Channeling-Contessa-Thai-Quinoa-Tofu-Bowl-2

Before you go telling me you don’t like tofu- hear me out! I myself am not a huge fan of tofu. The texture has always been kind of off putting to me and I’m not dependent on it for protein, so I hardly ever buy it or eat that much of it. But a few weeks back I came across this method of baking tofu that allows you to make it really crispy. The process is super simple, just some extra draining (similar to strained yogurt( and a solid bake time are all that’s needed. I’m a huge fan of it in this Thai quinoa bowl. Yes you could totally do chicken or even scrambled egg, but I love the crunch of the tofu nuggets against the rest of the ingredients. That and it soaks up this addictive sauce really well. The other great thing is that this dish works just as well hot as it does cold- making it the perfect thing to have on hand for healthy lunches throughout the week!

Channeling-Contessa-Thai-Quinoa-Tofu-Bowl-1 Channeling-Contessa-Thai-Quinoa-Tofu-Bowl-3

Thai Tofu Quinoa Bowls adapted from How Sweet It Is

For the quinoa:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 package extra firm tofu ( 15 oz), diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon Srircha
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • 1  teaspoon grated ginger

30 Minutes Before Cooking: Drain and rinse the block of tofu. Wrap it in a clean dish towel (or paper towels), and place it on a rimmed dinner plate. Place another plate on top and weight it down with something heavy, like a can of tomatoes or a heavy skillet, to press out some of the excess liquid. Let sit 15 – 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Toss the tofu, soy sauce, and sesame oil in bowl. Place the tofu in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes tossing every ten minutes to crisp the tofu on all sides.

Toast the quinoa: Place a medium sized saucepan on medium low heat. Add in the dry quinoa and toast for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and nutty in scent.Pour toasted quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly. Return to pot and  add in the broth, lower heat slightly, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork once cooked, and set aside.

Make the sauce: Place the peanut butter in the bowl first and throw in the microwave for 10 seconds to melt slightly. Add in remaining ingredients and whisk well to combine. Set aside.

Toast the almonds: Place the almonds, sesame seeds, and vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Cook or medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the almonds are a deep golden brown.

Toss together the quinoa, vegetables and herbs, tofu, and 3/4 of the nut mixture. Pour over the sauce and toss well to combine. Spoon into bowls, top with remaining nuts, extra lime and Sriracha if desired. Can be stored in fridge up to one week.

  1. I’m not a massive fan of tofu, but you’ve just made it really appealing to me :D

  2. Never been big on tofu myself, but my boyfriend is a fan, so I may have to give this a try… The photos are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Beth

    This looks awesome!
    The last ingredient listed under For the Quinoa: is 1/2 tablespoon
    What is that ingredient?

    • Clara

      Oh good catch- sorry! Vegetable oil- just added it in :)

  4. I love tofu – as long as it’s extra firm and cooked until crisp. I find that it can get nice and crispy when sautéed in a bit of oil over high heat, but this looks much easier! I can’t wait to try this!

  5. halestorrm

    these look amazing, can’t wait to try em! liz sent me the link a bit ago–killer site and stunning photos clara!

    • Clara

      Wow, Chris! Thank you so much! So touched you guys read the site.

  6. I will definitely have to try that. Looks delish!

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  9. All of my favorite ingredients! This looks amazing. Crispy tofu is a must for me also. I’ll have to give this a try!

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  12. Nilla

    Srircha, what is that?

    • Clara

      Hi Nilla! Srircha is an Asian hot sauce. It’s sold in most grocery stores these days- you can learn a bit more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sriracha_sauce. It can be used in tons of stuff though, not just Asian cuisine, so I think it’s worth having in your cupboard :)

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  17. Jackie

    I came across your site and I love it! Thank you so much for posting all these recipes. They look great and I can’t wait to try them!

    • Clara

      Thank you so much, Jackie! I’m thrilled to have you here :)

  18. lynn

    just found this on pinterest and had to try it…best thing i have had to eat in a long time….
    the sauce should be illegal.

  19. Jackie

    Just wanted to say my two friends and I discovered this recipe a few months ago and its one of the best dishes we’ve ever eaten. We’re addicted! And everyone that tries it LOVES it. We often omit most of the sirracha and let people add it in as they need, just because some people dont like the spicyness at all!

    • Clara

      Hi Jackie- that is so wonderful to hear! I’m so glad. Totally feel you no the sriracha- it can be a little intense.

  20. Lauren

    I made this last night for my husband (a meat lover who is mildly resistant to dishes without it), and we both loved it! A great recipe with a ton of flavor. He even said “this tofu is delicious”–words I never thought I’d hear from him! Thanks for a delicious dinner that we’ll definitely be repeating.

    Your site and photography are beautiful–so enjoyable to peruse! Thanks :)

  21. Karen

    Are the carrots and scallions put in raw, or are they sauteed?

  22. Karen

    Also, if I chose to make it with scrambled egg instead of tofu, would I leave out the sesame oil and soya sauce be omitted from the recipe?

    • Clara

      Hi Karen! You could maybe add a little soy sauce or sesame oil to the beaten eggs, but I think it’d be fine without- the sauce for the entire dish is quite flavorful on its own.

      • Karen

        Thanks Clara! And what about the carrots and the scallions? Are they sauteed or put in the dish raw?

        • Clara

          They’re raw. Hope that helps!

          • Karen

            It does! Thanks again!!

  23. Jonathan

    Just tried this recipe last night- DELICIOUS! I generally shallow fry my tofu on the stove, but the baking alternative makes it a snap! I didn’t even turn the tofu and it worked perfectly.

    A definite winner! THANK YOU FOR THIS RECIPE.

    • Clara

      I’m so glad! Enjoy!

  24. Chrissie

    When you toast the tofu is it still damp from having been rinsed or do you dry it out? Thanks!

    • Clara

      Hi Chrissie- after rinsing the tofu, you wrap it in paper towels and weigh it down so all the water is soaked out. Follow this specific portion of the recipe:
      30 Minutes Before Cooking: Drain and rinse the block of tofu. Wrap it in a clean dish towel (or paper towels), and place it on a rimmed dinner plate. Place another plate on top and weight it down with something heavy, like a can of tomatoes or a heavy skillet, to press out some of the excess liquid. Let sit 15 – 30 minutes.

      Hope that helps!

      • Chrissie

        Oops…I meant to say rinse the quinoa. I know you have to rinse it to remove the bitter taste, but when you toast it is it still slightly damp from having been rinsed? I don’t know if that matters…thanks so much! Looks like a yummy recipe.

        • Clara

          Hi Chrissie- ah good catch, sorry I realize the instructions are a bit confusing. You should rinse the quinoa after its been toasted- I amended the recipe to reflect that. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  25. Hailey

    I’m trying this tomorrow night- I have red quinoa. Should I pick up regular instead? I don’t know how that would affect the taste.

    • Clara

      Hi Hailey- I haven’t used red quinoa in a while and I think technically it has a slightly different taste, but it really should be fine. I’m all for using what you have- so I say go with the red!

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  27. Tofu Lover

    Just finished making this recipe. It is SUPERB. Not a fan of Thai or peanut butter, but the sauce has an unbelievable taste- tangy, spicy, and sweet all in one.

    This will be in the dinner rotation.
    Thanks!

  28. Justine

    This is my favorite dish I’ve ever made! The tofu is delicious, it’s more crispy and you don’t get a mushy tofu texture. So good, even my boyfriend likes this and he turns his nose at everything I make since I started being a vegetarian!! Thanks you:)

  29. Karen

    I’m making this dish tonight. Just to clarify, are the soy sauce and sesame oil meant to flavour the tofu or are they added to the quinoa?

  30. Erin

    YUM!!!! This is SO good! I doubled the amount of quinoa and there was still plenty of the dressing (so it wasn’t dry). I will definitely be making this again (and again!) Thanks for sharing :)

  31. I made this tonight for dinner – it was delicious! Because I wanted it to be a bit more salady, I increased the volume of carrots, cilantro and green onions but that sauce is AMAZING!

    Thanks for posting!

  32. Brandy Richards

    I made this tonight and it is Incredible!!! I made half the batch for the kids without sriracha and half with for us. I didn’t have coconut milk or sweet chili on hand but the sauce was still so good. The lime really makes it! Thank you!

  33. Charlotte

    how many people does this serve?

  34. Catarina

    Im in the middle of making this & I am SO excited to eat the entire thing together. It smells amazing so far, & these flavors are terrific together. I have been absolutely obsessed with quinoa, & this looks like something I’ll be making often. Thank You so much~ :)

  35. Pascale

    Amazing!!! My husband just attempted the recipe and nailed it! He used red quinoa instead… we feel healthy just looking at it.. hum.

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