Fresh and Fast Thai Tofu Bowl

Here's a recipe from my third cookbook, Radiance 4 Life. All of the recipes in the book are chock-full of superfoods and, as always, vegan. This recipe is one of my favorites, as it's so satisfying and light, but so delish! Hope you enjoy.

(Photo by Olga Eglite)

Fresh and Fast Thai Tofu Bowl

This colorful dish combines cooked and raw items for a fresh, fast, delicious entrée. It may look like a lot of ingredients, but this really does come together very easily, and the entire dish can be prepared while the rice is cooking.

▪ 2 cups water
▪ 1 cup forbidden rice (or long grain brown rice)
▪ 2 teaspoons tamari

Simple Sesame Tofu:
▪ 16 oz. tofu, firm or extra firm (use sprouted tofu if possible)
▪ ¼ cup tamari
▪ 2 teaspoons garlic granules
▪ 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
▪ 2 teaspoons coconut oil

Fresh Veggies:
▪ 2 medium carrots, grated (1 cup grated carrots)
▪ 1 cup finely chopped or shredded cabbage, green or purple
▪ 4 scallions, trimmed and chopped

Final Flavors:
▪ ½ cup Thai sweet red chili sauce
▪ ¼ cup dry-roasted peanuts
▪ ¼ cup (packed) fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons

1. Place the water, rice, and the 2 teaspoons tamari in a pressure cooker, rice cooker, or pot with a tight fitting lid. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender (about 20 minutes in a pressure cooker or 45 minutes otherwise).

2. While the rice is cooking, get the tofu ready for action. Slice into 8 slabs and place on paper towels in a single layer. Cover with more paper towels and place a cutting board or cookie sheet over the top. Weight it down with something heavy such as a gallon of water or a case of strawberry kombucha.

3. While the tofu is pressing, prepare the rest of your ingredients and set them aside. To crush the peanuts (and trust me, you want them crushed), place them in a sealed plastic bag. Roll over the bag with a rolling pin or smash the bag with another heavy object. My daughter finds a large spoon quite fun and effective for this task. Set aside.

4. To finish the tofu: Remove the tofu from the pressing situation it’s in and cut into ½-inch cubes or little triangles—and yes, technically speaking, triangles are cuter. Next, place in a single layer on a plate and sprinkle with the ¼ cup tamari. Turn the pieces so that they’re evenly coated with the tamari. Sprinkle evenly with the garlic granules and sesame seeds. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. When melted, add the tofu and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, or until the tofu is golden-browned on all sides.

5. To bowl up your entrée: Place some rice in each bowl and top with carrots, cabbage, and scallions. Place some tofu on top of that and drizzle with some Sweet Red Chili Sauce. Sprinkle with peanuts and basil and serve immediately.

Serves 4/GF/Green (according to the health guidelines in my books)


  1. ooOoOOO that sounds good. I love me some tofu in a bowl.

  2. Sounds AMAZING! I will have to make this sometime this week!

  3. This was another AMAZING, family approved recipe from Tess! My son said to me, "we can count on it tasting good if it came from Tess"! We love your food! Thanks for all you do!

  4. That's the best compliment I've heard all day, thanks so much Shmilygal!! You're awesome! Tell your son I said he's awesome too! :-)