I’ve been experimenting with these for over a month to get it juuuust right! Also, I wanted to convince my boyfriend to eat tofu (he’s a believer that if you don’t have meat in a dish he won’t enjoy it) and I successfully not only got him to like this dish but he loves it!
The trick to getting crispy tofu is pressing the excess water out first, coating it with cornstarch, and either cooking them in a pan until crispy OR using an air fryer which is my new obsession especially because it’s not only easy but it’s a healthier way to cook as you don’t have to add any oil or butter like you would in a pan.
Crispy Tofu Bowls
- 1 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice or white rice
- 1 14-16 oz package extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch save 1 tablespoon for later
- 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce or other sauce of choice (e.g., a Teriyaki or Soy Vey)
- 1 cup shelled, cooked edamame
- 2 medium ripe avocados cut and cubed
- 1 large ripe mango cut and cubed
- 1 cucumber sliced thin and cut into quarters
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup mayo I used Kewpie mayo (can be found at most Asian grocers)
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha or more to taste or if you prefer spicier!
Optional toppings (but recommended!)
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Crispy shallots, crispy onions or wonton strips You can find these premade in most Asian grocery stores or order online
Using a rice cooker, spray the bottom of the pot with a cooking spray (I use avocado oil). Then add your 1 1/2 cups of brown rice and 3 cups of water (if you're using white rice use 2 cups of water). If you have time, let the rice sit in the water for 30-60 minutes before cooking which will give you much fluffier rice! Cook until water is fully absorbed.
Remove the tofu from packaging and place the tofu block between a few layers of paper towels or clean kitchen towels (placing some on top and on the bottom). Place something heavy on top like a cast iron pan and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Cube the tofu into about 1/2 inch pieces. Transfer to a zip lock bag or mixing bowl, add soy sauce and gently mix until all pieces are coated. Add the agave and repeat. Lastly, add the cornstarch and mix until coated. Let marinade for 10 minutes.
Add cucumbers, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and toasted sesame seeds into a bowl, mix until evenly coated and set aside.
If using an air fryer, cook the tofu (potentially working in 2 batches depending on the size of your fryer) for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, shaking the basket to flip the pieces halfway through.
If using a pan, heat a large non stick pan on medium high heat. Spray your pan with a cooking spray (like avocado oil). Once the pan is hot, add the tofu and cook on each side until it starts to brown and is crispy. TIP: Be patient and avoid touching the pieces until they start to brown before flipping them and repeating on all sides. At the very end, add in your sweet chili sauce (or any other sauce of your choice) just until coated and remove from heat.
Assemble the bowls
Make spicy mayo by mixing 1/4 cup mayo with 1 tablespoon (or more to taste) of Sriracha.
Add rice to your bowl, then top with tofu, edamame, avocado, mango, and cucumbers. Drizzle spicy mayo over top.
Optional: add more toasted sesame seeds on top and crispy shallots/onions or wonton strips for some crunch and enjoy!