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This Sesame Tofu Quinoa Bowl is made with quinoa, vegetables and fried tofu that’s coated in a sesame-soy sauce marinade. It’s a filling, plant-based meal that the whole family will enjoy!
I’m on the tofu train and I’m not coming off anytime soon! Recently, we’ve been eating some sort of tofu dish once a week. It’s a nice change of pace, but I had been feeling like we needed to switch up even our current tofu routine. So, a tofu quinoa bowl it is!
- As long as you press the tofu ahead of time, this bowl comes together in about 30 minutes
- It’s vegan, gluten free and incredibly filling
- The sesame-soy sauce marinade is delicious, and gives the tofu tons of flavor
Tofu – super firm, and make sure to press the liquid out of it before using it
Quinoa – can sub rice
Veggies – the recipe calls for broccoli and carrots, but other veggies that would work include bok choy, mushrooms and/or snap peas.
Arrowroot – can sub cornstarch
Step 1: Prep broccoli and quinoa. Both of these take the longest, so it’s best to start with this step. Cook quinoa over the stove as you normally would, and then roast broccoli in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Step 2: Prep the tofu. Slice the tofu into cubes, then place them in a plastic bag. Add 2 tbsp soy sauce and 3 tbsp arrowroot (or cornstarch) to the bag. Zip it shut, then shake the bag until the tofu is coated.
Step 3: Fry the tofu. Add oil to a large skillet and wait 1-2 minutes for it to heat up before adding the tofu. Fry the tofu on all sides until it’s crispy.
Step 4: Make the sauce. While the tofu is frying, whisk all of the sauce ingredients together, then set aside. Once the tofu is fried, remove the skillet from the heat, then pour in the sauce, using a large spoon to stir until the tofu is coated in the sauce.
Tips and FAQs
- Choose super/extra firm tofu: this is key! The firmer the tofu, the less liquid there will be, and therefore the crispier the tofu will be.
- Use a tofu press: ok, this isn’t absolutely necessary, but I’m obsessed with my tofu press. It’s a good investment and easier than having to press down on the tofu by hand or with random heavy objects.
- Slice the tofu: it’s up to you how big or small you cut the tofu. I’ve found that smaller cubes of tofu tend to fry more easily.
- Rinse the quinoa: always make sure to pour quinoa into a mesh strainer, then run water over it for 10 seconds or so before adding it to a saucepan to cook.
Can this meal be frozen?
You sure can! However, tofu is at its crispiest when served fresh, so keep that in mind. If you do decide to freeze it, just store it in an air-tight container in the freezer and then eat it in the microwave before serving.
Are there any easy substitutions?
Can easily sub cornstarch instead of arrowroot, whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator (I think bok choy, mushrooms or peas would work best), and rice instead of quinoa.
More tofu recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Sesame Tofu Quinoa Bowl
- 1 block super firm tofu pressed and cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
for the marinade:
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
for the bowl:
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 heads of broccoli chopped
- 2 carrots peeled
- 2 tbsp green onion
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- If you haven't already pressed the tofu, you'll need to remove it from the packaging and drain any liquid. Then, press it with a handful of paper towels several times. Alternatively, you can place a clean kitchen towel over top of it and press out the liquid that way. The drier the block of tofu, the crispier the tofu will be.
- Preheat oven to 400°. Put broccoli in a bowl, then drizzle it with 2 tbsp olive oil; pour onto a baking sheet and roast until broccoli is cooked to your liking, about 15-20 minutes. At this time, you should also cook quinoa over the stove (if it isn't already prepped).
- Next, slice the tofu into bite-sized cubes and place them into a plastic bag; add the 2 tbsp soy sauce and 3 tbsp arrowroot, zip the bag, then shake until the tofu is coated.
- Heat a large skillet with oil over medium heat, then place the tofu into the skillet, frying until crispy.
- While the tofu is frying, make the marinade. Whisk syrup, sesame oil, soy sauce, and arrowroot together in a bowl and set aside.
- Once the tofu is crispy, reduce the heat to low and add the garlic. Stir for approximately one minute, turn off the heat, then pour the marinade into the skillet, stirring until tofu is coated.
- To assemble: place quinoa in a bowl and then top it with the roasted broccoli, carrot slices, and fried tofu. Add the green onions and sesame seeds and enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in June 2018. It was updated with new text and photos in August 2020.