Sesame Tofu Bowls

sesame tofu bowl with sauce, napkin and chopsticks

Sesame tofu bowls are the weeknight meal you’ve been waiting for. Healthy, satisfying, packed with flavor, and on the table in a quick 30!



1/4 C soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
1 T sambal or sriracha
1 T granulated sugar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 C water
2 tsp cornstarch
1 T canola oil
1 14 ounce block firm tofu, cut into 8 rectangular pieces
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 carrots, shredded
3 cups shredded cabbage
2 C cooked rice
Sliced scallions and sesame seeds for garnish


Prepare the tofu by laying the slices out on two layers of paper towels. Top tofu with an additional layer of paper towels and use gentle pressure to wick away any surface moisture. Remove top layer of paper towels and let the tofu sit for about ten minutes to air dry.

To make the sauce whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sambal, sugar, sesame oil, and water until sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer 1/2 cup of sauce to a small bowl and set aside for serving. Whisk the cornstarch into the remaining sauce mixture and set aside,

Heat oil in a large, non-stick skillet set over medium heat. When oil is shimmering but not smoking, gently lay the tofu in one even layer. Season with salt and pepper and cook undisturbed for 4-5 minutes or until light, golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown.

Add the reserved sauce-cornstarch mixture to the tofu. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. The sauce should thicken very quickly. If it gets too tight, add a splash of water to thin it out.

To assemble fill bowls with rice, cabbage and carrots. Top with tofu and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve extra sauce on the side.


Purchase firm or extra firm tofu for this – anything softer will fall apart while cooking.

There is no need to dry your tofu out for 30 or more minutes, 10 should be fine.

Feel free to substitute honey or a sweetener of your choice for sugar

To cook rice easily, boil it like pasta for ten to twelve minutes, or until just tender. Drain it and then transfer it back to the pot. Cover and let steam for ten more minutes. 

Keywords: vegetarian weeknight meal, sesame tofu bowls, tofu recipes