This vegan Poke Bowl recipe is quickly going to become one of your favorite meals. Made with crispy tofu marinated in a delicious ginger soy sauce, crunchy rainbow veggies, and sweet mango, it’s light and healthy while still filling and satisfying. The best part? It’s easy to make too!
Another of my favorite recipes! This vegan poke bowl, together with my stir-fry noodles, is my go-to Asian-inspired lunch these days. I cook it at least once a week!
This bowl of deliciousness is made with wholesome ingredients, and it’s straightforward to make ahead. It’s a well-balanced meal with carbs, protein, and nutritious vegetables. You just need a bit of time to chop veggies, stir-fry the tofu, and cook the rice. It’s so pretty and colorful, and it’s pretty much like summer on a plate!
What is a Poke Bowl?
Poke Bowls are a quick-to-make, modern-day version of a Hawaiian dish. Traditional poke bowls are made with raw fish and combined with rice or salad, and they’re typically served at room temperature. Poke in Hawaiian means “to cut crosswise into pieces,” as the fish is usually served on top of the bowl cut into tiny cubes.
A Poke Bowl looks a bit like a deconstructed sushi roll. It’s a great way to enjoy all the sushi flavors without the hassle of rolling it up in rice and seaweed!
The original Hawaiian version was made with raw fish from their reef, but you can find vegan poke bowls with just about anything these days.
The most popular fillings for a classic poke bowl are raw salmon and raw tuna, but I used crispy tofu instead of raw fish in this vegan version we’ll be making today. And if you are not a big fan of tofu, you can substitute it with these delicious roasted chickpeas.
Let’s Make a DIY Vegan Poke Bowl
Ingredients and toppings
Each poke bowl is constructed with five main components. And it’s incredibly versatile, which means you can pretty much use everything you have in the fridge to make it.
1. Rice (or any other grains)
Rice is the base layer of any poke bowl. It provides you with the necessary carbs to give you energy throughout the day. You can use pretty much any variety you like. I used traditional sushi rice for this version, but I also love short grain brown rice, basmati rice, wild rice, or black rice. You can also substitute rice for rice noodles or quinoa or opt for a low-carb option using cauliflower rice or spiralized veggies.
Next, make sure you add protein. I opted for my favorite crispy tofu for this vegan poke bowl, marinated in a slightly spicy sauce made with ginger, soy sauce, and a hint of chili flakes. It’s delicious! I also added a few edamame beans for an extra boost. But you can also opt for other types of beans like fave beans. And if you like chickpeas, these crunchy chickpeas are delicious and a perfect substitute for tofu. Simply follow the recipe, but cook them for just 30 minutes. Tempeh is another alternative you can use.
3. Vegetables and fruit
Here you can just use your imagination—avocado, cucumber, radish, red cabbage, green onions, to name just a few. But you can also use spiralized carrots, zucchini, beetroots, spinach, romaine lettuce, sweet potatoes, or kale. Pretty much any of your favorite veggies you have handy. And if you like to add a bit of sweetness, fruit is a great colorful addition to any poke bowl. Here I used mango, but you can also use cubed watermelon, pineapple, or pomegranate seeds. You can also use seaweeds to give your vegan poke bowl a fishy taste without the fish.
I like to keep my poke bowl simple and use a rich soy sauce. But feel free to get creative and use tamari, sriracha, or even a vegan fish sauce for some added umami taste.
5. Toppings and garnish
And to finish it off, I like to add a few toppings. My favorites are black sesame seeds, green onions, and fresh chili slices for a spicy punch. But you can also use some lime or lemon wedges to give your poke a bit of freshness.
How to make vegan Poke Bowl
1. Prepare the pickled cucumbers
You can use raw sliced cucumber. But if you have an extra 5 minutes, making these pickled cucumbers will bring your poke bowl to a different dimension. The first thing we want to do is to thinly slice the cucumber. Then place the slices in a small bowl or a jar and cover with a mix of rice vinegar, water, raw brown sugar, and sea salt. Let it rest for around 20 minutes while you prepare everything else.
2. Cook the rice
If you are using sushi rice, wash it in a bowl with cold water, drain it, and rinse it again in fresh cold water until it runs clear. In a saucepan, combine the rice with water. Put on the stove and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and put the lid on. Cook for around 15 minutes. Make the sushi vinegar by mixing rice vinegar, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt (you can omit this step, especially if you are not using sushi rice). Then remove the saucepan from the stove, add the sushi vinegar and let the rice rest (with the lid on) for 10 minutes.
3. Slice the veggies
Slice the radishes, red cabbage, rinse the edamame beans (if frozen) under warm water. Dice the mango into small pieces, and slice the avocado.
4. Cook the tofu
While the rice is cooking, prepare the tofu. Here I used extra-firm tofu. Drain the tofu, place it on a clean towel and press it to soak up some moisture. Dice into small ½ inch cubes. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, grated ginger, garlic, and chili flakes. Toss in the tofu and let it rest for a few minutes.
Pour a little sesame oil (or any other vegetable oil) into a frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the marinated tofu cubes, cook on each side until crispy and slightly brown around the edges.
This is the fun part! When the rice has cooled down a little, divide it between the two bowls and create a basic layer, then add the red cabbage, radish, pickled cucumber slices, edamame beans, mango, creamy avocado slices, and top it with sesame seeds, green onion slices, and fresh chili. Drizzle with soy sauce (or any other sauce you like) and enjoy!
How to meal prep and store
Although it can take some time to prep all the elements that go into these tasty bowls, I love that you can prepare pretty much everything ahead of time and store it in the fridge and quickly assemble it in less than 10 minutes for a healthy lunch or dinner.
The pickled cucumber will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, while the other veggies and tofu will keep in airtight containers for 3-4 days.
You can either cook the tofu in advance and keep it refrigerated, or, as I do, marinate it 2-3 days in advance, and then cook it when I want to eat my poke bowl. This way, it will be warm and crisp!
When you are ready to eat, assemble your poke bowl and enjoy!
TIP: You will enjoy the flavors a lot more if your poke bowl isn’t cold but at room temperature, so try to remove it from the fridge an hour before eating it.
Why I love this vegan Poke Bowl
- It’s delicious
- Made with wholesome ingredients
- It’s perfect for meal prep
- Naturally gluten-free
- Easy to make
- Rich in protein
- Loaded with crunchy vegetables
- The ideal meal for a hot summer day!
I hope this recipe will be your new favorite lunch!
More quick lunch or dinner ideas
- Vegan Stir-Fry Noodles With Crispy Tofu
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Panzanella Salad
- Vegetarian Paella
- Mediterranean Lunch Box
- Creamy Tomato Pasta With Herbs
- No-Cook Tomato Pasta
And for more summer meal ideas, check out my collection of summer dinner recipes!
If you try this vegan tofu poke bowl recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!
Vegan Poke Bowl + Crispy Tofu
Crispy Tofu Poke
- 6-8 radishes sliced
- ½ cup edamame
- ½ cup red cabbage shredded
- ½ mango - diced
- ½ avocado sliced
- Wash and thinly slice the cucumber. Mix the rice vinegar, water, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a small bowl or a jar. Then add the cucumber slices and let everything rest while you prepare everything else.
- Rinse the rice under fresh cold water until the water runs clear. In a saucepan, combine the rice with water and salt. Put on the stove and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and put the lid on. Cook for around 15 minutes (but please check your rice package instructions). In a small bowl, mix salt, brown sugar, and rice vinegar*. Then remove the saucepan from the stove, add the rice vinegar mixture and combine with a wooden spoon. Cover with the lid and let the rice rest for 10 minutes.
- *Note: You can omit this step, especially if you are using a different type of rice.
- Drain the tofu, place it on a clean towel and press it to soak up some moisture. Dice into small 1/2-inch cubes. Combine the soy sauce, grated ginger, minced garlic, and chili flakes in a small bowl. Toss in the tofu and let it rest for a few minutes.
- Pour the sesame oil into a frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the tofu cubes, cook for about 5-8 minutes until crispy on all sides.
- Slice the radishes, shred the red cabbage, slice the avocado and dice the mango. Wash the edamame beans under warm water to defrost.
- When the rice has cooled down a little, divide it between the two bowls, add the red cabbage, radish slices, pickled cucumber slices, edamame beans, mango, creamy avocado slices, and top it with sesame seeds, green onion, and fresh chili. Drizzle with soy sauce (or any other sauce you like) and enjoy.
Did you make this recipe? Tag @gatheringdreams on Instagram. I want to see it!