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Vegan “tofu” poke bowl on a budget


Vietnamese version (bản tiếng Việt): click here!

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)


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

Hope you enjoy my recipe!


Vegan “tofu” poke bowl on a budget

It’s a tofu poke bowl for my vegan and vegetarian friends. Again, I’m stick with my “PhD-style”, i.e. I will use any ingredients that are available to me. If you don’t have ones, just skip it, totally fine!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Hawaiian
Keyword poke bowl, tofu, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Marinating time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 1 serving
Calories 990kcal


  • 1 Deep-fry pot optional but recommended


  • 1 cup Cooked rice
  • ½ block Tofu firm of extra firm
  • 1 cup Cooking oil may adjust depends on the size of pot/pan
  • English cucumber
  • ½ cup Red cabbage can be vary to your preference
  • ½ cup Green cabbage can be vary to your preference
  • ¼ cup Carrots can be vary to your preference
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 tsp Chili oil
  • ½ tbsp Vegeterian stir-fry sauce
  • ¾ tbsp Kikkoman Soy sauce
  • tbsp Mirin
  • 1 tsp Fig jam (or lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • Fresh cilantro and fresh parsley as garnish


  • 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
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