Healthy Watercress and Tofu Salad Recipe

Welcome, food lovers, to a world of flavors in this watercress and tofu salad recipe. Coming straight from the heart of Hawaii, this recipe is a tribute to the fusion of local ingredients and traditional Asian flavors.

As a home chef who loves to entertain guests, I’m always on the lookout for easy-to-make but delicious dishes that will leave my guests craving for more. And this watercress and tofu salad recipe ticks all the boxes!

Picture this – cubes of firm tofu and fresh watercress leaves tossed with a tangy ginger and soy sauce dressing, topped with juicy tomato chunks, bean sprouts, and toasted sesame seeds. The combination of textures and flavors is simply irresistible. It’s light yet filling- perfect for those days when you want something refreshing but not too heavy.

Now, you might be thinking tofu isn’t your cup of tea, but trust me on this – even if you’re not a tofu fan, this recipe could change your mind! The tofu is cut into bite-sized pieces and baked till golden brown, giving it a crisp texture that contrasts beautifully with the softness of the watercress leaves. And the dressing – it’s just the right balance of salty, sweet and sour- thanks to the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar that come together to make magic happen.

So put on your apron and get ready to transport yourself to a tropical paradise with every bite. This watercress and tofu salad recipe is sure to elevate any meal – whether you’re serving it as a side to a stir fry or as part of a green salad with mangoes or pork. Don’t forget to share your creations with us using #watercresstofusaladrecipe. Let’s dive in!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe


Watercress and Tofu Salad
Watercress and Tofu Salad


Listen up, foodies! I’ve got a recipe that’s going to knock your socks off. Are you ready to try something new, fresh and exciting? This is not your average salad recipe, folks. Say aloha to the Watercress and Tofu Salad!

What’s so special about this recipe, you ask? Well, for starters, it’s bursting with flavor. The combination of tangy rice vinegar, savory soy sauce, and sweet sugar will dance on your taste buds. And let’s not forget about the crunch of toasted sesame seeds and bean sprouts that add texture and depth to every bite.

But the star of the show here is the watercress. This peppery and slightly bitter green packs a punch of nutrition. It’s loaded with vitamins A, C, K, and iron – all essential for your well-being. And when paired with silky soft tofu that soaks up all the savory flavors like a sponge, you get a dish that’s not only tasty but healthy too.

Now, I know what some of you might be thinking: “Tofu? No thanks.” But hear me out. This plant-based protein is a game-changer. Its neutral flavor works as a blank canvas for any marinade or sauce that you want to use. Plus, it’s an excellent alternative to meat for those who want to cut down on their meat consumption.

So trust me when I say that you’re going to love this Watercress and Tofu Salad recipe. It’s easy to make, packed with nutrients, and most importantly – it tastes amazing!

Ingredient List


 A refreshing lunch bowl packed with protein
A refreshing lunch bowl packed with protein



Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to make this delectable watercress and tofu salad:

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated gingerroot
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds

For the Salad:

  • 1 bunch of watercress, washed and cut into 2-inch pieces.
  • 1 block of firm tofu, drained and cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces
  • 1 small can of light chunk tuna in water (optional)
  • 2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup of fresh bean sprouts

You can find these ingredients at your local grocery store or market. Don’t hesitate to substitute items you already have on hand!


The Recipe How-To


 Green goodness on a plate
Green goodness on a plate



Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for – how to make this Watercress and Tofu Salad recipe. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think!


  • 1 bunch watercress, rinsed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 (14 oz) package firm tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 can light chunk tuna in water
  • ¼ cup bean sprouts
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the watercress. Boil for just 30 seconds or until wilted. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. In a large bowl, add the tomatoes, tuna, bean sprouts, and cooked watercress.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil, and gingerroot. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss well.
  4. Finally, add the cut tofu pieces to the salad and mix gently. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Pro tip: If you want to add some heat to your salad, feel free to include some sliced chili peppers or a spoonful of Sriracha sauce.

In just a few easy steps, you have made yourself an impressive and delicious salad that is sure to impress your guests. This salad recipe is perfect for those who are looking for something light yet satisfying for lunch or dinner. I hope this recipe becomes one of your favorites!


Substitutions and Variations


 A burst of flavor in every bite
A burst of flavor in every bite


Now, let’s talk about some substitutions and variations that you can make with this watercress and tofu salad recipe. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different ingredients to cater to your personal taste.

Firstly, if you’re not a fan of tofu or are allergic to soy products, you could replace the tofu with some protein options like sliced pork or salmon. You can cook them separately in a pan with some olive oil until they are fully cooked before adding them to your salad.

Additionally, you can use bean sprouts as a substitute for watercress, or mix both together for an added crunch. If you don’t have access to either watercress or bean sprouts, you may opt for other leafy veggies such as romaine lettuce or baby spinach.

For some extra sweetness, try adding some mango slices or diced pineapples to give your salad a lovely tropical twist.

If you’d like a little bit of heat in your salad, add some sliced green chilies into the mix. And if you’re a fan of ginger, you can finely grate some and add it to the marinade mixture.

Lastly, if you’re trying to cut down on calories and carbs, you could omit the sugar from the recipe entirely or use a sugar substitute instead. You can also reduce the amount of soy sauce and use low-sodium variants.

Remember, although this recipe is incredibly delicious as is, feel free to modify it as per your taste preferences!

Serving and Pairing


 Get ready to fall in love with tofu
Get ready to fall in love with tofu


Now that you have created this watercress and tofu salad masterpiece, it’s time to show it off! The beauty of this dish is that it can be served in so many ways.

For a light and refreshing meal, serve the watercress and tofu salad alone or with some crispy bread on the side. Alternatively, you can pair the dish with some grilled fish or stir-fry pork for a more substantial meal. The lightness of the watercress balances perfectly with the heartiness of the fish or meat.

This salad also pairs well with a variety of other dishes. For instance, try serving it alongside other green salads with a sesame tofu drizzled on top. Or combine it with a mango salad to create a tropical-themed feast – all in your own home!

And don’t forget about drinks! A crisp white wine is always an excellent choice to pair with the fresh and tangy flavors of this dish. For an alcohol-free option, try an iced green tea or sparkling water with lemon for a refreshing beverage on a hot day.

The possibilities are endless in terms of how you choose to serve and pair up this delicious watercress and tofu salad recipe. Let your imagination run wild- experiment and see what works best for your taste buds!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating


 A wholesome and nutritious salad
A wholesome and nutritious salad


Alright folks, let’s talk make-ahead, storing and reheating for this delightful watercress and tofu salad recipe. This salad is perfect for hosting, as it can be made a few hours before serving time or you can also make it the night before. It’s also great for prepping ahead of time for those busy weekdays.

When making this salad ahead of time, simply store the dressing in a separate container and keep the watercress, tofu, and other ingredients in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve. When you’re ready to bring everything together, simply toss everything with the dressing in a large bowl.

If you find yourself with leftover salad, I’ve got good news: this salad stores well and is still delicious the next day. You can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Just note that the watercress may wilt slightly after being refrigerated, but that won’t affect the flavor.

To reheat the tofu (if desired), I recommend reheating it separately from the rest of the salad to keep things crispy. The best way to do so is by pan-frying or baking it at 350°F (175°C) until heated through. Don’t microwave it, as that will cause it to become soggy.

Overall, this salad is easy to make-ahead, store, and reheat – making it a great option for those who are short on time but still want delicious food on hand.

Tips for Perfect Results


 The perfect balance of sweet and savory
The perfect balance of sweet and savory


If you want to impress your guests with a mouth-watering salad, there are a few tips that can help you achieve perfection. Here are some of my recommendations to ensure that your Watercress and Tofu Salad recipe is executed flawlessly.

First and foremost, when preparing the tofu, it’s essential to cut it into small 1-2 inch pieces to help absorb more flavor. Also, make sure the tofu is well-drained and firm so it can hold its shape even after mixing with the salad ingredients.

Another tip is to use fresh watercress as this will give your salad a crisp texture and delicate peppery flavor. Be sure to wash the watercress thoroughly in cold water before cutting it down into smaller pieces.

Toasting sesame seeds can also add an extra nutty flavor to your dish. Just put a sprinkle of sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, watch them cautiously and stir occasionally until they are golden brown colored. Do this on low heat so they won’t turn burnt. Then set aside until ready for use.

Additionally, if you prefer a more citrusy taste for your salad dressing, add some lime juice instead of rice vinegar or mix different types of vinegar like apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar for a richer depth of flavor profile. For those looking for some heat in their dressing, grated gingerroot will do the trick. Don’t forget to balance out the acidity with sweet Agave syrup or honey since too much acid can be overpowering.

Lastly, when adding the ingredients to the large bowl, start with the sturdier items like tomatoes, tuna or salmon then gradually mix in the softer ones such as bean sprouts or tofu so that they don’t get bruised or mashed up unintentionally. This way each piece can have its moment to shine.

Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to have a perfect Watercress and Tofu Salad each time you make it!


Before we wrap things up with the conclusion, let’s have a quick run-through of some frequently asked questions about this watercress and tofu salad recipe. I’ve gathered some commonly asked queries, concerns or issues that home chefs might encounter while following this recipe. Brace yourself as I’ll be revealing some answers that could be the solution to some of your problems in cooking this tasty and healthy salad.

What tastes good with watercress?

The list of ingredients includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and spices such as avocado, bell peppers, broccoli, butternut squash, chili, cucumber, fennel, ginger, horseradish, leek, onion, orange, pear, persimmon, potato, and sweet potato. This diverse selection of ingredients promises to create a flavorful and nutritious dish.

What is watercress salad made of?

Let’s put together a flavorful and colorful salad on a pretty plate or platter. We will need some fresh and delicious ingredients like peppery watercress, crisp fennel, crunchy snap peas, juicy and sweet orange pieces, creamy avocado, and soft mozzarella cheese. Once we have all the ingredients, it’s time to toss them lightly and drizzle some tangy salad dressing over them. Don’t forget to add some crunch and nuttiness with a handful of pistachios. After everything is nicely arranged, it’s time to season the salad with a pinch of salt and pepper for a pleasant tangy taste. And, for the final touch, add a spritz of lemon juice to make it more refreshing. Voila! Our scrumptious and healthy salad is ready to impress our guests.

What is tofu salad made of?

This recipe will have you savoring every bite of your tofu dish. The combination of lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, water, maple syrup, garlic, and salt give this otherwise bland tofu a burst of mouth-watering flavor. You’ll want to drizzle my tangy lemon dressing all over this dish, making it a perfect addition to your summer menu. Trust me, once you try this recipe, you won’t be able to get enough.

To give this dish a refreshing crunch, we’ll add in some lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and refreshing cucumber. The addition of creamy avocado also gives this dish a rich, buttery texture that will have you asking for more. Lastly, we’ll sprinkle in some crunchy almonds to bring in a bit of nuttiness to the dish. Trust me, with all these flavorful ingredients in one dish, your taste buds will thank you.

Bottom Line

So, now that you have the recipe and all the tips and tricks, what are you waiting for? Give this watercress and tofu salad recipe a try, and impress your guests with a unique and flavorful dish. Whether you are a vegetarian or just looking for a healthy and delicious meal, this recipe is bound to become one of your favorites.

Not only is this salad easy to make, but it’s also versatile and customizable. You can add or substitute ingredients to suit your preferences or what’s in your pantry. Plus, with the various serving and pairing options, it’s perfect for any occasion, from a casual lunch to an elegant dinner party.

So don’t be shy, grab those ingredients and get cooking! Trust me, once you take that first bite of juicy tomatoes, crispy bean sprouts, savory tofu bites, earthy watercress leaves all combined in a sweet yet tangy dressing, you’ll be hooked.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this article. I hope it provided you with everything you need to make a perfect watercress and tofu salad and make your next gathering an unforgettable one. Remember: food is not only nourishment but also the way we share our love with others. Happy cooking!

Watercress and Tofu Salad

Watercress and Tofu Salad Recipe

This light and tasty dish is great for pot-lucks or even a light dinner. Substitute canned tuna with canned salmon, albacore, or fresh grilled fish. Use my Oriental Salad Dressing for other dishes as well.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Asian
Calories 131.4 kcal


  • 2 bunches watercress, cut to 3-inch pieces
  • 1 (10 ounce) package tofu, cut to 1-inch blocks
  • 1 (6 ounce) light chunk tuna in water, flaked
  • 1 medium tomatoes, diced into 1/2-inch pieces

Oriental Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon gingerroot, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  • Drain tofu on paper towels in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • After tofu is drained, cut into 1" blocks.
  • Heat pot of lightly salted water.
  • Cut 2 inches off bottom of watercress and discard.
  • Cut watercress into 3" pieces.
  • When water comes to boil, add cut watercress and parboil for 30 seconds.
  • Drain and cool in ice bath.
  • Meanwhile, make Oriental Salad Dressing: Combine all other ingredients - soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds and blend.
  • Arrange drained and cooled watercress on a platter with tofu, tomato, and fish.
  • Drizzle with Oriental Salad Dressing at time of serving.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 181gCalories: 131.4kcalCarbohydrates: 5.1gProtein: 18.1gFat: 4.8gSaturated Fat: 0.7gCholesterol: 12.8mgSodium: 1161.7mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 2.7g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Asian, Beginner Cook, Brunch, Easy, Inexpensive, Low Cholesterol, Salad Dressings, Vegetable, Very Low Carbs
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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