Crispy Tofu Bowl

A delicious, healthy Asian-inspired crispy tofu bowl! Includes rice, but feel free to add any fresh vegetables you would like! Zucchini, carrots, or mushrooms all provide flavor and texture!

Although there’s a bit of Inactive time in this recipe, all the active steps are quite easy!

It’s best to marinate an hour or more, and up to overnight. For best absorption of the marinade, you could freeze your tofu package when you get home from the grocery. Then thaw before using. Once thawed, the texture will be different, and will allow more marinade to be absorbed into the tofu. I realize this takes an extra step, but it is worth it, especially if you’re planning ahead.

  • Author: Laura
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 25 min + 60 min inactive time
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Vegan
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: International


Units Scale
  • 14oz (396g) Package Firm or Extra-Firm Tofu, (ideally thawed from frozen)
  • 6 Tablespoons (90ml) Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 5 Tablespoons (75ml) Mirin
  • 3 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar (37g) – See Note 1
  • 1 1/2 tsp (8 ml) Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) Minced Ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar (I use “seasoned”)

For Frying:

  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) Canola Oil, plus more, as needed

For Rice:

  • 1 c Medium Grain or Jasmine Rice, prepared per package directions

(optional) Garnishes:

  • Furikake
  • Chopped Scallions


Compress and Cube Tofu:

  1. Before cutting tofu into cubes, compress it between layers of paper towels, then covered with a flat plate or board topped with a heavy pan or bowl, for at least 30 minutes. You may need to change the toweling if it becomes soaked. Be careful your weight is not too heavy, so tofu doesn’t crumble. While tofu is being compressed, prepare the marinade (below) and cook rice, as directed on package.
  2. Once tofu is compressed and seems dry, cut into 1/2″-3/4″ cubes. 

Prepare Marinade and Marinate Tofu:

  1. In a flat-bottomed pan (8×8 at least), mix together the soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic and ginger.
  2. Place the tofu cubes in the marinade. Marinate 30 minutes, and up to overnight, turning once. Longer marinading yields more flavor to the tofu. 

Fry the Tofu:

  1. Remove the tofu cubes from the marinade, and RESERVE THE MARINADE.
  2. Over Medium heat, drizzle in the Canola Oil. Once the oil shimmers, add the tofu cubes. Be sure to watch the heat, you may need to turn it down to Medium-low. I kept mine halfway between Medium-low and Medium. Brown all sides until they are golden and crispy. This takes just a few minutes, and lots of flipping, so keep an eye on it. The sugar in the marinade may result in some caramelization.
  3. Remove the crispy cubes to a paper towel, but keep the heat on for the sauce.

Make the Sauce:

  1. Pour the reserved marinade into the pan. You can remove any bits of tofu left in the pan prior to adding the marinade, if you like. I kept them because I wanted the flavors.
  2. While scraping up any bits, heat the reserved marinade a bit, then add the rice vinegar. Stir into the sauce.
  3. Serve crispy tofu cubes with rice, and pour sauce over, as desired. Garnish with chopped scallions and/or furikake.


1. If you are Vegan, you can substitute Maple Syrup or corn syrup for the brown sugar.

Keywords: crispy, tofu, bowl, rice, rice bowl, tofu bowl, vegan, vegetarian, easy

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes