Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowls with Coconut Rice

These Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowls are served on a bed of coconut-lime rice, with quick pickled red peppers and a delicious sweet & spicy peanut sauce. Perfect for easy meal prep or a quick weeknight dinner. 

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 these Tofu Bowls 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. 

Perfection! 

Peanut tofu arranged in white bowl with pickled peppers.

How to make crispy baked tofu:

  1. Use extra firm tofu. This tofu has less liquid, making it easier to crisp up. 
  2. Squeeze out excess water. Cut tofu in half lengthwise. Sandwich slices between paper towels and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. 
  3. Cube tofu. Cubes mean extra surface area, meaning more crispy goodness. 
  4. 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 Tofu with Peanut Sauce: 

  1. Bake tofu cubes that have been coated with cornstarch in a 425 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
  2. Combine lime juice, peanut butter, oil, miso, ginger, maple syrup, habanero and water. Stir until smooth and season with salt. 
  3. 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. 

Tips for making peanut tofu bowls: 

  • 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. 
  • If you’re not a tofu fan, you can make these bowls with chicken, shrimp or pork. All will be delicious! 
Spicy peanut tofu arranged on bowl of rice with black sesame seeds.

Spicy peanut tofu meal prep bowls

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: 

More recipes featuring peanut sauce: 

Overhead shot of peanut tofu on bowl of rice.

Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowls

These Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowls are served on a bed of coconut-lime rice, with quick pickled red peppers and a delicious sweet & spicy peanut sauce. Perfect for easy meal prep or a quick weeknight dinner.
4.5 from 6 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Coconut Rice:

  • 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.

Peppers:

  • 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.

Peanut Sauce:

  • 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.

Finishing:

  • 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.

Notes

Peanut sauce can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored refrigerated until ready to use.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Equipment

Knife
Baking Sheet
Small Pot
Small Bowl
Food processor
Microplane

Nutrition

Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 309mg | Potassium: 396mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 944IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg

This post was originally published in 2020. It was updated in 2022 to add new photographs.

4 thoughts on “Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowls with Coconut Rice”

  1. 5 stars
    Rick doesn’t like tofu? Can I have his servings of this delicious tofu bowl then? Looks like he is missing out on some deliciousness with this beautiful dish! But I do like how you mentioned subbing meat proteins in too 🙂

    Reply
  2. Hi! I don’t see miso posited in the ingredients but for the directions for the peanut sauce it says miso… can u clarify please.

    Reply
    • Sorry about that Tai! Initially I used miso in the recipe, but I found that it doesn’t make too much of a difference, so I left it out of the final recipe. I’ve revised the recipe to reflect that now. Thanks so much for the heads up!

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.