These Asian tofu veggie bowls have become my go-to meal when I want something yummy-but-healthy-but-no-cheese-or-bread. As a vegetarian, it’s easy to fall into the take-out rut especially if you’re not cooking or meal-prepping often. And even when we’re picking up food or ordering in, it takes my husband and I at least 20 minutes to find something we both agree on that’s even somewhat “healthy” and balanced.
While it takes some effort to make this meal, I promise you that the satisfaction you get from cooking and eating this surpasses what you’d get from ordering in. These Asian tofu veggie bowls are anything but boring! They make a balanced meal with veggies, protein, carbs, good fats, vitamins and minerals.
Once you make them a few times, it’s almost effortless. I learned one of the tricks to making it feel effortless from my mom. Rather than taking the time and effort to grate or crush ginger every time she needs to use it, she keeps a small tin of freshly grated ginger in the freezer.
You don’t need any special chili sauces, oils or flavorings for this recipe – the sauce is a mix of simple ingredients that come together to taste like restaurant-quality Asian food without the guilt. For the vegetables, I chose broccoli and bell peppers but feel free to swap in other vegetables for these ones. I think the recipe will work well with cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus, green peppers or anything else you have on hand. When I’m buying soy sauce, I’m always sure to read the labels carefully as I’m mindful of the added sugars and salts, especially MSG which I avoid. I try to find an all-natural or low sodium kind to avoid feeling tired and bloated after. I enjoy these Thai-style Asian tofu veggie bowls with rice, but I’m sure they’d taste great with noodles as well. If you’re planning to use noodles, I’d recommend making extra sauce so that your dish isn’t too dry.
If you give this recipe for these vegan Asian tofu veggie bowls a shot, I’d love to know what you think! Let me know in the comments below or tag me on Instagram @theindiaedition. And if you love tofu and Asian flavors as much as I do, try these tofu lettuce wraps!
- 200g tofu, cut into pieces (preferably firm tofu, not silken)
- 1½ cup broccoli florets (about 100g) par-boiled
- ½ cup red and yellow peppers, cut into strips
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 heaped tbsp peanut butter or crushed peanuts
- 4 cloves of garlic, grated or crushed
- ¾ inch piece of ginger, grated or crushed
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp honey or agave/brown sugar/coconut sugar if vegan
- 1 tsp chili sauce or ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (adjust according to your desired spice level)
- 1 tbsp olive/grapeseed oil
- Combine the ingredients for the sauce.
- Squeeze the excess water from your tofu using a few pieces of kitchen roll or by placing a heavy kitchen object on top of it for 10-15 minutes.
- Drain the water and cut the tofu into ½ inch pieces.
- Bake in a lightly greased pan for 15 minutes at 180C, flipping the pieces in between to ensure even cooking. Alternatively, if you're short on time or you prefer a less firm texture for your tofu, skip this step and marinate the tofu instead.
- When the tofu is baked, marinate the tofu in 1-2 tsp of the sauce while you work on the other vegetables.
- In a large pan, toss the parboiled broccoli with the peppers with the remaining sauce on medium heat until cooked, approx. 5-7 minutes.
- Move the vegetables to the side of the pan. Add 1 tbsp oil followed by the tofu. Allow it to cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Toss everything together and serve with rice.