I love a good rice bowl and I’m finding that more often than not, I’m most happy when it’s topped with vegetables and a handful of crispy tofu. This recipe is a solid addition to your weeknight meals.
Bok choy is one of my favorite plants to watch grow. I love how concise the plant is while producing beautiful green leaves. However, I don’t use it as often as I should, primarily because I keep greens on hand that I can use both raw and cooked. If you want to use something you might already have on hand, try wilting chard or kale in place of the bok choy. I find this is just as delicious and another good way to eat your leafy greens.
One note: I cook the bok choy in this recipe so that the greens are soft but the stems still have quite a bit of texture. If you want similar texture for the leaves and stems, separate them and slice them into similar-sized pieces. Cook the stems until just tender then add the leave and cook until just wilted.
I went with rice but the beauty of this crispy tofu bowl is that any grain will really do. I’ve been known to eat this combination on sorghum, quinoa, or millet. You could also drop the rice and eat the bok choy and tofu over noodles.
Crispy Tofu, for the win
Given that I still don’t eat a lot of tofu, I rely on friends for recipes that I know work. I used this crispy tofu recipe from The First Mess. I don’t change it one bit which is why you’ll need to head to her site for the recipe.
Finally, this recipe isn’t overly sauced. I look at the sauce as more of a glaze for the bok choy. If you’re wanting to make this recipe with a solid amount of sauce, I recommend doubling the liquids you put into the pan after you cook the bok choy. You could also branch and make a separate sauce, like this homemade teriyaki sauce.
A perfect excuse to pick up those beautiful looking bok choy and make them the star of your dinner. Keep this vegan by omitting or replacing the honey.
Rice + Tofu
1 cup short grain brown rice
1 recipe for crispy tofu
2 small heads of bok choy
1 tablespoon neutral oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
½ teaspoon sesame seeds
Chili Oil or Crushed Red Pepper
- Combine the rice with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, make the tofu and the bok choy. For the tofu, I followed these instructions (and you should too).
- For the bok choy, heat a pan (that can be covered with a lid) over medium-high heat. Slice the bok choy in quarters, length-wise. Rinse well to remove any dirt caught in the stems, just be careful not to fully separate the stems.
- Add the oil followed by the bok choy. Cook just until a nice sear develops on the stems and the greens are starting to brown. Turn heat to low, add about 3 tablespoons of water, cover, and let steam for a couple of minutes. The greens will begin to wilt and the stems will soften slightly. Once there, remove the lid and add the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds. Spoon to coat the bok choy and cook for a minute or two more.
- When ready, assemble the bowls with the rice, crispy tofu, bok choy, and a small drizzle of the sauce left in the pan. Serve with soy sauce, extra sesame seeds, and chili paste if desired.
As noted in the post, the stems stay pretty crunchy in this version. If you’re looking for a more even texture, separate the stems from the leaves then cook the stems first, until tender.
Keywords: crispy tofu, rice bowl, bok choy