a vacuum packed fresh product.

  2. Anna says:

    5 stars
    Hi Maggie,
    I just made this for my husband last night and he loved it too!
    It reminded me of home. It tastes even better the next day with a lot of Lao Gan Ma 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your great recipes!

  3. Margaret says:

    I found tofu noodles at my local H-Mart a couple weeks ago, but when I went to buy them again, it appears they no longer carry them. But they have something labeled “tofu shirataki”. It’s sold in a liquid-filled tube, like regular shirataki (something I’m not a fan of). Are you familiar with these? Are they similar to the sliced tofu?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Margaret, I think the tofu shirataki looks and tastes just like the regular shirataki. I use them in soup and stews, but you can’t make this dish with it. I hope the H-Mart near you will start carry the tofu strips again so you can try out the dish.

  4. Cheryl Champion says:

    I’m planning on trying this recipe this week. I also live in the Austin area and would like to know the names of he grocery stores you mentioned in the artical. I also would like to know if you are familiar with a salad I recently had while in Beijing. Our guide just called it Chinese salad but I haven’t been able to find a recipe similar to what we had. The salad had black fungus, a firm tofu that looked shredded like chicken looks when it’s shredded, celery, peanuts and a marinade. It was wonderful. I have a picture of the dish but this comment section doesn’t seem to allow picture attachments. The restaurant we visited was called “Mr. Shi’s Dumplings” in case your familiar with it. I really hope you can help me with this recipe, the contents and how to prepare them.
    Thanks for your time,
    Cheryl Champion

  5. Nick Powell says:

    For the life of me, I cannot find doufu si online to buy anywhere! Any ideas? I worked in Beijing for a while, and part of my day was eating in the company canteen with all the other workers. One of my favorite parts! For all of my Chinese coworkers, it was all workaday food they’d been eating since they were kids, but to me it was the best Chinese food I’d ever had. And the doufu si with celery was one of my favorites, but I have not been able to find it where I live.

  6. Jill says:

    5 stars
    I made it today and it was delicious. For veggies I used celery and carrot. Definitely a keeper.

  7. Ann says:

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was delicious! Super simple, healthy, nutritious and hits the spot! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  8. David says:

    Your recipe calls for 4 cups of tofu strips? Did you mean 4 oz? 4 cups is 32 oz!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi David, yeah it’s 4 cups. But I packed the cup quite loosely so it won’t be too much tofu.

  9. JenB says:

    What if I am unable to get this particular tofu, what type of tofu can it substitute?
    Thank you.

    • Maggie says:

      The type of tofu is quite important because it has a special texture. If you can’t find it, by any chance you can get baked tofu? It comes in blocks (I saw them at Wholefoods) and it’s OK to serve uncooked. You can sliced the baked tofu and use this recipe as well. If you can’t find baked tofu, I guess the best way is to pan fry sliced firm tofu with a bit oil to crisp them up, then use the dressing from this recipe.

  10. Roxanne says:

    FYI: I have tried every type of bean curd noodle, fresh, dried, sheets, threads, followed the directions on the package, googled it, and no matter what they always come out like rubber bands. I finally asked an elderly Chinese gentleman who is the chef at my favorite restaurant what is the trick to making these noodles soft. He said, “You MUST add baking soda and salt to the water”. Maybe everyone knows this trick but I did not, thought I would share. I tried it, amazing, I had soft noodle. I used about 1/2 tsp of each to the boiling water added noodles, cook to desired texture (noodle cook fast, 5 min or less) rinse really well so that they no longer taste of baking soda and dry thoroughly on a cooling rack (spray with some cooking oil to prevent sticking) before using them in a dish. And one other tip, DONT order online, price is ridiculous, find your local Asian or international market, they will have them at a good price. They store well so stock up, I use instead of pasta,

    Your TOFU NOODLE SALAD recipe is wonderful, made several times now, yum. Looking forward to trying your other recipes.

    Thank you

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Roxanne, thanks for leaving a comment and I’m glad to hear you like the dish! Actually I had no idea of using baking soda to boil the tofu. Such a great tip! Can’t wait to try it out this weekend. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Oh my god, thanks for the tip! I’ve been searching everywhere on how to properly cook these because of the “rubber band” texture

  11. DB says:

    Can you use tofu slices to substitute ramen in ramen soups?

    • Maggie says:

      I don’t see why not! Should be filling and delicious.

  12. Emma says:

    5 stars
    I was wondering how I can make this recipe if I just have regular blocks of extra firm tofu!

  13. CY Chen says:

    Thank you for the recipe. I’m excited to try it. I found these exact tofu at the Asian grocery store.
    This is a dumb question but do you cut the strands and leave the ends that are not cut through?

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      When I bought the tofu it’s already cut – strands with ends attached.
      You don’t need the specific cut for this dish. If you bought the large uncut sheets, you can simply slice them to thin strands.
      Happy cooking and hope you enjoy the dish!

  14. David K. says:

    5 stars
    Delicious recipe! I got some fresh dau fu si from the refrigerated case at Ranch 99 Market without knowing what to do with it. Found your recipe and was very happy with results. For veggies, I used Chinese celery , carrot, zucchini, red bell pepper, romaine and arugula. I also added some minced ginger with the garlic and tossed in a small sliced avocado and some toasted black sesame seeds. Thanks very much!

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