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Vietnamese Tri-Color Salad
with mango pear smoothies

Active: 35 min Total: 35 min
This traditional Vietnamese salad is crunchy, colorful and refreshing! Paired with a smoothie, it's a delightful summer dinner.


Vietnamese Tri-Color Salad:
  • Tofu, extra firm - 1 lb , cubed (vaccum-packed preferable)
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , minced
  • Onions, red - 1/2 , sliced
  • Bell peppers, red (large) - 1 , sliced
  • Mint leaves - 1 cup , sliced
  • Cabbage, napa (sub green) - 1 lb , sliced
  • Peanuts - 1 oz , crushed
  • Carrots - 8 oz , grated or shredded
  • Water - 1/2 cup
  • Sugar - 1 Tbsp
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 1/2 Tbsp
  • Lime juice - 2 Tbsp
  • Hot sauce - 1 to 2 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
Mango and Pear Smoothie:
  • Pears - 1/2 lb , peeled and chopped
  • Mangos, frozen cubes - 12 oz (sub fresh mangos peeled and chopped)
  • Lime juice - 2 Tbsp
  • Coconut water - 1/2 cup


  1. Tofu - If tofu is packaged in water, press out liquid first. Chop into 0.5” / 1.3 cm cubes. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  2. Garlic / Red onions / Bell peppers / Mint / Napa cabbage - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  3. Peanuts - Place into a Ziploc bag and just pound a few times with the flat side of a meat tenderizer (or other similar object). You can also use a food processor. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  4. Carrots - Grate or shred using a grater, a peeler, or a food processor. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  5. Make dressing - Heat up garlic, water, and sugar in a microwave (30 to 60 seconds) or in a small saucepan. Add soy sauce, lime juice, and hot sauce. Stir and season to taste with more sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, or hot sauce. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  6. Pears - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  7. Make smoothies - Blend mangos, pears, lime juice, and coconut water in a blender (or use a hand blender).

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  1. If you have bad luck with cooking tofu, you can also just toss it with 1/3rd the dressing and oil, spread it out onto a sheet pan and bake it for 15 minutes in a 400F / 204C oven. Otherwise, heat a nonstick frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and then tofu to heated oil. Saute for ~1 minute. Then add 1/3rd of dressing and saute until golden on the outside, 3 to 5 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Toss rest of dressing with tofu, red onion, bell peppers, mint, cabbage, carrots, and peanuts. Enjoy with smoothies!



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