Crispy Garlic Tofu Rice Bowl

Much to my husband's knowledge and approval, I've recently started incorporating tofu into some of our dinners.

It's not that we're turning into vegetarians, we still love a juicy grilled steak with all the fixin's once in a while. But sometimes, meat can be pricy. Made from soybeans, not only is tofu is a great alternative for "Meatless Monday", it is also dirt cheap. Think under $2 for a 4 person serving. For a family on a budget, that makes my wallet happy. 

Tofu is also surprisingly tasty. Especially when it takes on the flavour of whatever you cook it in. There are many delicious and easy tofu recipes - we've made tofu stir fry, lettuce wraps with tofu, added it to salads, even subbed it for the salmon in my infamous teriyaki salmon bowl. But this tofu recipe for Crispy Garlic Tofu Rice Bowl is definitely one of my favourites.

Crispy Garlic Tofu Rice Bowl Recipe

CRISPY GARLIC TOFU RICE BOWL


Serves: 4


Ingredients:

  • 1 block firm tofu, cut into bit-sized pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha 
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch + 6 tbsp water
  • 1 cup rice (variety of choice)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 green onions, chopped


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cook rice according to package.
  3. Once the oven is preheated, place tofu cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 35-40 minutes until golden and crisp around the edges, flipping halfway through.
  4. When tofu is near done, start making the sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add garlic, soy sauce, garlic powder, brown sugar and sriracha and whisk until combined. 
  5. Add cornstarch and water to a small bowl and mix until cornstarch is fully dissolved. 
  6. Add the cornstarch mixture to the small saucepan and whisk until combined. 
  7. Bring mixture to a gentle boil and stir until everything is completely mixed and sauce has thickened. 
  8. Once the sauce is complete, add the baked tofu to the saucepan. Fully coat tofu in sauce.
  9. In a serving bowl, add rice, tofu with sauce and sprinkle with fresh green onions. Serve warm.

Crispy Garlic Tofu Rice Bowl Recipe

Home Chef Tip #1: When you make the sauce, it may not look like you'll have enough. I assure you, with the amounts above, it is plenty to cover one block of tofu, and then some. If you do have extra sauce, it is delicious on a number of different dishes - such as vegetable stir fry or beef & broccoli, another one of my favourites.

Home Chef Tip #2: There are several different consistencies of tofu available on the market. The consistency you want depends on what you plan on cooking. Firm tofu can be sliced and added to stir-fry or seasoned and grilled as a meat substitute; soft tofu can be pureed and used as a ricotta cheese substitute in lasagna, or mashed and added to casseroles; and silken tofu is suitable for making dips or blended with fruit and ice to make smoothies. 

Crispy Garlic Tofu Rice Bowl Recipe

Not only is tofu 1) inexpensive to buy 2) easy to cook with, and 3) delicious, taking on the flavours of whatever you cook it in, it is also surprisingly nutritious. Tofu is high in protein, relatively low in calories, contains no cholesterol and minimal saturated fat, especially when compared to most animal sources of protein. A 3.0 oz portion (approximately the size of a deck of cards) provides 60 calories, 3.5 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein.

Many people get turned off tofu because it is not an ingredient typically found in every day cooking. But, when you find the right recipe, such as the above Crispy Garlic Tofu Rice Bowl, it really is a delicious, nutritious and inexpensive meal alternative. If you turn up your nose at tofu, I dare you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and give it a try. Your palate may be pleasantly surprised. 


Do you enjoy tofu? What's your favourite tofu recipe? I'd love to hear about it!