Topped with crispy, marinated tofu and a creamy spicy mayo sauce, this sesame ginger tofu poke bowl is the perfect meal for lunch or dinner! This bowl is vegan, loaded with plant-based protein, healthy, gluten-free, customizable, and so delicious. Plus, this meals comes together in less than 30 minutes and is perfect for meal prep.
A poke bowl is a popular Hawaiian dish that is deeply rooted in Japanese cuisine. Poke means cut into slice or cut into bite size pieces. It typically refers to raw, marinated fish that is then put over rice and topped with vegetables and a sauce.
That's what is so great about poke bowls, they can really use whatever ingredients you like. There is no hard rule about what you can put in it, so you can get as creative as you want with yours! A classic poke bowl is typically made of: rice, raw fish (usually tuna or salmon), fruits & vegetables, seasonings, and sauce (dressing). But for vegans or plant-based eaters, we'll be replacing the raw fish with tofu in this recipe.
- Rice: you can use whatever rice or grain you like. I love to use jasmine rice but you can use white rice, brown rice, sushi rice, quinoa, or noodles. For a lower carb option, feel free to use cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.
- Extra Firm Tofu: this the protein we'll be using in our vegan poke bowls instead of fish.
- Edamame: as another added source of plant-based protein.
- Fruits & Vegetables: In this recipe, we'll be using avocado, carrots, cucumbers, mixed greens and radishes. All the veggies will be kept raw. As mentioned, you can truly use whatever fruits and vegetables you like! Kale, spinach, corn, broccoli, mangoes, pineapples, or watermelon are all fantastic options.
- Sauce (dressing): traditional poke bowls are served with a shoyu sauce, but we won't be using that, as it's really for the fish. Instead, we'll be pan-frying our tofu in a sesame-ginger sauce made from sesame oil, tamari (or soy sauce), minced ginger, garlic, and maple syrup. I also like to drizzle a spicy mayo across the entire bowl right before serving.
This sesame ginger tofu poke bowl recipe is super quick to make, but there are a few moving parts, so stick with me!
- Cook the rice (or your chosen grain) according to package instructions.
- Drain the tofu well then wrap it in paper towels or kitchen towels and press out any excess liquid. You can press your tofu the old fashion way (by putting it between two cutting boards and stacking heavy items on top) or by using a tofu press. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and toss in cornstarch and salt.
- In a bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sesame ginger sauce.
- Heat sesame oil in a large pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and pan fry until golden on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add in the sesame ginger sauce and cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring until the tofu is evenly coated and the sauce has thickened to a glaze.
- Prepare your fruits and vegetables by slicing your avocado, carrots, cucumbers, and radishes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together vegan mayo, sriracha, and lime juice.
- Finally, time to assemble your bowls! Lay down mixed greens first, topping with rice, then veggies/avocado, then the sesame ginger tofu. Drizzle the spicy mayo across the top of the bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!
Poke bowls in general are so customizable and this one is no different!
Make this vegan poke bowl without tofu! You can completely remove the tofu or replace it with tempeh or jackfruit.
Swap the rice for another grain. You can use any kind of rice you like or you can use quinoa, rice noodles, vermicelli or glass noodles, zucchini noodles, or cauliflower rice.
Change up the sauce/marinade! The sauce or marinade you use is totally up to you. Feel free to remove the spicy mayo or toss the tofu in teriyaki sauce, general tsos sauce, tahini sauce,
- If you're meal prepping or have leftovers, store the spicy mayo separately to ensure the bowls hold up well.
- Press the tofu as much as possible, or freeze, defrost, then press, for optimal texture and flavor absorption.
- For meal prep, prep the tofu, sauce, and rice at the beginning of the week and then add fresh fruits and veggies when you plan to eat the poke bowl.
Poke is traditionally a Hawaiian dish. Hawaiian food takes a lot of influence from Japanese food, but poke is Hawaiian.
Yes! Poke bowls are nutrient packed and well-rounded meals. They're packed with protein, nutrient rich vegetables, heart-healthy fats, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates.
Because vegan poke bowls are made without fish, you can store your leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days. Be sure to store your sauce(s) separately, otherwise they'll wilt your veggies.