Healthy Vegan Poke Bowl with Sesame Tofu
HurryTheFoodUp is reader-powered. If you click through using links on our site we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
We’ve got another poke bowl recipe for you – this time it’s a vegan poke bowl with sesame tofu!
Our last poke bowl was a vegetarian one, loaded with edamame beans and a creamy sesame sauce. We loved it so much we’ve decided to make a plant-based version for all the vegans out there who want to get in on the action!
But first of all, what is a poke bowl? Traditional poke bowls from Hawaii are basically bowls of chopped up, seasoned raw fish. The dish was originally created by fishermen, who would season the off cuts of their catch with seaweed and candlenut and eat it for lunch out at sea.
In the 20th century, lots of people from Asia came to live in Hawaii. Their influence can be seen in the addition of soy sauce and chili to traditional poke bowls.
Our more modern vegan poke bowl is essentially an easy rice bowl recipe. We start with a base of sticky sushi rice, then layer it with crispy smoky tofu and thinly sliced fresh veggies, then drizzle them all in a sweet nutty sesame sauce.
Vegan poke bowl: tofu or not tofu?
Tofu is a controversial one, isn’t it? Some people love it, some people hate it. I think it’s partly about what tofu you buy – some tofu is firm and full of flavour, others are bland and rubbery.
For this recipe, we use firm smoked tofu. By buying tofu that has smokiness infused into it already, you have basically already won the flavour battle.
We keep our tofu simple in this recipe, just salting it and frying it until crispy (find more adventurous veggie tofu recipes here!). We find it is flavourful enough just like that, with the rich crispiness from the oil adding some depth and texture.
But if you want to jazz it up a bit, you could fry it in sesame oil and soy sauce, or toss it in cornflour before you fry, to make it extra crispy!
However you prep it, tofu is a key player in this vegan rice bowl!
Subscribe to get our FREE 7-Day Vegetarian High Protein Meal Plan for Weight Loss
Why we love tofu!
Tofu is worth getting into, especially if you are vegan – tofu has so many health benefits!
For starters, it’s a plant-based source of complete protein! That means it contains all 9 essential amino acids your body needs for growth, repair and strong immunity. Other vegan sources of complete protein include quinoa and chia.
Furthermore, it contains many important antioxidants and natural compounds related to good heart health.
Lose weight – not flavour!
We think our vegan tofu bowl would make a great addition to a weight loss meal plan.
This is because the poke bowl ingredients are healthy and full of protein and fibre. One serving of this homemade poke bowl contains 571 calories, 18g protein and 8g fibre.
In our vegetarian weight loss courses, we recommend a daily calorie intake of around 1500 kcal per day. This is enough for you to keep you going while maintaining a deficit which will allow you to lose weight.
We also think it is sustainable for long term weight loss, as you won’t go hungry, therefore are less likely to feel like you’re being deprived or having to constantly resist temptation!
This translates to between 400-600 calories per meal – so a serving of our vegan poke bowl fits perfectly in as a healthy dinner (if that sounds good to you, try our delicious low calorie vegetarian dinner ideas too!)!
What’s more, all that protein and fibre means this meal will fill you up as much as possible, so you know you’re getting plenty of bang for your buck!
All the proof you need that this vegan rice bowl is for you!
Studies show that high fibre diets are beneficial for weight loss and protein literally suppresses production of the hunger hormone ghrelin – so by eating 571 calories of fibrous, protein-packed food, you’ll be full for longer than if you ate the equivalent amount of calories with lower fibre/protein content!
In conclusion: this healthy poke bowl works as part of a weight loss plan or just a standard healthy diet!
If you think of any other fun poke bowl ideas, drop us a comment below, we’d love to hear them! But for now, enjoy chowing down on a delicious vegan poke bowl!
Rice and Tofu
- ½ small cucumber
- ½ avocado
- 1 small carrot (thinly sliced, ¼ cup)
- 2 radishes
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
Rice and Tofu
- Cut tofu into rectangles that are ¼ inch thick. Season with oil, salt and paprika (or favourite sice) per taste and leave it to marinade for a few minutes.9 oz smoked tofu
- Cook sushi rice according to package instructions.⅔ cup sushi rice
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the marinaded tofu. Cook the tofu until the pieces are golden brown from both sides.1 tsp sesame oil
- In a small pot add sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, water, nutritional yeast, cornstarch and salt to taste. Mix. Bring to the stove over medium high heat. Cook until the sauce has boiled, reduced a little, and has nice thickness. Rest until needed.1 tsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, ½ cup water, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 tbsp cornstarch, Salt to taste
- Slice thinly the cucumber, radish, carrot and avocado. Reserve until needed.½ small cucumber, ½ avocado, 1 small carrot, 2 radishes
- Serve bowl with sushi rice, veggies, tofu nuggets and sesame sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.1 tsp sesame seeds