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This Tofu Coconut Rice Bowl is made with creamy coconut rice and topped with crispy sweet chili tofu and pineapple for a quick, summery vegan dinner recipe.
Oh hello delicious coconut rice bowl! If you didn't know, I adore rice bowls, and this one is full of sticky sweet tofu, pineapple and avocado.
- The base is made with coconut rice -- basically rice cooked in coconut milk for even more flavor and creaminess
- Topped with crispy pan-fried tofu that's coated in sweet chili sauce
- Tastes like summery thanks to the addition of pineapple and avocado
Rice: Long grain; white or brown rice
Tofu: Extra firm! Extra firm tofu will yield crispier results, and since we're pan-frying the tofu, we want it to be crispy.
Coconut milk: Full fat or light; canned
Sweet chili sauce: I used Trader Joe's brand and it was perfect, but any kind will work
Step 1: Cook the rice. Pour the rice into a fine mesh strainer and rinse it for at least 30 seconds. Then add it to a saucepan, along with the coconut milk, and cook it as you normally would (boil, then cover and simmer until the milk is absorbed).
Step 2: Fry the tofu. Slice the pressed tofu into cubes, then place them in a plastic bag, along with the cornstarch and 1 tbsp chili sauce. Seal the bag and shake it until the tofu is coated.
Then, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and pan-fry the tofu on all sides, approximately 4-5 minutes. It will be a little sticky, so be sure to keep an eye on it.
Step 3: Sauté the bok choy. Next, move the tofu to one side of the skillet, then add the bok choy and sauté it for 1 minute; remove skillet from the heat.
Step 4: Assemble the bowl. Pour coconut rice into a bowl, then top it with the tofu, bok choy, pineapple, and avocado. Drizzle the bowl with the remaining sweet chili sauce, sprinkle with green onions and (optional) add fresh basil.
Tips and tricks
-Recipe hack! Press the tofu ahead of time (up to 24 hours in advance) either using a tofu press or by hand so it's ready to go when you begin making this meal.
-On that same note, the rice can also be cooked ahead of time to save time.
-Feel free to use canned coconut milk or coconut milk from a carton.
-If fresh pineapple isn't in season, canned with work -- just make sure to drain the excess liquid first!
Is this recipe gluten free?
Mostly! The only thing that isn't is the cornstarch, but you can easily substitute arrowroot to keep it gluten free. Also, if you're eating strict gluten free, check the nutrition label to confirm that the sweet chili sauce is gluten free.
Do I have to use tofu?
Nope! To keep this vegan, you could sub tempeh, seitan, mushrooms, or even sweet potatoes instead. Or, try chicken or beef.
How should this be stored?
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. With that said, please note that the tofu won't be as crispy the next day.
More tasty tofu recipes:
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Tofu Coconut Rice Bowl
- 8 oz. extra firm tofu pressed
- 1/2 cup long grain rice white or brown
- 1 1/4 cup coconut milk full fat or light
- 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil or more, see notes
- 2 tbsp cornstarch see notes
- 1 cup fresh pineapple diced
- 1/2 cup bok choy sliced
- 2 tbsp green onions chopped, for garnish
- 1 avocado sliced
- fresh basil for garnish optional
- Start by pressing the tofu either with a tofu press for at least 1 hour, or by hand by placing a clean towel under and over the tofu, and setting a heavy object on top of it.
- While the tofu is pressing, start the rice: add the rice to a large mesh strainer and rinse it for 30 seconds, then add it to a large saucepan with the coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the rice is cooked.
- Meanwhile, cook the tofu. Place the pressed tofu onto a cutting board and slice it into cubes, then place the cubes into a plastic bag. Add 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce and 2 tbsp cornstarch, seal the bag, and shake to combine.
- Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high, then pan-fry the tofu on all sides until crispy, about 4-5 minutes, stirring consistently. Once cooked, move the tofu to one side of the skillet, add the bok choy and sauté for 1 minute; remove from the heat.
- Assemble the bowls: place cooked rice into a bowl or bowls, then divide the tofu and bok choy. Add the pineapple, avocado and green onions, and drizzle the bowl with the remaining chili sauce. Enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in March 2017. It was updated with new text and photos in April 2021.