Tofu has never tasted better! This Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowl is piled high with fluffy white rice, sautéed bok choy, crispy tofu, and a to-die-for spicy peanut sauce!

tofu rice bowl with bok choy, sliced scalions, and crushed peanuts in a bowl with chopsticks

This is one of those recipes that I’m like THANK GOODNESS I RETESTED IT.

I mean don’t get me wrong. It was good and many people commented that they loved it. But NOW it is GREAT, my friends. 

The tofu is now crispier than ever. And the sauce is thicker and creamier and more flavorful.

I can’t wait for you to try it!

If you’re on the fence about vegetarian meals or tofu in general, this recipe is going to send you over.

Get ready to want this sauce on all the things. all the days.

If you like Thai flavored sauces or you’re just a peanut butter lover, this recipe is for you! 

Ingredients You’ll Need

ingredients for tofu rice bowl spread out on a countertop

Notes on Ingredients

Tofu: Make sure it’s extra-firm. This will help it get crispy AF.

Cornstarch: This also is going to help the tofu get crispy AF. You can also use arrowroot powder if you prefer as a substitute.

Peanut Butter: I always use creamy, unsalted

Baby Bok Choy: The OG recipe called for regular bok choy but I find baby bok choy much easier to sauté.

Chili sauce: I used a “Sambal style” chili sauce. But any chili garlic sauce or Sambal Oelek will do the trick!

Rice: Use white or brown or whatever variety strikes your fancy! I personally love white jasmine rice with this one. I buy it frozen from Trader Joe’s and it’s ready in 3 minutes in the microwave.

How to Make Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowl

First you’re going to make your tofu. Toss pressed and cubed tofu with soy sauce and sesame oil for a little flavor and cornstarch to help it get crispy. Spread it out evenly onto a baking sheet and bake until edges are golden brown. Be sure to flip tofu halfway through so it gets crispy on all sides.

While the tofu is baking, you can make your BOMB peanut sauce that you’re going to want to pour on all the things. Just whisk together all the ingredients until smooth.

Then sauté your baby bok choy. In a nonstick pan or wok, cook bok choy with sesame oil over medium-high heat, cover with lid, and cook for 2 minutes. Add water and then cover until wilted, about another 2 minutes. Add half of the peanut sauce and stir together. Remove from pan.three images showing bok choy cooked in a frying pan and tofu before and after baking

Then to get your tofu all crispy AND saucy, add tofu to the hot pan and pour remaining half of sauce onto the tofu and cook for another minute or two. I personally like to save a little bit of sauce for serving but if you want it all on the tofu, by all means, use it all!

Now it’s time to build your bowls! Start with your rice of choice, add tofu, bok choy, and if you have it, drizzle sauce over top. Garnish with scallions and crushed peanuts if you’re feelin fancy. OH YOU FANCY, HUH?

Peanut Tofu Bowl FAQs

Do I have to press the tofu? How do I do it?

If you want the best tofu texture (i.e. soft and chewy, not soggy), then yes you should take the extra 30 minutes to press your tofu! Place your block of tofu in between a few layers of paper towels or clean dish towels and then set something heavy on top of the tofu to weigh it down like a cast iron pan, a cookbook, or a large can. If you make enough tofu at home, you may want to purchase a tofu press (this is the one I have). Press your tofu for at least 30 minutes.

What is bok choy? 

Bok choy is also known as Chinese cabbage. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A and C and a good source of folate and it works really well in stir-fries.

What is Sambal Oelek? What if I don’t have it?

Sambal oelek is an Indonesian chili paste/hot sauce. It’s basically crushed red chiles, vinegar and salt. It’s a perfect condiment or ingredient when you want to add some spice to your dish but want a more robust flavor than sriracha. If you don’t have a chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek on hand, then use sriracha instead! The OG recipe used sriracha and everyone loved it!

I don’t have bok choy. Can I substitute a different vegetable?

Of course! Bok choy is my favorite here but you could saute some spinach, baby spinach, kale, or swiss chard!

What is the difference between baby bok choy and regular bok choy?

Regular (or mature) bok choy has white stems and dark green leaves while baby bok choy is smaller and light green in color. Baby bok choy tends to have sweeter, more tender leaves, whereas mature bok choy tends to have a more mustard-like flavor. I like cooking with baby bok choy because the stems are easier to cook with the greens, whereas I usually separate them in cooking if I’m working with regular bok choy.

tofu rice bowl with bok choy, sliced scallions, and crushed peanuts in a bowl with chopsticks

Check out more of my vegetarian tofu recipes below!

two tofu rice bowls with bok choy, scallions, and crushed peanuts in a bowl with chopsticks

If you like this recipe, please be sure to give it a 5 star rating below. If you make it, share it on Instagram and tag me @karalydonrd and I’ll re-share it with my followers! If you want to save this recipe for later, be sure to pin it on Pinterest!

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tofu rice bowl with bok choy, sliced scalions, and crushed peanuts in a bowl with chopsticks

Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowl with Bok Choy


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Description

Tofu has never tasted better! This Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowl is piled high with fluffy white rice, sautéed bok choy, crispy tofu, and a to-die-for spicy peanut sauce!


Scale

Ingredients

For the peanut tofu bowls:

  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu, pressed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 3 bunches baby bok choy, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Rice, for serving (about 4 cups cooked)
  • Optional garnishes: sliced scallions, crushed peanuts

For the spicy peanut sauce:

  • 1/3 cup creamy, unsalted peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili sauce or Sambal Oelek
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Instructions

For the peanut tofu bowls:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss tofu with soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and cornstarch until evenly coated.
  3. Spread tofu out onto baking sheet so there is space in-between cubes. Bake at 400 degrees F until edges are golden-brown, about 25-30 minutes, flipping over halfway through.
  4. Heat remaining tablespoon sesame oil in a large nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add bok choy, cover, and sauté until slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove cover and add 1 tablespoon water, cover, and sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove cover, add half of peanut sauce, and stir to coat. Remove bok choy from pan.
  5. Add tofu to hot pan and pour half of remaining sauce to tofu (or all of the sauce if you don’t want any left over to drizzle over bowls). Toss tofu with sauce and let cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Divide rice, tofu, and bok choy evenly between bowls.
  7. Optional: drizzle with remaining peanut sauce and garnish with scallions and crushed peanuts.

For the spicy peanut sauce:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, chili sauce, and sesame oil until smooth.

Notes

  1. To press tofu, place your block of tofu in between a few layers of paper towels or clean dish towels and then set something heavy on top of the tofu to weigh it down like a cast iron pan, a cookbook, or a large can. If you make enough tofu at home, you may want to purchase a tofu press (this is the one I have). Press your tofu for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Sambal oelek is an Indonesian chili paste/hot sauce. It’s basically crushed red chiles, vinegar and salt. If you don’t have a chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek on hand, then use sriracha instead!
  3. I like cooking with baby bok choy over regular (mature) bok choy because the stems are easier to cook with the greens, whereas I usually separate the leaves and stems in cooking if I’m working with regular bok choy.
  • Category: Bowl
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: peanut tofu bowl, spicy peanut tofu, tofu rice bowl with bok choy, peanut tofu with bok choy

This recipe was retested, reshot, and revamped to give you the most delicious (and beautiful!) recipe. The original recipe was published September 2015.

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53 Comments

  1. Jessi Summers

    This came together pretty easily and was quite tasty. My only complaint was probably from my own error – I rinsed off the bok choy and shook it out a little, but I think the residual water still thinned out the sauce a bit. Maybe I’ll add some cornstarch to the sauce after coating the tofu the second time.

    • Hi Jessi! Glad you liked it! I’ve been retesting this recipe and updating it recipe this week so stay tuned. Thanks for the feedback!

  2. Denice

    There are not enough stars to express how delicious my husband and I think this dish is!! I make twice the sauce and add a ton more veggies and we eat it for days. Thanks so much for the recipe!!

  3. Denice

    Absolutely delicious!!!! My husband and I could eat it every night! I made double the sauce and put in lots of different veggies. Thanks so much!!

  4. Frizzle

    Loved this recipe! I accidentally left out the brown sugar and I used rice noodles instead of rice but it turned out fabulous I used way less soy sauce and no additional salt and no oil too. there is plenty of salt in the srircha

  5. Frizzle

    Loved this recipe! I accidentally left out the brown sugar and I used rice noodles instead of rice but it turned out fabulous 🙂

  6. Sarah

    This recipe is a winner! Definitely added to our quick dinner rotation. I did press some of the moisture out of the tofu and marinated it in the sauce for an hour or so.

  7. Skye

    My wife said, after I made this, that we can get rid of all the bok choy recipies I downloaded from other sites.

    It was 85 degrees, so I didn’t bake. I used bok choy about 5″ in length and 3″ stalk diameter.

    I started the brown rice immediately before anything else. I next cut into 1″ squares and browned the tofu in our treasured 12″ cast iron skillet over med low head for 35 – 40 minutes to coincide with the cooking of the rice. (This is the best way to season a cast iron skillet.) Browned on one side I turned the tofu squares and browned on the opposite side. Then I made the peanut sauce, cutting back the Sriacha sauce to 3/4 tsp, and sliced the bok choy in half on the bias, leaving leaves intact. When browned on two sides, I circled the tofu around the perimeter of the skillet and added about a tsp. of oil and placed the bok choy cut side down in the center, arranging the leaves over the tofu to keep it elevated so it wouldn’t char. I placed a bacon press on the stems (a small diameter sauce pan will do the same thing.) and increased the heat a notch or two. The bok choy stems charred and with the bacon press self steamed to tenderness. Once charred to dark brown, slight black, I removed the bok choy to a cutting board to cool and then sliced across the bias into 1 – 1 1/2″ lengths. I decreased the heat to low on the skillet and poured in the peanut sauce. Working quickly I slightly reduced the liquid and returned the bok choy to the skillet for a quick warm up. Brown rice was placed into the bowls the tofu bok choy mixture placed on top and we ate the entire dish that was meant for four people.

    A final thought. I have been browning tofu for many years. For your readers to completely appreciate this delicate process, the most important elements are a good quality well seasoned cast iron skillet and patience. The tofu will release on its own when the browning is complete. If you push the timing you’ll end up with a crumbled mess.

    Thanks for the recipe, maybe you can use my variation on it sometime.

  8. Iris

    Not sure what I did wrong but I ended up with a ton of leftover peanut sauce after brushing the tofu. Ended up using all of it to sauté the veggies (although it became more of a soup…). Even with a bunch of rice it was way too salty and I had trouble finishing it. Would have been very delicious if I didn’t have so much sauce; any ideas on what went wrong? I followed the recipe step-by-step.

  9. Scott Oblander

    This looks good. Will need to reduce the sodium, wow

  10. Richie

    Was looking for a recipe for Bok Choy and I came across your Blog. This tofu was amazing!!!

  11. Angelique

    Super excited to find your page! I am a vegan and always looking for friendly recipies. This looks amazing! I will be cooking this tonight 😀

  12. Nikki

    This was absolutely delicious! I used cashews instead of peanuts because that’s all I had. Along with 4 bunches of baby bok choy. The peanut sauce was to die for! I loved every bit of this. Next time I might add some sliced red pepper and some cubes of blanched sweet potato. But this is awesome just as it is.

  13. Noel

    What can I use to replace tofu?

  14. Sara Haas

    That tofu! Sigh. Looks gorgeous! Lovely recipe as always Kara!

  15. Yum! This looks great! So colorful and has everything you need for a complete meal. 🙂

  16. Claire

    I just made this tonight and it was delicious. I did, however, find that just one bunch of bok choy would have been far too little – I cooked three bunches and it cooked down to just a few bites for each of us! Next time I would prepare even more.

  17. Tordre

    This was great. I get a lot of bok choy in my CSA and have no idea what to do with it once I’m sick of stirfrying it. I didn’t have scallions so omitted them, and used quinoa. A little spicy just how I like it!

  18. Audrius

    Hi, apologies if my question seems a bit odd, but I come from a country where peanut butter isn’t relished. Does one use any peanut butter that can be obtained in a shop? I would like to give this recipe a go.

  19. Renae Lesiak

    Wonderful. Great flavors. I wouldn’t change a thing. I loved it.

  20. Jen

    This was delicious!! Really easy. Also a beautiful dish! I’ll be making this repeatedly, and changing up the veggies from time to time, I’m sure. Thank you!

  21. Love a good Asian rice bowl! This looks delicious and so flavoursome. Perfect with tofu or tempeh too.

  22. Rachel @ Delicious Balance

    Yes please! This looks and sounds amazing! I am with you on the peanut sauce…it makes everything better 🙂 Definitely pinning this to make later!

  23. Alex

    Peanut sauce gets me every time too! I just made a super healthy sweet potato bowl earlier this week and then covered it with peanut sauce 🙂 love using bio Choy like this- yum!

  24. Yum! I love peanut sauce! And I agree, I can’t believe it’s September already!

  25. Ohmygosh peanut sauce! I swoon. Once I get my hands on some tofu, these will be making the lunch rotation. Fingers crossed I don’t down all the peanut sauce in one sitting. 🙂

  26. This looks yummy! I like tofu but have never prepared it myself. I want to give this a recipe a try for sure.

  27. I’m always looking for new things to do with tofu! This is my favorite recipe I’ve read all month- love it!

  28. I love rice bowls and this one looks delicious. I am a sucker for peanut sauce as well.