These spicy rice bowls are an explosion of flavour thanks to the Korean style marinated tofu. Add your favourite toppings and a squeeze of hot sauce for an easy and healthy dinner.
Hello, meet the bowls I. am. obsessed. with.
I'm so excited to be sharing this recipe today! Will and I have been super into Korean food ever since we went to LA a few years ago. We went out for the most incredible meal in Koreatown and since then I've been obsessed with finding ways to work Korean ingredients into my cooking.
But with my new found love for tofu it seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine the two and serve up a vegetarian spicy rice bowl topped with a Korean marinated tofu.
Why we love these spicy rice bowls:
- They're so full of flavour thanks to the spicy Korean marinade on the tofu and rice and all those amazing toppings. I like to finish off with some hot sauce for a final spicy kick
- They're easily made vegan and gluten free with a few simple switches. If you use maple syrup instead of honey and tamari instead of soy sauce
- You can make them your own by switching up the toppings
- They're great for meal prep. You can cook the rice and tofu ahead of time and chop all the vegetables then assemble the bowls when you're ready to eat
Marinated Tofu Bowls Ingredients:
- Tofu: Make sure you get firm or extra firm tofu
- Gochujang: This is a korean chilli paste with a perfect balance of sweet and spicy, Use leftovers in this vegetable bibimbap
- Soy Sauce: Use tamari for gluten free. Extra soy sauce can be added to these Thai fish cakes
- Honey: Or use maple syrup to make it vegan
- Sesame Oil: One of my cupboard staples
- Ginger & Garlic: The absolute essentials for any Asian cookery
- Cooked Rice: Or use quinoa or another grain if you prefer
- Toppings: I used carrot, cucumber, avocado, sesame seeds and hot sauce
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Keep scrolling to the bottom of this post to get the full recipe!
Pressing the tofu
You don't need a fancy tofu press for this. I wrap the tofu in a few layers of kitchen towel then place it between two plates and top it with something heavy like a cast iron skillet or a few cans of food. It's best to press it for at least 10 minutes although longer is better.
How to stop tofu sticking to the pan
The most important thing to do when you're frying tofu is to get the pan nice and hot and then add the tofu and DON'T MOVE IT for at least 2-3 minutes, maybe longer, while it creates a nice crispy crust on the bottom. If it doesn't move easily when you try to slide a spatula underneath it then leave it a little longer to develop the crust. Then you can flip and repeat on the other sides.
How to make Korean marinated tofu bowls
- Marinate the tofu: Whisk together all the marinade ingredients and add the tofu cubes. Set aside for a few minutes (or longer if you have the time).
- Cook the tofu: Heat the oil and fry the tofu in batches until browned on all sides.
- Make your bowls: Put the rice in bowls and top with the tofu and all your toppings.
Equipment you need to make this recipe...
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Is marinated tofu healthy?
Tofu is a great source of protein plus all nine amino acids and loads of vitamins and good stuff. The marinade is also pretty healthy thanks to the ginger, garlic and spice paste so you can feel pretty good about eating this dish!
Is marinated tofu vegan?
I used honey in the marinade for this tofu which isn't technically vegan but you can easily switch the honey for maple syrup to make the whole thing vegan.
Want more? Try these other tofu recipes!
- Vegetarian Banh Mi Sandwiches
- Crispy Fried Salt and Pepper Tofu
- Mushroom and Tofu Tikka Masala
- Spicy Noodles with Crispy Tofu
- Sheet Pan Tacos
- Korean Baked Tofu Rice Bowls
- Peanut Tofu Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
Spicy Rice Bowls with Korean Marinated Tofu
For the Tofu
- 350 g Firm Tofu
- 3 tablespoon Gochujang
- 1 ½ tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- ½ tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1 teaspoon Ginger grated
- 2 cloves Garlic crushed
- 2 tablespoon Vegetable oil
For the Spicy Rice Bowls
- 500 g Cooked Rice
- 2 Carrots peeled and chopped into battons
- ½ Cucumber chopped into battons
- 1 Avocado sliced
- Sesame Seeds to serve
- Sriracha or your favourite hot sauce to serve
- Press the tofu: Put a few sheets of kitchen towel on a plate, put the tofu on top then add a few more sheets of kitchen towel to the top. Put another plate on top then place something heavy like some tins of food or a heavy cast iron skillet on the plate and leave for at least 10 minutes. You can also use a tofu press for this if you have one.
- Marinate the tofu: Stir together the gochujang, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Cut the tofu into cubes and add to the tofu marinade. Gently toss and set aside.
- Cook the tofu: Heat the oil over a medium high heat in a frying pan. Fry the tofu pieces (keeping the leftover marinade for the rice) in a single layer until browned on all sides, you might need to do this in batches. Scoop out onto a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Make the rice: In the same frying pan you cooked the tofu add another drizzle of oil then add the rice and pour over any leftover marinade from the tofu, fry until heated through and coated in the spicy marinade.
- Assemble the bowls: Split the fried rice between four bowls. Add carrots, cucumber, avocado and cooked tofu. Top with sesame seeds and your favourite hot sauce.
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