Tofu bowls full of fluffy coconut lime rice, triangles of sticky, caramelized baked tofu and toasty around the edges roasted broccoli all brought together with a hefty drizzle of peanut sauce!
Tofu Bowls are where it's at friends! We're talking the combo of all combos here. Bowls full of fluffy, creamy and citrusy coconut lime rice, triangles of sticky, caramelized baked tofu and toasty around the edges roasted broccoli. And then it gets even better with a hefty drizzle of peanut sauce!
How to make a tofu bowl
These tofu bowls with peanut sauce come together really easily. Here's how it's done:
- Make the peanut sauce. Just blend or mix it all up. It's so quick and easy!
- Mix up the tofu marinade and dip or brush the tofu triangles in it then lay them out on a lined baking tray and bake.
- Prep the broccoli and toss in a little oil, salt and pepper and add to the baking tray with the tofu.
- Cook the rice.
Tofu rice bowls here we come! Fill bowls with rice, top with tofu and broccoli then drizzle with peanut sauce.
Success tip - Use a metal baking tray. Don't use a glass or ceramic dish. They don't distribute the heat the same and your tofu will not caramelize and get the correct texture.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Leftover sauce should keep well for 1 week. Toasted coconut can be stored in an airtight container and will keep indefinitely. Do not reheat rice more than once.
For the baked tofu
- 1 block extra firm tofu sizes vary depending on brand but one that's about 350g - 400g (12 - 14oz)
- ⅓ cup (80 mls) tomato ketchup
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari , or coconut/liquid aminos
- 1 tablespoon sriracha or Sambal Oelek, or any other hot sauce or chili paste
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (omit to make oil-free)
- 1 clove garlic minced or grated very finely
- 1 big pinch freshly ground black pepper
For the broccoli
For the coconut lime rice
For the peanut sauce
- ½ cup (125 grams) peanut butter or seed butter almond/cashew butter works well too
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari , or coconut/liquid aminos
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil omit to make oil-free
- 1 medium lime zest and juice
- 2 cloves garlic (just use 1 if you want a more subtle garlic flavour)
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or brown or coconut sugar
- 2 to 3 teaspoons Sriracha or sambal oelek (or other hot sauce)
- up to ½ cup (120 mls) water or canned coconut milk to thin
- Blend the peanut sauce ingredients until smooth, starting with only half of the coconut milk/water. Add more water or coconut milk to thin as necessary and pulse in between additions. The amount of liquid you need to add will depend on how thick or runny your peanut butter was. Bear in mind that it will thicken as it sits so a touch thinner will likely be perfect by the time you use it. No blender? If you don't have a blender, grate or mince the garlic, ginger and zest very finely, then whisk everything together in a bowl.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200 °C).
- Rinse the rice well in a sieve until the water runs clear. Be sure to let it drain really well and shake out any excess water. Add to a medium saucepan. Pour in the canned coconut milk, water and salt. Zest the limes and add it to the pan. Give it all a stir then leave the pan of rice on the stovetop but don't turn it on just yet. Keep the limes aside to juice later.
- Open the tofu, drain any excess water then lay it on its side and cut carefully lengthways into ½ inch thick large slices. Different blocks of tofu are different thicknesses but most you will get 2 or 3 slices. Take each of those slices and cut them into triangles. Lay the tofu triangles out in a large dish or plate and set aside for a minute while you make the glaze.
- In a small bowl mix up all of the glaze ingredients. Pour the glaze over the tofu triangles and coat each one. I find it best to use one clean hand to do this.
- Line a large metal baking tray (it must be metal not a glass dish) with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Ideally and for easier cleanup, use an extra-large tray that will enable you to add the broccoli too a bit later on. Don't worry if you don't have one big enough though, you can always use another.
- Lay each tofu triangle onto the tray (at one end if the broccoli will be sharing it later). Don't overlap the triangles and make sure they are in a single layer. Keep the dish with the remaining glaze in it as you will need it later. Bake the tofu for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Flip over each triangle and brush it with some more glaze (keeping the remaining glaze remnants for later). Then add the broccoli florets to the other side of the tray (or another lined tray if it won't fit). Drizzle the broccoli with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss it about a bit then make sure it is spread out in a single layer, ideally with a little space around each floret.
- Put the tofu and broccoli in the oven and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes.
- As soon as the tofu and broccoli have gone in the oven turn the burner under the pan of rice to medium-high. Don't put the lid on the pan. As soon as it starts to bubble, but just before it reaches a rolling boil, turn the heat to the lowest setting and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 10 minutes then turn off the heat and leave it alone for another 10 to 15 minutes. Do not open the lid at all during this time.
- Keep an eye on the tofu while it bakes. You want the tofu to be really caramelized (dark brown, almost black around the edges and on the corners and the broccoli to be golden in places and getting crispy. If it starts to look done before the rice is ready, turn the oven down to its lowest setting.
- While you are waiting put the shredded coconut in a small frying pan (just dry, no need for any oil) and toast it over medium-low heat. Keep it moving and remove from the heat as soon as it's starting to turn a deep golden brown. It will only take a couple of minutes. Leave it to cool. Note that you can do this at any time in advance and store it in an airtight container.
- After the resting time is up, remove the lid from the rice. Squeeze over the juice from the 2 limes you zested earlier and fluff it up with a fork (don't use a spoon). Then add the optional cilantro and give it a quick stir through with the fork. Pop the lid back on for a minute to keep it warm.
- Remove the tofu and broccoli from the oven and brush the tofu quickly again with the last remnants of glaze to make them shiny and sticky.
- Assemble the bowls. Put some coconut rice in each one. Scatter it with the toasted coconut. Top with the broccoli and tofu then drizzle generously with peanut sauce.
- Gluten-free? To make this recipe gluten-free use gluten-free soy sauce, gluten-free Tamari, coconut aminos or liquid aminos.
- Oil-free - Sesame oil gives a lovely flavour to the sauce but if you don't consume added oils or don't have any, feel free to omit it.
- Peanut allergy? - Use a different nut or seed butter. The sauce is great with almond butter or cashew butter and also works well with sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butter.