May 10, 2023

Thai Kale Salad with Crispy Tempeh

If you love the flavors of Pad Thai, you will love this Thai Kale Salad with Crispy Tempeh. It’s packed with flavor, bursting with texture, and the best part is leftovers taste amazing! The salad uses a base of hardy kale and veggies like cabbage, broccoli, and bell pepper, all of which hold the dressing well and won’t get soggy, so feel free to make a double batch and have this wonderful salad though the week. I recommend adding the tempeh right before serving, as we want the tempeh to stay crisp. I’ve included two methods of cooking the tempeh — on the stove and in an air fryer. Both turn out great!

Recipe tips and swaps:

If pressed for time, I love using a coleslaw mix to speed things up and reduce some of the chopping.

The dressing asks for one tablespoon of compatible chili sauce. If you can’t get your hands on any, you can also make your own. This recipe is simple to make, and I’m sure you will be able to use it in a number of other ways.

If you can’t get your hands on compatible peanut butter, almond butter works well too. 

You may have extra dressing left over, and if you do, it works wonderfully as a dip for crudités to have as a snack or as a marinade for tofu or tempeh to have as part of a meal. The dressing also freezes well for later use.

The Thai Kale Salad calls for chopped toasted almonds or peanuts, but any nuts would work well. Roasted cashews, walnuts, or toasted pumpkin seeds are other great alternatives. The main thing is to get in some nice texture.

This salad is a complete meal with all you need, from fiber, protein, and healthy fats, but if you want to pair it with something, I recommend a lovely warm miso soup.

Thai Kale Salad with Crispy Tempeh

Thai Kale Salad with Crispy Tempeh by Riyana Rupari
Recipe and photos by Riyana Rupari of Heathyish and Happy

Thai Kale Salad with Crispy Tempeh

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes



  • 11 oz (or 300 grams) organic tempeh
  • 4 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil


  • 4 tbsp compatible peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp compatible red chili sauce
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1.5 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • water as needed to thin


  • 1.5 cup shredded purple or white cabbage
  • 1.5 cup shredded kale
  • 1 cup broccoli chopped into bitesize pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted almonds or peanuts

Optional Garnish

  • toasted sesame seeds
  • A few more toasted chopped peanuts


  • CUT your tempeh into 1-inch squares and season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper.
  • HEAT a frying pan over medium flame, and add your avocado oil. Once hot, fry your tempeh until golden brown. Alternatively, you can cook your tempeh in the air fryer for 20 min at 375 ℉/190 ℃.
  • COMBINE your dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake well. Add water if needed to thin the dressing and taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
  • MIX all your salad ingredients, and dressing, then toss to coat.
  • ADD your tempeh before serving and give another quick toss
  • GARNISH with toasted sesame seeds and enjoy!
  • NOTE — You can store leftovers in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Ryani Rupani wearing a white shirt, sitting in a chair with a coffee mug, smiling at the camera.

Riyana Rupani

Riyana is a Holistic Nutritionist (NTP), focused on helping others create lasting changes through real food & lifestyle. A Mom of 3 who worked in the corporate world for 15+ years, she understands the pressures of work and home. A real Foodie, Riyana is also a recipe developer and founder of Healthy-ish & Happy, a blog where she shares delicious recipes and useful tips to help you live life in balance, and Everiday Foods, a line of flavor-forward sauces and pantry staples created to elevate your everyday. Riyana's philosophy: “Nourishing yourself doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It’s all about finding what works for you.” Riyana found her passion for nutrition after suffering from health issues herself. After years of medication & doctor visits, she was able to turn her health around with the power of real food & lifestyle and is now passionate about helping others do the same.