Buddha Bowl with Hot Crispy Tofu {V, GF}

posted in: recipe, Vegan/vegan friendly, vegetarian | 0

Vegan bowl with crispy fried tofu in a hot and sweet sauce, jasmine rice, fermented red cabbage and fresh pea shoots is like a colourful garden full of delicious food.

It has all the good carbs, proteins, vitamins and minerals your body needs.

And it can be done in only 30 minutes!

My schedule is currently a mess. OK, it is always a mess, but I feel better if I say it is (only) currently. 🙂

Working days are passing by so fast, with the full time job, often working at night, and handling the kids’ needs and activities before and after work, that from time to time, I am simply loosing it. When the weekend comes, we try to spend time in the nature, receive some help from granparents, and spend rest of the time prepare things for the upcoming week. And that includes a lot of food-preps and cooking.

culinary postcards_buddha bowl with hot crispy tofu
culinary postcards_buddha bowl with hot crispy tofu

Although my first impression of the “Buddha bowl” was not great (Buddha? Why “Buddha”? Who has time to arrange all of that in a bowl?) , soon I realized it’s actually a very handy meal. You can prepare a lot of its components ahead, and not only it looks pretty and it is delicious, but it is such a great choice for a balanced meal.

So, what is actually a “Buddha bowl”? I haven’t been researching much on the name (some people call it “Macro bowls” because of all the macro nutrients they are  packed with), but as regards its content, it is a bowl usually consisting of:

  • whole grains
  • plantbased protein (in some variations it includes a poached or fried egg)
  • raw, steamed or cooked vegetables 
  • plantbased, healthy fats (such as avocado or seed butter)
  • dressings and toppings of choice (optional)


Pretty good for one bowl, right!?

culinary postcards_buddha bowl with hot crispy tofu
culinary postcards_buddha bowl with hot crispy tofu


You have so many options to mix and match all these segments of a Buddha Bowl. It is such a versatile dish and that is the thing I really love about it!

This time I started with frying tofu with sticky sauce, cooked some Jasmine rice to it and finished simply with what I had at hand – fresh pea shoots that just came with delivery and fermented red cabbage that I had left from my winter supplies. If I had some more peas or broccoli, I would definitely have cooked them and add to the bowl as well. Don’t stick blindly to the vegetables I used here. Use what you have at hand – so many things will work great with that rice and tofu. For example, you can serve it with wok vegetables: spinach, onions and red peppers; you can also add some mushrooms if you like, and instead of rice, you can cook quinoa or millet… See, you can adjust it to your liking! Please give it a try and let me know how you liked it!




BUDDHA BOWL w/ HOT CRISPY TOFU {vegan, gluten free}

author: Iva Savić, culinary postcards

Prep time: 10 min > Cook time: 20 min > Total time: 30 min

Yields: 2 bowls


for the crispy tofu

  • 1 block of firm tofu
  • 3 Tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 Tbsp sesame oil for shallow frying
for the sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice syrup
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • few slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced finely
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp tapioca starch

for assembling

  • 1/2 cup Jasmine rice, cooked as shown on package (takes around 15 min)
  • 1 cup fermented red cabbage
  • 2 handfuls of pea shoots (can be eaten raw or slightly cooked in the wok)
  • parsley and sesame seeds to garnish
* cook your rice and vegetables ahead
  1. Unpack your tofu, drain and press between kitchen towels by placing something on top and leaving for 5 minutes, to extract moisture out of it.
  2. In a deep plate, combine tapioca, sesame and salt.
  3. Cut your tofu into bite-sized cubes and toss in the tapioca mixture.
  4. Heat oil for shallow frying in a pan and add the tofu in batches making sure they don’t overlap. Fry until light golden brown, rotating them, then drain on kitchen towels if needed to absorb the extra oil.
  5. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce, except water and tapioca in a small pot or pan.
  6. Simmer on a low heat until it starts to bubble, stir around and continue to simmer for another 2 mins.
  7. In the meanwhile, prepare the starch with water, add a tsp of hot sauce to it and stir well before adding it to the sauce. Pour the mixture in the sauce and simmer for another minute.
  8. Pour the sauce on top of tofu and toss to coat.
  9. Arrange your Buddha bowls by adding a portion of rice, followed by fried tofu and vegetables of your choice. Garnish with parsley leaves and sesame seeds, if desired.
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