Vegan “tofu” poke bowl on a budget

I have uploaded a tuna poke bowl recipe recently, and this time I want to make a tofu version for my vegetarian friends. Basically, I kept all the seasoning the same and replaced the tuna with fried dice tofu. A note here is that, you can be flexible with the garnish, use anything that are available to you at that time. Like this time, I ran out of avocado and had a lot of carrots, so I just skipped the avocado and added carrots instead. The result was that, it both looked good and tasted good, which I’m happy to share it here. Still, having avocado in the dish is way much better for people who are on vegan/vegetarian diet because it provides more energy and essential nutrition, as well as keeps you full longer. Therefore, don’t forget to have some avocados whenever you want to prepare your own poke bowl.

Again, shout out to my roommate for the mirin and vegetarian stir-fry sauce.
Shout out to my professor for a jar of fig jam that I could give it a try in this recipe.

Ingredients: (for 1 serving)

  • Cooked rice: 1 cup
  • Tofu: 1/2 of the Firm tofu block (Must be firm of extra firm)
  • Cooking oil (for deep frying): 1 cup (may adjust depends on the size of pot/pan)
  • Cucumber: 1/6 of English cucumber
  • Red cabbage: 1/2 cup (can be vary to your preference)
  • Green cabbage: 1/2 cup (can be vary to your preference)
  • Carrots: 1/4 cup (can be vary to your preference)
  • Garlic: 1 clove
  • Chili oil: 1 teaspoon (I made myself chili oil from dry chili crisp, so I used it instead of chili crisp. You might skip it or reduce the amount if you can’t eat spicy food.)
  • Vegeterian stir-fry sauce: 0.5 tablespoons (~ 8 mL)
  • Kikkoman Soy sauce: 0.75 tablespoons (~ 10 mL)
  • Mirin: 1/3 tablespoons (~ 6 mL)
  • Fig jam or lemon juice: 1 teaspoon
  • Sesame oil: 1 teaspoon
  • Garnish: Fresh cilantro and fresh parsley


  • Rinse the tofu and pad dry with a paper towel then dice into small cubes (0.75 x 0.75 x 0.75 in.). In a 2qt. saucepan, add 1 cup of cooking oil and put on medium-high heat till the temperature reach 260 F. Add all of the tofu cubes and fry on medium-high heat till almost golden brown on all sides. Take all the tofu cubes out and dry on the paper towel, let them rest for about 5 minutes then fry the 2nd time on medium-high heat so that the tofu cubes will stay crispy longer. Take all the tofu cubes out after the 2nd fry and dry on a paper towel. And don’t forget to save the oil for further use! (It would be better when using deep fry pan/pot. If you don’t have one, fry in a saucepan like me.)
  • The sauce: mince the garlic and combine it with all of the chili oil (or chili crisp), vegetarian stir-fry sauce, soy sauce, mirin, fig jam (or lemon juice) and sesame oil in a medium-size bowl. Mix well until homogenized.
  • Add the fried tofu cubes to the sauce bowl and mix/stir well so that the tofu cubes are well coated with the sauce. Marinate for 10 minutes.
  • While the tofu is being marinated, prepare the fresh garnish:
    • Thin-slice the cucumber;
    • Chop the cilantro and parsley;
    • Julienne the carrot, red and green cabbage.
  • Time for plating: (for best visual, use a high-side white dinner plate or a glass container as a “bento”. I made a “bento” for my lunch at school this time.)
    • Add the rice to the glass tupperware and flatten it (but don’t press it tightly)
    • Place the cucumbers, carrot, red and green cabbage on the rice
    • Add the marinated tofu to the “bento”
    • Pour the leftover sauce onto the veggie (since the tofu won’t absorb much sauce, you will have quite a lot of sauce left)
    • Top with chopped cilantro and parsley as final garnish

Total time: 1 hour (frying really takes a lot of time!)

Hope you enjoy my recipe!

5 thoughts on “Vegan “tofu” poke bowl on a budget

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