tempeh salad with peanuts, carrots, and cilantro in large bowl with wooden tongs

Fresh Thai-Inspired Salad with Tempeh

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This Thai-Inspired Salad with Tempeh is an ode to my favorite dish at our local Thai restaurant. Packed with crunchy veggies and crispy fried tempeh, then drenched in a tangy lime dressing! Vegan + Gluten-Free.


  • 23 tablespoons high-heat oil
  • 1 package tempeh, cut into ½” strips
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave
  • 1 teaspoon sambal olek (chili garlic sauce)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed 
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped 
  • 1 granny smith apple, julienned*
  • 3 carrots, julienned*
  • 1/4 red onion, small dice
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup (74 g) peanuts


  1. Cook the Tempeh: warm the oil in a large saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh to the oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes per side, using tongs to rotate each piece until all sides are golden. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, sprinkle generously with salt, toss, and set aside to let cool.
  2. Make the Dressing: Add the lime juice, tamari, maple syrup, sambal olek, and garlic to a large bowl and whisk until well combined.
  3. Toss & Serve: Add the lettuce, apple, carrot, and red onion to the bowl and toss well. Spread the pan-fried tempeh evenly over the salad, then top with cilantro and peanuts. Serve immediately; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.


  • Tempeh: tempeh is a whole soybean product found next to the tofu in most grocery stores! You can also use pressed tofu for this recipe and pan-fry it, but I prefer the texture of tempeh
  • Gluten-Free: use tamari in place of soy sauce to make this recipe naturally gluten-free!