If you want a tasty plant-based dinner, you’ll love these vegan Tofu Poke Bowls that replace tuna poke with tofu.
Tofu Poke Bowl
I keep getting requests for more plant based recipe. I LOVED these Tofu Poke Bowls! High in protein, easy to make and cheaper than using sushi grade fish. Traditional poke bowls are served with sushi-grade tuna, shrimp, or other raw or cooked fish and served over rice or greens with fresh vegetables and a savory or spicy sauce. While I love a classic ahi poke bowl, I wanted to develop a vegan option so vegetarians or those trying to incorporate more plant-based proteins could enjoy them too. This easy version, made with fresh garlicky-soy marinated tofu, works so well—I am sure you will love it! More tofu recipes you may enjoy are these Spicy Gochujang Tofu Bowls and Sriracha Tofu Rice Bowls.
If you’ve never tried tofu before, it’s basically a blank slate soaking up any flavors you marinate it with. This is a great beginner tofu recipe to try!
Tofu Poke Bowl Ingredients
- Tofu: Drain one package of extra firm tofu.
- Soy Sauce: Use reduced-sodium soy sauce or gluten-free tamari.
- Garlic: Crush or finely mince four garlic cloves.
- Scallions: Chop the scallions and separate the whites from the greens.
- Cornstarch: Toss a half tablespoon over the tofu.
- Sesame Oil for cooking the tofu in
- Greens: I used mixed greens, but spinach or arugula would also be good.
- Rice: Microwave frozen brown rice to save time.
- Vegetables: Cucumber, avocado, shelled edamame
- Sesame Seeds for garnish
- Poke Bowl Sauce: Top your bowl with sriracha mayo or sriracha for an extra kick. Be sure to use egg-free mayo if you want to make this vegan.
How to prepare tofu before cooking
- Dry out Tofu: It’s essential to squeeze out all the water from tofu before cooking it to get it crispy. To do so, transfer the tofu to a plate lined with paper towels or a tea towel. Then cover it with another towel, and place a heavy pan on it to press out the liquid.
- Cut Tofu: Place the tofu on its side on a cutting board, and slice it in half lengthwise. Flip it back over so it’s lying flat, and cut it into 32 equal cubes. Put the cubes in an even layer in a shallow container.
- Marinate Tofu: Combine the soy sauce and garlic to make the marinade, and pour half of it over the tofu, making sure all sides are covered. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
How to Make Tofu Poke Bowls
- Cucumber and Scallions: Peel and dice the cucumber and chop the scallions. Put the cucumber and scallion whites in a small bowl and toss with two tablespoons of the marinade.
- Tofu: Coat the marinated tofu with the cornstarch. Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over high heat, cook the tofu for a couple of minutes until it’s browned, and then flip. Continue flipping and cooking until all sides are browned. Toss the tofu with the remaining marinade.
- Assemble the Bowls: Layer two bowls with greens, rice, edamame, avocado, tofu, and the cucumber/scallion mixture. Garnish with scallion greens, sesame seeds, and sriracha mayo if you want a spicy tofu poke bowl.
Cooked tofu will last up to four days refrigerated in an airtight container. To pack the leftovers for lunch, store the tofu and rice in one container, the cucumbers, scallions, and edamame in another, and the greens in another. Wait to slice the avocado until right before eating.
- Protein: If you want a more traditional poke bowl with fish, swap the tofu for tuna.
- Poke Salad or Poke Bowl: I usually order my poke bowls with half brown rice and half greens, so that’s how I created this bowl. If you prefer, you can do all greens or all rice.
- Rice: Sub white rice or quinoa for brown rice.
- Cucumber: A regular or English cucumber will work.
- Vegetables: Add shredded carrots or cabbage.
- Fruit: For a little sweetness, toss in some diced mango or pineapple.
- Spice: Top with fresh sliced jalapeños.
- Sauce: If you don’t want a spicy sauce, drizzle your bowl with lime wedges or extra soy sauce.
- Poke Bowl Toppings: Sprinkle the poke with furikake or crumbled seaweed.
More Tofu Recipes You’ll Love
Tofu Poke Bowl
Place tofu on a paper towel or tea towel lined plate. Cover with another towel and place a heavy pan on top to press out excess water from tofu.
Transfer to cutting board, flip on its side and slice in half lengthwise. Flip it back over to lay flat on the cutting board and cut into 32 equal cubes. Place in a medium size shallow container so the cubes are in 1 even layer.
In a small measuring cup or bowl, add the soy sauce and crushed garlic.
Pour ½ the marinade (about 2 tablespoons) over the tofu, gently flipping to make sure all sides are covered. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and dice the cucumber and chop the scallions, separating whites from greens. Transfer the scallion whites and cucumbers to a small bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons of the remaining marinade. Set aside.
Sprinkle marinated tofu with the cornstarch, tossing gently to coat.
In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil over high heat. Add the tofu and cook for 2- 3 minutes, until the first side is browned.
Flip cubes with a spatula, cooking each side for a couple minutes until evenly browned on all sides. Toss with remaining marinade.
Assemble the bowls:
In 2 shallow bowls, layer each with 1 cup greens, ½ cup rice, half the edamame and cucumber/scallion mixture, 1 ounce avocado and ½ the cooked tofu.
Garnish with scallion greens, sesame seeds and sriracha mayo, if using.
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