Teriyaki Tofu Bowl | Kathy’s Vegan Kitchen

This teriyaki tofu bowl is sweet, tangy, and savory, served on a bed of brown rice with kale, edamame, snap peas, baby bell peppers, greens, onions, and fresh pineapple, topped with homemade teriyaki sauce. You will love this teriyaki tofu recipe!

Teriyaki Tofu Bowl recipe in a bowl on the table.

When I learned the secret to cooking tofu, a whole new food world opened. Tofu, in my opinion, is the perfect addition to any meal regardless of the cuisine. For example, I recently had a teriyaki tofu bowl while out to lunch with the girls, which inspired me to make a healthier version at home. My goal, however, was to create a homemade teriyaki sauce without any refined sugar, which I did.

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As you know from previous posts, I love tofu if you read them! And the trick is preparing tofu correctly so it absorbs whatever marinades and flavors I throw at it. And I adore tofu grilled, baked, or air-fried. I love it crispy on the outside and firm and delicious on the inside.  

Yesterday, I played in the kitchen and came up with an incredible tofu teriyaki bowl recipe with a great sauce I plan to use for various recipes. 

How Much Sugar is in Teriyaki Sauce?

I was surprised to learn how much sugar is in Teriyaki sauce. In fact, most recipes and bottled versions are more than 50% sugar. No wonder it tastes so good 🙂

So, to make an incredible teriyaki tofu bowl recipe, I created a teriyaki sauce that is truly a keeper. During what I call “accidental” recipes, I sometimes find a gem to keep in my permanent recipe box, and this is one such sauce. And it’s perfect for this teriyaki tofu bowl recipe.

Teriyaki Tofu Bowl Recipe Ingredients

Kale, zucchini, snap peas, baby bell peppers, green onions, and mame on a cutting board.

Since I was craving teriyaki sauce and challenging myself to make a better bowl than I ate at the restaurant, I wanted to pick various colors and textures to create a healthy and vibrant bowl. 

  • Teriyaki Tofu: I suggest using extra firm tofu marinated in homemade teriyaki sauce overnight for the best results.
  • Brown Rice: Brown rice is also rich in dietary fiber, which can help lower cholesterol, lower high blood pressure, and support the good bacteria in your gut. Fiber also helps prevent constipation and promotes weight loss by helping you feel full longer.
  • Mame or Shelled Edamame: This edamame is already removed from the pods. It can be found in the freezer section or in the produce department.
  • Baby Bell Peppers: I love baby bell peppers because of the vibrant colors as well as the perfect-sized rings when cut.
  • Snap Peas: Snap peas add texture and crunch to the teriyaki tofu bowl.
  • Kale: Kale maintains its freshness without getting soggy when raw or cooked and lasts longer for leftovers in bowls and stir-fries.
  • Zucchini: Zucchini offers a fresh taste and a different texture to the bowl.
  • Fresh Pineapple: Fresh pineapple adds a natural sweetness.
  • Sesame Seeds (Garnish optional): Sesame seeds, though optional, are crunchy and vibrant as a garnish!

Teriyaki Tofu Bowl Recipe Ingredient Substitutions

  • Instead of tofu, try adding tempeh, or skip the tofu altogether for a soy-free tofu bowl. Chickpea tofu is also a soy-free option.
  • Choose any rice, or swap out the rice for noodles.
  • Any combination of vegetables you prefer works well. Mushrooms and eggplant are excellent additions, as well as carrots.
  • If using canned pineapple, choose the cans with natural sweetness rather than syrup

Recipe Variations

  • The pineapple adds sweetness to the bowl and highlights the homemade teriyaki sauce I made for marinating the tofu and drizzled on the bowl before serving. 
  • Sometimes, I combine raw and cooked foods for nutritional value and pure convenience, depending on how I feel.
  • This Teriyaki tofu recipe, for instance, is quick and easy, and everything can be made ahead of time.
  • So, eat the bowl hot, cold, or both. 
  • For example, if you prefer your kale to be cooked instead of raw, it works just as well.
  • Though served raw in this bowl, cooking the snap peas, zucchini, and baby bell peppers is an option. 

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients

Cut fresh pineapple on a cutting board.
  • Soy Sauce: Soy sauce gives the teriyaki sauce the umami flavor.
  • Water: Water acts as an emulsifier in the absence of oil.
  • Pineapple: Fresh pineapple supplies the sweetness and flavor.
  • Garlic: I prefer fresh garlic whenever possible for the best flavor.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger gives the sauce a sassy and flavorful profile.
  • Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar supplies the acidity with a natural sweetness.
  • Arrowroot powder: Arrowroot powder thickens the sauce as it heats in the pan.
  • Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds, although optional, give the sauce a crunchy and toasty flavor.

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce Ingredient Substitutions

  • Try a store-bought sauce as a short cut.
  • Choose the can in natural syrup rather than thick syrup if using canned pineapple.
  • Tamari or liquid aminos are excellent gluten-free options for soy sauce.
  • Use jarred, minced garlic instead of fresh garlic cloves.
  • Champagne vinegar is a close substitute for rice vinegar in sweetness and flavor.
  • Use cornstarch instead of arrow root powder for thickening.
  • Skip the sease seed garnish or try crumbled seaweed as an alternative.
Teriyaki Tofu Bowl on the counter.

How to Press and Marinate Teriyaki Tofu 

The secret to great tofu is a simple process, which, when done correctly, creates an incredible protein source that can literally be cooked in several ways and absorb any flavors. 

  1. First, I recommend using extra-firm, Super Firm, or Sprouted tofu for salads, stir-fries, or an entree.
  2. Conversely, soft tofu is used for baking, sauces, and dressings.
  3. Firm and extra-firm tofu require pressing; however, sprouted tofu does not. Though sprouted tofu is sometimes tricky to find, my go-to tofu is always extra firm tofu. 
  4. Although you do not need a tofu press to press tofu, I prefer to use a cheap press I found on Amazon.
  5. Despite the many expensive tofu presses available, the cheap one works great, or you can always use a heavy book and paper towels.
  6. Either way, the trick is to press slowly and be patient. Pressing tofu too quickly, for instance, makes it crack on the sides, making it difficult to cut and cook. 
  7. After slowly pressing the tofu, the goal is to make it as thin as possible without cracking the sides and making it about an inch or a half thick. 
  8. Then, cut the tofu slab into 4 equal slabs for the teriyaki tofu recipe because I plan to grill my tofu. However, if baking air-frying or making in a skillet, cut the tofu into cubes for optimal marinating and absorption of flavors. 
Teriyaki Tofu in marinade.
  • Once all the marinade is added to a container, marinate the tofu in a sealed container for at least 6 hours. I  prefer to marinate overnight or 24 hours if possible.
  • The longer the tofu marinates, the more profound the flavors.
  • Then, cover the tofu with the remaining marinade and shake to coat the slabs or cubes. 
Teriyaki Tofu marinating in a container.

Grilled Tofu 

  • As a rule, my favorite method of cooking tofu is using the grill. Without a doubt, I love the grill lines and the deep flavors of grilled tofu. 
  • First, to grill the perfect tofu on the grill, preheat the grill to medium or 400 degrees. Then, arrange the tofu directly on the grill for a total of 20 minutes, flipping four times to get the pretty grill marks.
  • Next, I return the tofu to the container to soak up more marinade. At this point, you have two choices; cut it in strips now and use it, or put it in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Despite grilling being my favorite way to cook teriyaki tofu, sometimes using a skillet, oven, or air-fryer is easier.

Teriyaki Tofu Bowl Recipe in two bowls on the table.

Sautéing Tofu

  1. Using a large non-stick skillet, on medium-low, add tofu.
  2. I use a little veggie broth to prevent any sticking.
  3. Then, cook 4 minutes on each side, flipping 4 times.
  4. If you use cubes instead of tofu strips or slabs, toss in the pan until all sides are browned. 

Baking Tofu

  1. Follow the same pressing and marinating process. 
  2. Then, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Place cut or uncut tofu on a silicone baking mat  or parchment paper
  4. Cook for 15 minutes
  5. Remove from oven and flip tofu over; cook for an additional 15 minutes. 

Air Frying Tofu

  1. Set the air fryer temperature to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook for 10-15 minutes, shaking the basket a couple of times through the cooking process.
  3. Place a serving of brown rice in the base of a large shallow bowl
  4. Then, add pineapple, kale, snap peas, green onions, zucchini, pineapple, and cooked mame.
  5. Add teriyaki tofu strips or cubes on top.
  6. Drizzle with remaining dressing.
  7. Add black sesame seeds to make it pretty. 

Recipe FAQs

Do you marinate tofu before or after

Tofu has very little flavor but soaks up almost every flavor you add. When you put tofu in a stew or simmer it in a broth, you don’t need to marinade it beforehand, as it absorbs all the flavors during cooking. But it’s better to marinate the tofu for all other preparations first.

What is the secret to cooking tofu?

Tofu contains much water when it comes out of the package. To bake, fry, or scramble tofu, it’s best to press out as much water as possible before cooking. The longer you press your tofu, the firmer the texture will be, and the easier it will be to achieve a nice crispy texture.

What is the difference between pressed tofu and firm tofu?

Regular tofu is pressed and has a somewhat spongy texture. It comes in several varieties distinguished by how much water is pressed out. Soft tofu has the least amount of water pressed out, while super-firm has a low moisture content and a dense texture.

Tips

  • Marinating the tofu overnight allows for the marinade to be absorbed into the tofu for the best flavor.
  • I recommend using extra-firm, Super Firm, or Sprouted tofu for salads, stir-fries, or an entree.
  • Cooking teh kale softens it and makes it easier to digest, or it can be eaten raw. Remember to finely chop the kale to avoid any digestion issues.
  • Never add sauce to a stir fry or bowl while cooking. Instead, add it at the end. This keeps the vegetables fresh and not bogged down by the sauce. Soggy isn’t yummy!
  • When cooking vegetables, begin with the firmer vegetables, such as carrots, then add the less dense veggies, like zucchini, at the end so they aren’t overcooked.
  • If you love tofu, try these other tofu marinades.

Try this teriyaki tofu bowl recipe to get all your greens, grains, and protein in one big, healthy bowl!

More Vegan Recipes to Enjoy!

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📖 Recipe

Teriyaki tofu bowl

Teriyaki Tofu

Kathy Carmichael

Teriyaki Tofu is sweet, tangy, and savory served on a bed of brown rice, with kale, edamame, snap peas, baby bell peppers, greens onions, and fresh pineapple, topped with homemade teriyaki sauce.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Course Entrees

Cuisine Asian

Servings 4 servings

Calories 420 kcal

Instructions 

Tofu marinade

  • Add all the ingredients except for the arrowroot powder to a blender.

  • Then, transfer it to a small saucepan and add the arrowroot powder.

  • Cook on medium heat, whisking the ingredients until the sauce comes to a low boil.

  • Whisk continuously until the sauce is thickened.

  • Put ¼ of the marinade at the bottom of a refrigerator-covered container when cool.

  • Add 2 slabs of tofu, cut into cubes (slabs for grilling), or cut into cubes for baking, sauting, or air frying if desired.

  • Add more marinade, repeat.

  • Place the remaining marinade in a squeeze bottle to use for dressing later.

  • Store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Grilled Tofu

  • Preheat grill to 400 degrees or medium-low

  • Place marinated tofu slabs directly on the grill for 16 minutes, flipping every 4 minutes.

  • Remove and return to a container with extra marinade

  • When cool to the touch, slice into strips or cubes.

Sautéed Tofu

  • Using a large non-stick skillet, on medium-low, add tofu.

  • I use a little veggie broth to prevent any sticking.

  • Then, cook 4 minutes on each side, flipping 4 times.

  • If you use cubes instead of tofu strips or slabs, toss in the pan until all sides are browned. 

Baked Tofu

  • Follow the same pressing and marinating process. 

  • Then, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  • Place cut or uncut tofu on a silicone baking mat  or parchment paper
  • Cook for 15 minutes

  • Remove from oven and flip tofu over; cook for an additional 15 minutes. 

Air-Frying Tofu

  • Follow the same pressing and marinating process. 

  • Set air fryer temperature at 375 degrees

  • Cook 10-15 minutes, shaking the basket a couple of times through the cooking process.

Preparing the Bowl

  • Place a serving of brown rice in the base of a large shallow bowl

  • Then, add pineapple, kale, snap peas, green onions, zucchini, pineapple, and cooked mame.

  • Add teriyaki tofu strips or cubes on top

  • Drizzle with remaining dressing

  • Add black sesame seeds to make it pretty 🙂

Notes

  • Substitute quinoa or rice noodles instead of brown rice
  • Use your favorite bottled brand of teriyaki sauce
  • Use pickled onions instead of green onions.
  • Substitute already marinated teriyaki tofu from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods (in the refrigerator sections). Use your favorite vegetables like cucumbers, radishes, green onions, edamame, or pea pods.
  • Is it hot? Roast the other vegetables, or grill them with the tofu (if grilling).
  • For a quick and easy way to cook the other veggies, make the bowl with the raw vegetables and microwave for 2 minutes, cooking all the raw vegetables al dente.

Nutrition

Calories: 420kcalCarbohydrates: 70gProtein: 23gFat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: -3gTrans Fat: 0.003gSodium: 2302mgPotassium: 1090mgFiber: 10gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 5312IUVitamin C: 176mgCalcium: 237mgIron: 6mg



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