This Asian Tofu Buddha Bowl is one of the best buddha bowl recipes you will ever try! It combines mouthwatering crispy Asian tofu, protein-packed chewy edamame, lemon massaged kale, warm brown rice, crunchy carrots, and a creamy sesame ginger dressing on top. This bowl comes together in just about 30 minutes for a flavorful and nutrient packed meal!
Buddha bowls are my favorite dinner! Not only do they taste amazing, but they are packed with so many nutrients and are easily customizable. This delicious crispy tofu buddha bowl was one of the first recipes I ever created for NPB and it is still one of my favorite recipe to date.
▶︎Want more delicious and healthy dinner ideas? Try out...
What is a Buddha Bowl?
A Buddha Bowl is a vegetarian meal served in a high-rimmed bowl with a beautifully plated display of various foods including grain, protein, vegetables, and more. It is thought to be named "Buddha" Bowl because of its balanced display of ingredients similar to a buddhist concept of a balanced life.
This vegan buddha bowl contains a healthy grain (brown wild rice mix), with plant-based protein (tofu + edamame), veggies (kale and carrots), healthy fats (avocado), and a delicious sauce (creamy sesame ginger dressing).
Sauce ingredients not shown in recipe pictures - see recipe card.
- Tofu: Choose extra firm tofu for this recipe to create the crispiest texture. I recommend pressing your tofu for at least 20 minutes either with a heavy object or a tofu press. Make sure to cut them into small cubes.
- Wild Rice & Brown Rice Mix: You can use a mix of the two types of grains or just use brown rice. Alternatively, try quinoa for even more protein and nutritional value.
- Kale: I used a chopped curly kale for this recipe but you can also use dinosaur kale.
See recipe card for full list of ingredients with quantities.
⇨Tips to make the best crispy tofu⇦
- Press your tofu for at least 20 minutes. Don't skip this step.
- How to Press Tofu: just get a dishcloth or paper towels and wrap it around your block of tofu. Place on a plate and then a cutting board (or something flat) on top of the tofu. Then find something heavy (such as a 3-4 cans or a large book) and place on top of the cutting board. Make sure it's stable and let it rest for 20 minutes to remove the excess water. Alternatively, use a tofu press.
- Use cornstarch: Not too much, not too little. This coats the tofu and helps the crispy texture.
- Air fry your tofu. This makes a big difference in the texture of your tofu. You can bake your tofu for a crispy texture but I think the air fryer is better (see recipe card for how to cook tofu in the oven if you don't have an air fryer).
Step 1: Place extra-firm tofu cubes in a gallon size bag with cornstarch and garlic powder. Gently shake until coated.
Step 2: Cook cubed tofu in air fryer at 400F for 5 minutes, shake gently, then air fry for another 5-7 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
*Alternatively you can bake your tofu at 400F for 25 minutes (flipping halfway) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure to spread out in a single layer with no overlap.
Meanwhile, whisk your asian sauce ingredients together until well combined.
Step 3: In a medium size saucepan over low-medium heat, add in crispy tofu with asian sauce and mix well until tofu is evenly coated.
Sauté for 2-3 minutes until sauce caramelizes on tofu.
Mix creamy sesame ginger dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined.
Step 4: Arrange buddha bowl with cooked rice, massaged lemon kale, shredded carrot, edamame, avocado, and crispy asian tofu.
Drizzle with creamy ginger sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds, cilantro, and fresh lemon if desired. Enjoy!
Tip: Feel free to add other fresh vegetables you like to this bowl such as roasted broccoli, brussel sprouts, zucchini, bok choy, sweet potatoes, carrots, or asparagus!
Tip #2: For a lower carb option, serve with cauliflower rice.
▶︎If that creamy sesame ginger dressing, check out these Sesame Ginger Chickpeas that have the perfect hint of ginger!
Buddha Bowls are generally a healthy, balanced vegetarian or vegan meal. Many of the ingredients used in Buddha bowls have high nutritional value including grains (such as quinoa or brown rice), protein (such as tofu), a variety of vegetables, and a delicious sauce with garnish. The more colors the healthier the Buddha bowl!
This tofu buddha bowl is perfect for meal prep. Add the tofu buddha bowl ingredients in your compartmentalized glass container. Keep the sauce in a separate container. This recipe could make 4 meal prep lunches or dinners.
No, you can make delicious tofu without an air fryer. Instead, bake your tofu for 25 minutes at 400F. Flip halfway through.
- I recommend pressing your tofu for at least 20 minutes to create the best crispy texture!
- Ginger paste is blended ginger you can find at the grocery store in a squeeze tube bottle or jar. I love to use it because it is very convenient and flavorful. If you don't have paste, you can use 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger for ever 1 teaspoon of ginger paste.
- This bowl is almost gluten-free except for the soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Swap the soy sauce for tamari and use a Tamari Hoisin Sauce for a gluten-free version.
- You can top this bowl with whatever sauce you like...but the creamy sesame ginger sauce is sooo yummy!
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Asian Tofu Buddha Bowl
- 1 Air Fryer optional
- 1 Large skillet
Crispy Asian Tofu
- 3 cups cooked brown rice or brown wild rice mix (1 cup uncooked)
- 2 cups warmed shelled edamame
- 1 ½ cups carrot shredded
- 1 avocado sliced
- 4 cups chopped kale (stems removed) + juice from half a lemon massaged together*
- Sesame seeds
- Lemon Slice
- Chopped cilantro
- Place tofu cubes in a gallon size bag with cornstarch and garlic powder. Gently shake until coated.1 block extra firm tofu, 2 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Cook tofu in air fryer at 400F for 5 minutes, shake gently, then air fry for another 5-7 minutes until lightly browned and crispy. *Alternatively bake at 400 F for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Whisk Asian Sauce + Combine
- Whisk your asian sauce ingredients together until well combined.2 tablespoon hoisin sauce*, 1.5 tablespoon soy sauce*, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon ginger paste*, 2 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon water
- In a medium size saucepan over low-medium heat, add in crispy tofu with asian sauce and mix well until tofu is evenly coated.
- Sauté for 2-3 minutes until sauce caramelizes on tofu.
Creamy Sesame Ginger Sauce
- Mix creamy sesame ginger dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined.¼ cup unsweetened almond yogurt, ¼ cup tahini, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon ginger paste, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1-2 tablespoon water
Arrange Buddha Bowl
- Arrange buddha bowl with brown rice, massaged lemon kale, shredded carrot, edamame, avocado, and crispy asian tofu.3 cups cooked brown rice or brown wild rice mix, 2 cups warmed shelled edamame, 1 ½ cups carrot, 1 avocado, 4 cups chopped kale (stems removed) + juice from half a lemon
- Drizzle with creamy ginger sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds, cilantro, and fresh lemon if desired. Enjoy!
- You can easily double this recipe to have more leftovers for the week. This is a great meal prep recipe!
- If you don't have unsweetened almond milk yogurt, you can try out a different kind like soy or coconut. Alternatively, you can use vegan mayo.