Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowls served on a bed of coconut-lime rice, with quick pickled red peppers. Perfect for easy meal prep or a quick weeknight dinner. (Vegetarian + Vegan)
This recipe is one that I’ve been working on perfecting for some time now. And there have been loads of leftovers since Rick has declared that he doesn’t do tofu, even though I know he would really love this recipe if he gave it a chance.
But once I perfected the recipe for this Tofu with Peanut Sauce, I was glad that I got to keep all those leftovers for myself anyway!
If you do “do tofu”, you’re going to love this Tofu with Peanut Sauce! Why?
- The tofu is baked until crispy – no soggy tofu here.
- That peanut sauce – salty, creamy with a bit of heat.
- Those pickled red peppers – quick pickled with a bit of lime.
- Coconut rice – super easy, just stir in some coconut milk and lime.
- Peanut sauce that becomes a dressing! Add some vinegar & soy sauce to the peanut sauce and drizzle it over your tofu bowls.
🛒 Ingredients needed
- Tofu – Extra firm tofu is great here.
- Cornstarch – This will be used to coat the tofu so that it gets extra crispy. You can also use arrowroot starch.
- Coconut Milk – Full fat is preferred.
- Jasmine Rice – For serving. Or other favorite rice – brown rice, basmati, white rice.
- Red Bell Pepper
- Green Onions
- For the Peanut Sauce – Lime juice, creamy peanut butter, avocado oil, ginger, maple syrup (or honey), habanero pepper, soy sauce, rice vinegar.
🥢 How to make crispy baked tofu
- Use extra firm tofu. This tofu has less liquid, making it easier to crisp up.
- Squeeze out excess water. Cut tofu in half lengthwise. Sandwich slices between paper towels and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Cube tofu. Cubes mean extra surface area, meaning more crispy goodness.
- Toss with cornstarch. Toss the cubes with enough cornstarch to coat them (1-2 TBSP). This gives a nice coating which will help the tofu crisp up in the oven.
📋 How to make spicy peanut tofu
- Bake tofu cubes that have been coated with cornstarch in a 425 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Combine lime juice, peanut butter, oil, miso, ginger, maple syrup, habanero and water. Stir until smooth and season with salt.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the cooked tofu and the peanut sauce. Toss to coat, stirring frequently, until tofu is coated in the sauce.
- The coconut-lime rice uses ½ cup full-fat coconut milk. If using canned coconut milk, you will have leftovers. You can freeze the coconut milk in a ziploc bag for future use.
- The spicy peanut sauce can be made up to three days in advance.
- Not a fan of heat? You can leave out the habanero for a milder option. Or, swap in a jalapeno.
- If you’re not a tofu fan, you can make these bowls with chicken, shrimp or pork. All will be delicious!
✔️ How to meal prep
These tofu bowls are perfect for meal prep. Just divide the rice and tofu between four food safe containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When ready to serve, heat the bowls in the microwave and top with the pickled peppers, arugula and peanut dressing. (They can also be eaten cold).
🥣 More bowl recipes
- Yumm Sauce Bowls
- Poke Bowls
- Lemon Orzo Bowls with Lamb & Tzatziki
- Quinoa Taco Bowls
- Chicken Gyro Bowls with Quinoa
- Shrimp Sushi Bowls
- Shrimp Spring Roll Noodle Bowls
🥜 More recipes featuring peanut sauce
Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowls Recipe
- 2 14-ounce packages extra-firm tofu (drained)
- 2-3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (full fat)
- ½ cup lime juice (divided, and zest of 1 lime (for rice) (from about 5 medium limes))
- 1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
- 2/3 cup peanut butter
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 habanero pepper (stem and seeds removed)
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 3 cups arugula
- 3 green onions (thinly sliced, divided)
- Salt and pepper
- Black sesame seeds to garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut tofu in half lengthwise. Sandwich slices between paper towels and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Cube tofu and toss with cornstarch, until coated. Arrange on a baking sheet and cook 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- In a small pot, combine rice with 1 cup water, coconut milk and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, until ready to serve.
- While tofu and rice are cooking, in a small bowl, stir ¼ cup lime juice with 1/2 teaspoon salt until salt dissolves. Add the sliced peppers, and a pinch of pepper. Toss to combine and set aside.
- Add ¼ cup lime juice, peanut butter, oil, ginger, maple syrup, habanero and ¾ cup water to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and season to taste with salt.
- Remove 1 cup peanut sauce to a small bowl and add rice wine vinegar and soy to make the dressing; set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add tofu and remaining peanut sauce. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until tofu is coated in the sauce.
- Add the lime zest and HALF of the sliced scallions to the rice, then fluff with a fork.
- Divide the rice between bowls. Top with tofu, arugula and peppers. Drizzle the peanut dressing over top and garnish with remaining sliced scallions and black sesame seeds, if desired.
This post was originally published in 2020. It was updated in 2022 to add new photographs, and in 2023 to add new content. The tofu bowls recipe remains the same. Enjoy!