Fresh Restaurant’s Tangled Thai Salad

My mom saw this recipe in Canadian House & Home magazine a few months ago and we made it together for dinner last night. The recipe comes from chef Jennifer Houston at Fresh restaurant in Toronto. I’ve never had the pleasure of eating at Fresh – but after trying this salad, it’s at the top of my list of places to visit. After being vegan for 16 years, a salad has to be pretty amazing to impress me. So how good is this salad? Let’s just say that it’s my new favorite salad. That’s a big deal!

Fresh Restaurant’s Tangled Thai Salad

Notice the fancy mommy cutlery?

My mom had to go to 3 grocery stores to find all the ingredients for this recipe. But don’t let that scare you away. The dressing is the most important part. Toss it onto any greens/veggie combination, and top with raw nuts/seeds of your choice and you’re set!

Fresh Restaurant’s Tangled Thai Salad Fresh Restaurant’s Tangled Thai Salad

We decided to add some panko-crusted tofu to the salad as well, so I’ve included the directions for that below. It’s totally optional but added a nice dimension to this awesome salad.

Fresh Restaurant’s Tangled Thai Salad


  • My mom accidentally bought cocoa puffed quinoa and I’m not a big fan of raisins/currants, so we left them both out of the Fresh Salad Topper. It was great regardless so I marked them as optional, below.
  • My mom doesn’t own a spiralizer, so we just used a julienne vegetable peeler for the carrots and simply cut the beetroot and cucumber into matchsticks. It’s wasn’t technically a “tangled” salad that way, but hey, you have to work with what you have, right?
Carrot Slivers Slivered Veggies Chopped Napa Cabbage
Firm Tofu Panko-crusted tofu
Fresh Salad Topper Peanut Lime Dressing
Fresh Restaurant's Tangled Thai Salad
Recipe type: Salad, Main
Serves: 1-2
  • 1 cup chopped napa cabbage
  • 1⁄3 cup jicama, cut into small sticks
  • 2⁄3 cup peeled raw carrot, spiralized (or cut/peeled into julienne)
  • 2⁄3 cup peeled raw yellow beets, spiralized (or cut into julienne)
  • 4 tbsp Peanut Lime Dressing (recipe follows)
  • 3 slices cucumber, halved (or cut into julienne)
  • 2 tsp chopped raw peanuts
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Salad Topper (recipe follows)
  • 1⁄4 lime
  • Cilantro to taste
Peanut Lime Dressing
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3⁄4 tsp sambal oelek (a South Asian chili sauce)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, densely packed
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp plus 1⁄2 tsp tamari (a type of soy sauce)
  • 1-1⁄2 tsp maple syrup or agave
  • 2 tsp coconut milk (optional)
  • 3⁄4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1⁄2 cup sunflower oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
Fresh Salad Topper
  • 1 cup puffed quinoa (optional)
  • 1⁄4 cup goji berries
  • 1⁄4 cup currants (optional)
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp pistachios, chopped
  • 1⁄4 tsp sea salt
Panko Crusted Tofu
  • ½ block of tofu (about 225 g)
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp coconut or peanut oil
Peanut Lime Dressing
  1. In a blender, purée all but sunflower oil. With blender running, add oil in a thin stream.
  2. Makes 1 cup, enough for 4 salads
Fresh Salad Topper
  1. Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix.
  2. Makes approx. 1-3/4 cups; refridgerate unused portion
Panko Crusted Tofu
  1. Slice tofu into 1 inch rectangles or triangles.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Place cornstarch and breadcrumbs in two separate small bowls. Coat tofu pieces with cornstarch, and then press breadcrumbs into them.
  4. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.
  1. Put cabbage into a large bowl and top with jicama. Pile the carrot and beet strands on top and drizzle with Peanut Lime Dressing.
  2. Garnish with cucumber, peanuts, Fresh Salad Topper, lime and cilantro.

Fresh Restaurant’s Tangled Thai Salad

Fresh Restaurant’s Tangled Thai Salad


  1. This looks amazing! What is puffed quinoa though?

    • vegangela says:

      It’s a type of cereal… like Rice Crispies but using quinoa. I’m assuming you’d find it at a health food store.

  2. Looks bloody good! Love the freshness and colours of the salad, I want to try it someday.

    Speaking of vegan tapioca pudding, you can find it at Harris Farm Markets in Darlinghurst, I think. It was only a year ago that I discovered it… I was only in Sydney for a week, I wished I stayed longer…

    I wrote a post about it, too if you are interested:

    xxx from Vienna

    • vegangela says:

      Thanks Rika – let me know if you make it! Thanks for the info about the tapioca pudding – going to read your post now! :)

  3. Deb says:

    Wow! That salad (and those photos) are amazing! I’ve just discovered your blog, and I have to say as a once-vegan, now slightly lazy vegetarian I’m finding it uber-inspiring! Even though I’ve lived in Sydney for yonks, I’ve never eaten at Otto but am beyond impressed that they have a vegan section in their menu.

    • vegangela says:

      Hi Deb! Thanks for your kind words, glad that my recipes can be of service! Yeah Otto super cool for having a vegan menu. It’s not really mind-blowing (and on the pricier end), but total A+ for effort! I see we’re now following each other on Twitter now too – your blog is awesome,glad to be connected :)

  4. Lisette Armstrong says:

    Yum! Lobby the ingredients, def one to try. I’ve never seen a spiraliser, have always wondered how chefs do that :) Puffed quinoa is like the cereal version right?

    • vegangela says:

      Hi Lisette :) I’m hoping to buy a spiralizer here and bring it back to Sydney, so I’ll demo it for you if I do. Yes, puffed quinoa would be the cereal…

  5. Hi Angela, Hope you’re having fun :) The salad looks AMAZING! A complete meal – just the way I like my salads. Another one to add to my list!

    I was going to ask you what jicama is but then I google imaged it and realised I have actually bought some before, didn’t have a clue what to do with it and put it in a stew of some sort…It had a great crunch!

    • vegangela says:

      Hi Karla – Thanks for your comments! Yeah Jicama is so crunchy… like a potato/pear combination or something. Not totally necessary for the salad, but a nice option if you have it! :)

  6. Sarah Delanty says:

    I made the Tofu triangles from this recipe to go along with a veggie stir fry w/noodles (not the salad – at least not yet) but my kids LOVED I mean LOVED the tofu! Thank you so much! You have the best recipes!

    • vegangela says:

      Aw thank you!! I’m so glad that your kids liked the tofu triangles – I love them as well :)

      • Cayle says:

        This is just the prfecet answer for all of us

        • vegangela says:

          Glad to hear it – thanks for stopping by :)

  7. Looks really nice and colourful. Wouldn’t mind having that on my plate any day…can you see my happy face already? :-). Thanks for posting

    • vegangela says:

      Thank you! Let me know if you try it :)

  8. You say that this is your new favorite salad.By look and sound of it,this maybe my new favorite salad too!

  9. helen says:

    Thanks for this! I just stumbled across your site when I was looking for this particular salad recipe – it’s one of my favourites, I eat it almost every time I go to Fresh Restaurant.

    The ingredients are a little tricky to find, but most stores in our Chinatown have them (including jicama).

    I have a hand-held julienne-r (it looks a little like a potato peeler with “teeth” instead of a flat blade) so it’s not going to be exactly the same long ribbons – but to be honest, they can get a little too long!

    I’m looking forward to making it from the recipe – my guesses at the dressing ingredients weren’t very successful last time I tried :)

    If you’re looking for a new one to try, check this out (the site is nothing to do with me, but a great recipe):

    The green dressing is another favourite when I go to Fresh – it’s so good I could drink it. And the marinated tofu is fantastic, even though I usually dislike tofu.

    • vegangela says:

      Hi Helen – Nice to meet another “Fresh” fan! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe for their Mega Life Salad – it’s another great one! I’ll try it soon. Thanks again for stopping by :)

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