How to make tofu & broccoli salad with spicy garlic-green onion oil dressing

With summer coming, you may prefer a refreshing salad over a steamy stir fry. Luckily, this tofu and broccoli salad recipe is just as simple and easy to make as a stir fry.

The best part of this tofu and broccoli salad recipe is that you can make it ahead of time. That makes it an ideal party food when entertaining.

You can also make this dish in its separate components and mix before serving. This makes it a recipe that fits right into our meal planning philosophy. Cook quickly while making healthy, delicious food.

Why it works

My preferred type of tofu for this recipe is tofu knots. You might have learned about this kind of tofu from the Types Of Tofu You’ve Never Heard Of post.

These tofu knots are made by twisting a sheet of extra firm tofu into a knot. The knot provides a chewy texture, whereas the ends are softer.

While this tofu is a lot of fun to eat, it is a bland canvas waiting for you to dress it. So, I use an oil dressing with garlic and green onion to spruce up this salad.

Spicy garlic-green onion dressing

To make the oil dressing, it’s like a reverse stir fry. You heat the oil, but instead of adding the vegetables to it, you pour the oil into the dressing ingredients to gently cook the garlic and green onion.

The spicy garlic-green onion oil dressing is my favorite part of this dish. I love to make extra and store it (once it’s cooled) in a glass jar to enjoy with steamed vegetables and over noodles. Wait until it cools before moving to a jar, and it lasts for 2 weeks in the fridge.

Just be careful if you heat the oil. It’s very easy to burn yourself so if you don’t feel confident, heat the garlic, green onions, salt, and red pepper flakes with the oil in a microwave instead and watch it. If it starts to bubble, turn off the microwave to avoid it bubbling over.

If you choose to attempt to heat the oil, please avoid burning yourself. Use a way bigger bowl than you think you need to put the garlic and green onion so that the bowl is large enough to hold the hot oil when you pour it in. I also like to put the bowl in the sink in case it boils over. Pour the oil in bit by bit to give the garlic and green onion a chance to calm down if they begin to bubble.

Again, please don’t attempt to heat the oil and pour it if you’re not confident. Just use the microwave.

 How to Make Tofu and Broccoli Salad

Tofu and broccoli salad with spicy garlic-green onion oil dressing

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This tofu and broccoli salad shines thanks to the garlic-green onion oil dressing. Unlike traditional Western dressing, this oil dressing is refreshing and aromatic. Enjoy the dish with lean proteins or fish for a light, summery meal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Anna&Alex, Chinese
Keyword: 10 ingredients or less, 5-minute recipe, fall, family-friendly, gluten-free, stir-fry
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 395kcal
Author: Anna Rider


  • Chopping Board
  • Knife
  • Saucepan
  • Mixing Bowl


  • 12 oz. (340 g) Tofu, Extra firm and dry, marinated tofu from your Asian grocery store.
  • 8 oz. (250 g) Broccoli, Washed and trimmed


  • 8 cloves (18 g) Garlic
  • 3 sprigs (36 g) Green Onion
  • 1/3 cup (30 ml) Canola Oil
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) Salt, Add to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) Red Pepper Flakes, Add to taste


Oil Dressing

  • Finely mince the green onions.
  • Finely mince the garlic. It’s easiest to use a garlic press. 
  • Put the minced garlic and green onion, salt, and red chili flakes into a large bowl. The bowl must be big enough to ensure the oil doesn’t overflow as it will bubble up.
  • Add the canola oil to a small saucepan. Heat on medium-high until the oil begins smoking about 3 minutes. It can happen very quickly so keep monitoring the oil. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  • Once the oil is smoking, quickly remove from heat and pour into the garlic-green onion mix. Pour the oil in tiny batches and allow the bubbling to subside before proceeding. Be careful not to spill and burn yourself! Stir to mix evenly.

Prepare broccoli and tofu

  • Boil water in a kettle for efficiency. 
  • If your broccoli isn’t pre-cut, then wash and chop into florets.
  • Pour the boiling water into a saucepan over high heat. Add the broccoli. Bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute. Drain the broccoli in a large mixing bowl. You can run it under cold water to prevent it from overcooking.
  • Keep the water boiling over high heat. Add the tofu knots and bring the tofu to a boil. Drain the tofu into the same bowl as the broccoli.
  • Add the garlic-green onion oil dressing to the mixing bowl with the tofu and broccoli. Mix it well to evenly coat. 
  • Enjoy your tofu and broccoli salad!



You can find tofu knots at your local Asian grocery store. 
If you don’t have access to this tofu, substitute with the firmest, driest tofu you can find. 


Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 2384mg | Potassium: 475mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1180IU | Vitamin C: 108.2mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 1.5mg
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Anna looking down chopping vegetables
About Anna Rider

Hi! I'm Anna, a food writer who documents kitchen experiments on with the help of my physicist and taste-testing husband, Alex. I have an insatiable appetite for noodles 🍜 and believe in "improv cooking".

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