This vegan tofu poke bowl features tofu poke marinated in a sesame ginger soy sauce and paired with rice, edamame and fresh veggies.

Overhead view of a vegan tofu poke bowl with carrot, avocado, carrot, cabbage, edamame, sesame seeds and cucumber.

What is poke?

Poke is diced and marinated raw seafood, often tuna, served as an appetizer or main dish and is a traditional dish of Native Hawaiian cuisine.

Traditional poke seasonings vary but have been influenced by Japanese and other Asian cuisines and may include soy sauce, green onion, sesame oil, sesame seeds, wasabi and sea salt.

Poke bowls became popular throughout North American in recent years and are often served in casual restaurants where you can customize everything from the base of the bowl, to the veggies and marinade on the fish.

Tofu poke is fun and vegetarian twist on tuna poke and is simple, fresh, fun and easy to make!

To make tofu poke, the tofu is marinated in a delicious ginger-soy sauce then paired with rice, carrot, edamame, cabbage, avocado and zesty seasoned cucumber to make a poke bowl.

They’re healthy, delicious and totally customizable with different veggies and grains.

Recipe Features

  • Dietary Features: Vegan, nut-free, can be made gluten-free.
  • Amazing light and fresh flavour.
  • Packed with nutrition, high in protein and fiber!
  • Works well for meal prep or serves 4 for a healthy and delicious meal.
  • Perfect light and healthy meal for spring and summer.

What You’ll Need

All of the ingredients gathered in bowls for making a vegan tofu poke bowl recipe.

Complete list of ingredients with amounts and instructions is located in the recipe card below.

  • Tofu: Use firm or extra-firm tofu. You’ll need to plan ahead for 20 minutes of pressing time. This will help the tofu soak up of the marinade so it’s more flavourful.
  • Tamari or Soy Sauce: Either works great. Use tamari if you need the recipe to be gluten-free.
  • Lime: You’ll need 3 tbsp of lime juice, which may be 1-3 limes depending on how juice they are.
  • Sesame Oil: Adds sesame flavour to the marinade.
  • Sambal Oelek: Sambal oelek is a chili garlic paste and should be easy to find in a major grocery store. If you can’t find it, anything labelled “chili paste” or “garlic chili paste” works. You could use sweet chili sauce but the flavour will be a bit sweeter.
  • Ginger & Ginger: Fresh is really nice in the marinade but you can substitute 1 tsp ground garlic and ginger if needed.
  • Sesame Seeds: Toasted sesame seeds are nice here but they don’t have to be toasted. Black sesame seeds work too.
  • Rice: Short-grain brown rice, basmati or jasmine work best but any variety of rice or other grain, such as quinoa, works.
  • Cucumber: Seasoned with salt and vinegar for a bit of tanginess!
  • Green Onion, Cabbage, Carrot: The veggies are easy to customize with whatever you have available or prefer. Mix and match the amounts or try something else like radish, bell pepper or spinach. Mango is also a yummy addition!
  • Edamame & Avocado: Optional but recommended for flavour, nutrition and texture.
  • Nori: I think nori is a must for poke bowls. Look for any toasted nori or seaweed snack and slice it into thin strips with scissors or just crumble is over your bowl.
Colorful tofu poke bowl with carrot, cabbage, cucumber, avocado, nori and edamame.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Start cooking the rice.

If you don’t have cooked rice on hand, start preparing that now. You can use short-grain brown rice or a long-grain white rice like basmati or jasmine.

Step 2: Press the tofu.

I used a tofu press but if you don’t have one, wrap the tofu in a dish cloth, place on a plate and place a heavy object like a skillet on top for about 20 minutes.

You can learn more about how and why to press tofu here.

Step 3: Make the marinated and marinate tofu.

First, mix up the marinade in a bowl or sealable container big enough to fit all of the tofu. I like to use a container so I can easily marinate it by shaking it occasionally.

Let the tofu marinate for 15 minutes. When it’s ready, drain the tofu and reserve the remaining marinade to drizzle on top of the bowls.

Cubed tofu marinated in a ginger soy sauce in a Tupperwear container.

Step 4: Make the seasoned cucumber, prep all the veggies and cook edamame.

Place the sliced cucumber in a colander and add a few pinches of salt. Gently toss with your hands until they begin to release liquid.

Let it sit for 5 mins then toss again, drain and transfer to a small bowl. Add the rice vinegar, and toss to coat.

Sliced cucumber in a small ceramic bowl.

Step 5: Assemble the bowls.

Start with rice then top with all the veggies, edamame, avocado and tofu. Enjoy your fresh and delicious, vegan poke bowl!

Close up overhead view of a vegan poke bowl with veggies, edamame and tofu poke.

Storing

  • Fridge: Leftover bowls can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Meal Prep: Make the tofu and edamame and chop the veggies ahead of time. You can store everything separately or assemble into bowls and store. The rice is best added fresh but can be made in advance as well, if needed.

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Print
Colorful tofu poke bowl with carrot, cabbage, cucumber, avocado, nori and edamame.

Tofu Poke Bowl

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

These healthy and colourful tofu poke bowls are fun to make and packed with fresh flavour! Enjoy for a vegetarian twist on tuna poke.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Tofu Poke

  • 1 block, extra firm tofu, drained (approx. 350 g)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari (120 ml)
  • 3 tbsp lime juice 
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (15 g)
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek (14 g)
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger (about 2” piece of ginger)
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated (heaping 1 tsp) 
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

For the Bowls:

  • 1 1/4 cup short-grain brown rice (or approx. 1/2 cup cooked rice per bowl)
  • 2 cups cucumber, cut into ¼-inch diagonal half-moons (225 g)
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar or lime juice (15 mL)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced (150 g)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated (90g/1 cup packed)
  • 1 cup edamame (178 g)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 large sheets toasted nori, thinly sliced (Tip: using clean kitchen scissors here is the best way to thinly cut nori).

Instructions

  1. Cook Rice:  To a medium pot, add rice and 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 30-35 min, until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Remove from heat.  Let rest, still covered for 5 mins.  Season with salt, then fluff rice with a fork. 
  2. Press Tofu: Cut tofu in half lengthwise, so you have two thinner rectangles, then wrap in clean kitchen towels. Place on a dinner plate or cutting board. Weigh tofu down with a heavy object like a cast iron skillet, or large pot for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Make Marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, sambal, ginger, garlic and sesame seeds. 
  4. Marinate Tofu: Once tofu is pressed, cut into ½-inch cubes.  Add tofu pieces to the bowl with the marinade, then toss to coat. Let marinate for 10-15 mins, tossing occasionally. Drain tofu, reserving the excess marinade. (Tip: You could also make the marinade in a Tupperware, then add tofu, seal and shake the container every now and again).
  5. Make Seasoned Cucumber: Place cucumbers in a colander and add a few pinches of salt. Gently squeeze and toss with your hands until they begin to release liquid. Let sit for 5 mins. Squeeze again, drain and transfer to a small  bowl. Add the rice vinegar, and toss to coat; set aside.
  6. Assemble bowls: Divide rice between four bowls. Arrange tofu, veggies and toasted nori on top.  Drizzle with the reserved marinade. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Notes

Leftover bowls can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 521
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Carbohydrates: 66 g
  • Fiber: 10 g
  • Protein: 23 g

Keywords: vegan poke bowl, tofu poke bowl