This fresh and delicious Tofu Poke Bowl couldn’t be any easier to make at home and features delicious baked sesame ginger tofu. Customize it however you like and prep enough to enjoy all week for quick and easy but healthy meals.
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Hey Internet, I am SO excited to share today’s recipe with you today, because it feels like a recipe that is the core of what I personally love to eat, and the reason I started this blog.
It’s plant forward but flavor heavy, colorful, inexpensive, simple, and comforting but fresh and light all at the same time.
It’s a loaded bowl that features amazing sesame ginger tofu and tons of gorgeous veggies and toppings all on top of fluffy Jasmine rice.
But Liz, isn’t poke raw fish? Well yes, semantics, but if you’re searching for a vegan poke bowl recipe, what are you expecting to find? Lol.
That being said, I’m looking into making veganized raw fish (tuna and salmon), but I haven’t perfected it yet.
I wanted to share this recipe with you anyway since I know I’ve searched for it before for my own cooking, well before I had this blog. And, there wasn’t much out there.
I also wanted to share this particular recipe because not every vegan out there even wants to replace fish--maybe they just like an Asian-inspired sesame ginger sauce sticking to their baked tofu. And if that’s you, well keep reading.
What You’ll Need
Keep in mind that any and all of these ingredients can be swapped out for whatever you like. I’ll give you a list of vegan poke bowl toppings in the next section.
But here’s what’s in MY recipe, and it’s all quite delicious if I do say so myself.
- Sesame ginger tofu: OBVIOUSLY, but come on. This stuff is AMAZING! While I could’ve easily also opted for my vegan teriyaki sauce recipe, or used a store-bought sauce (totally fine), I was seriously craving some sesame ginger sauce, so I’ll show you how to make that in this post (otherwise, it’s kind of just a “throw this stuff in and eat” and you don’t really need that kind of patronizing, do you? Didn’t think so. You’ll need super firm tofu for this, the kind in the vacuum sealed pack. If you can’t find it, I’d take two packages of firm tofu and press them in a tofu press or between two plates/cutting boards and a heavy weight (like a few big books) for 30 minutes.
- Edamame: You don’t need edamame since you already have protein from the tofu--but it’s so good I wanted it in there anyway. Contrast of textures, and my husband never turns down more protein, hah.
- Watermelon radish: This is kind of fancy I’ll admit. It doesn’t taste like watermelon, it tastes like a type of radish (which it is, thank you Captain Obvious). But while it does look really pretty, it can be easily swapped for regular red radishes.
- Cucumber: I used cute little Persian cucumbers, but any will work. If using a regular cucumber, I might peel the thick skin off. Love the fresh flavor this adds.
- Mango: I just loved the sweet element of the mango in this! Other fruits like pineapple or orange would be great too.
- Avocado: Rich, creamy, and perfect in this bowl.
- Pickled ginger: It is more popular in a sushi bowl, but I’ll take any excuse to shovel this in my face. I love the “bite” it gives.
- Green onion: Fresh, crunchy, and delicious--Almost no dish is complete without these for me!
- Garnishes: I love topping my bowls with sesame seeds and chili flakes! Shredded seaweed would also be great, as would Furikake seasoning.
- Rice: It’s optional, but I love Jasmine rice as the base for this bowl. It’s like a starchy salad. You can also use brown rice, quinoa, rice noodles, greens, or anything else you’d like.
I have so many ideas on how to top these things--it was really hard deciding on toppings even for this recipe!
Here’s my favorite ideas (but as you can imagine the possibilities are endless):
- Cabbage (purple cabbage would be pretty here)
- Caramelized onions
- Pickled red onions
- Clementine / mandarin segments
- Seaweed Salad (not all are vegan so read the ingredients or ask the merchant)
- Dulse flakes
How to Make a Tofu Poke Bowl
Making both the tofu and the bowl itself are pretty easy. I’ll take you through the tofu first since it’s the star of our bowl.
- First, if you’re baking the tofu, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius). If airfrying, you’re welcome to preheat your air fryer but I never bother.
- Cube your tofu. I like bigger cubes, but you can pick. Smaller cubes will cook faster.
- So, you’re welcome to coat your tofu in something if you like. A little cornstarch or arrowroot powder would make the sauce even more likely to stick, but unless you’re adding oil to the tofu, it can sometimes give a bit of a powdery taste that I don’t like, and I don’t fry my tofu. So that’s why I say you’re welcome to do it if you prefer, but I personally skip it and the sauce still sticks to the tofu for me.
- Place the tofu in a single layer on a silicone mat or parchment paper lined baking tray or in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Single layer is best to ensure all sides get crispy.
- If baking, bake for about 20-30 minutes until it’s the texture you like. I do 30 minutes because I like it to be nice and chewy/crispy. Flip the cubes halfway through.
- If airfrying, cook for about 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket or flipping each piece occasionally (every 6-8 minutes or so).
- While those are cooking, make your sauce. You can either saute your ginger and garlic first, or add them all at once to the pot. Add everything to a large nonstick pot (large because we’ll toss our tofu in it, and that’s hard in a tiny pot, ask me how I know) except for the cornstarch / arrowroot powder and ¼ cup water. Mix those in a small bowl or cup and whisk until smooth, but set aside for now.
- Bring the sauce to a low boil over medium high heat. Stir in the cornstarch / arrowroot powder mixture and stir until thickened. Keep warm over low heat until the tofu is cooked.
- Toss the cooked tofu in the sauce and let it simmer on low for 2-3 minutes then remove from heat.
- Prepare your tofu poke bowl by starting with a base of rice. Then add each of the toppings--make it pretty or dump it on top, doesn’t matter. Finally use a large spoon to add your tofu on top, grabbing a bit of extra sauce and drizzling it on top.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds, chili flakes, or anything else you like and enjoy!
- I prefer to store leftover components separately in the fridge. It keeps everything fresher and you can customize it a bit each day if you like. Most of the components like the tofu and the veg will last up to 5 days in the fridge. Avocado, not so much :( but you could just cut up a fresh one each day if you’d like.
More Vegan Asian-Inspired Recipes
If you like the flavors in this vegan poke bowl, then I have a bunch of other similar recipes you may like.
I’m not about to declare that any of my Asian cuisine inspired dishes are anywhere close to authentic, and I certainly do not want to take from other cultures. However, I am deeply inspired by many Asian cultures and cuisines, and try to veganize and offer a twist with my recipes.
So here are some of my favorite remixes, some a bit more Western than others:
- Vegan General Tso’s Chicken
- Vegan Beef and Broccoli
- Garlic Noodles
- Vegan Orange Chicken
- Vegan Kung Pao Chicken
- Veggie Lo Mein (only takes 15 minutes!)
- Vegan Teriyaki Chicken with optional Brussels sprouts
- Vegan Teriyaki Cauliflower Wings (more like Chinese takeout and American fusion)
- And if you're looking for more tofu dishes, check out this post I made with all my best tofu recipes.
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. He raved about this one, saying it was one of the best things we made in a while.
This Tofu Poke Bowl is:
- Sweet yet savory
- Spicy -- easy to make mild, though
- Sticky (the sesame ginger tofu, anyway)
- Surprisingly healthy
- Perfect for meal prep
- And oh so delicious!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!