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Tofu Buddha Bowls


Tofu Buddha Bowls


Kids like to have choices.  Meals like burrito bowls, buddha bowls and hawaiian haystacks allow kids to pick and choose from what you have put on the table to make their own meal.  Baking tofu is a simple way to make it taste amazing.  If you really don’t like tofu, you could leave it out or make it with chicken pieces instead.  Click on "print in English" to see photos for each step of the recipe.


Makes: enough for a family of 6

Takes: about 1 hour




2 cups uncooked long-grain brown rice

4.5 cups water

1 bag (steam in bag) frozen cauliflower or broccoli

1 bag frozen peas

2 whole carrots

1 sweet potato or regular potato (any size will work, smaller is better)

1 block EXTRA FIRM tofu

1 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch

1 Tablespoon oil (canola or olive are best)

1 can pineapple 


Peanut sauce ingredients:

1/4 cup water (you may need to add an additional 2-3 Tablespoons to thin out the sauce)

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

½ cup peanut butter

1 ½ Tablespoons brown sugar

1 piece of fresh ginger - about 2 inches long (you can keep fresh ginger in the freezer and grate it frozen without peeling)

2 cloves garlic




  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and Start Rice: Put 4.5 cups of water in a pot and add 2 cups long grain brown rice.  Turn heat to HI and put a lid on.  Bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat to LOW, cover the pot and let it simmer.  Simmering means that the water should be barely bubbling. Set a timer for 50 minutes.  Do not take the lid off until the timer goes off.

  2. Prepare Tofu: Open tofu package and drain water.  Cut tofu into strips and then cubes as shown in photos.  Spread tofu out in a single layer and put a kitchen towel on top of it.  Top the towel with a heavy book or pot.  The towel will soak up extra moisture so the tofu can get crispy.  This is called “pressing tofu.”  While it “presses” start cutting your sweet potato.

  3. Cut Sweet Potato: You could use other vegetables here if you don’t have a sweet potato (like brussel sprouts or winter squash).  Peel and dice the sweet potato.  Cut into squares the same size as you cut the tofu. This will help them cook at the same rate.

  4. Season Tofu and Coat with Cornstarch: Take the towel off the tofu.  Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.  Sprinkle with 1 ½ Tablespoons of cornstarch.  Stir it gently so that cornstarch coats all sides of the tofu. The tofu can fall apart if you don’t stir it gently.

  5. Put Tofu and Sweet potato on a pan: Put tofu and sweet potato on a baking sheet, put in the 350 degree oven and set a timer for 30 minutes.

  6. Wash carrots and bell peppers.  Grate the carrots and chop the bell pepper.

  7. Warm up Peas.  Place peas in a colander and run hot tap water over them until they are defrosted.  Pour into a serving bowl.  You could also do this in the microwave, I just wanted to show you different ways to warm up frozen vegetables.

  8. Make peanut sauce in the microwave.  Combine 1/4 cup water, 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, ½ cup peanut butter and 1 ½ Tablespoons brown sugar in a microwave safe bowl.  Using a fine grater, grate in 1 ½ Tablespoons fresh ginger and 2 cloves garlic.  Stir, and then put in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Take out and whisk until smooth.  If it is difficult to whisk, you can put it in the microwave for longer.

  9. Steam cauliflower or broccoli in the microwave.  Follow package directions to cook broccoli or cauliflower in the microwave.  It usually takes 5 minutes.  Make sure to put the package in the microwave the right way (there is a label that says “heat this side up.”)

  10. When the timer goes off, take tofu and sweet potato out of the oven.  Stir it and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes, or until tofu is crispy and lightly brown.  The sweet potatoes should be brown on all sides and cooked through.  The tofu and sweet potato will finish a little bit before the rice.

  11. Check rice:  All the water should be absorbed.  If water is not absorbed, put the lid back on and wait 5 more minutes, check again.  Once water is absorbed, the rice is done.  Take it off the heat and let it sit with the lid on for 5 minutes.  Then scoop it into a bowl for serving.

  12.  Drain the can of pineapple and save the juice for another use.  Put pineapple in a bowl and put everything you have cooked on the table.  Let everyone put together their own “buddha bowl” from the ingredients on the table. 

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