These Vegetarian Poke Bowls are a refreshing, meatless take on this wildly popular and ultra-refreshing Hawaiian dish, complete with marinated tofu!
I’m in the family-coming-in-for-weekend-so-clean-like-your-life-depends-on-it mode. The tulip-man likens this side of me to a headless chicken, running about with no clear direction…poor chicken. But yes, our little American family is convening in Holland to celebrate the 4th, and I’ve been bustling about with cleaning (so as to give the impression that their child is, in fact, now an adult), stocking the fridge with zucchini for dad, and trying to figure out how I’ll entertain everyone in this typically dreary Dutch weather.
But amidst the chaos, I’m really just so excited. My sister is flying in from Hawaii, where she’s lived for a few years. And when flights to each other take an upwards of 24 hours, you make your trips worth it (i.e. staying up late watching movies and eating stroopwafels, traveling around Southern France for a few days, anything is possible in the coming month!)
This veggie poke bowl, like many of the pineapple recipes this week, is inspired by Hawaii. Poke bowls, a longtime staple in Hawaiian cuisine, just began making a debut on the mainland. So it’s about time they make their debut here on the blog!
What is a poke bowl?
Traditionally made with raw ahi tuna, poke bowls are like the island cousin of the equally popular Buddha bowl. Spoon in some rice, top with fresh, local fruits and veggies, and throw in marinated raw fish.
How can you make vegan poke bowls?
We’re replacing ahi with tofu, marinating it in a flavor-packed sauce, while keeping the traditional raw aspect of poke bowls (you could also make tomato “tuna” instead of using tofu here). Combine with loads of fresh fruits and vegetables and serve over a mound of rice.
And can we just talk about how I finally learned how to use chopsticks? After a few days of embarrassingly asking for a fork in Southeast Asia, I just decided to go for it. Is learning to eat with chopsticks one of those steps towards adulthood? Am I a bit closer to being a real grown up now? Okay, that’s all, we can go back to these Vegetarian Poke Bowls now.
- 1 14-oz block firm tofu 400 g
- ¼ cup sesame oil 60 mL
- ¼ cup soy sauce 60 mL
- 2 Tbsp pineapple juice 30 mL
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar 15 mL
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- ¼ tsp chili garlic sauce or ½ tsp sriracha + ½ clove garlic
- The juice + zest of 1 lime
- 1 cup chopped pineapple 180 g
- 1 avocado sliced
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ cup sliced cucumber 120 g
- 1 carrot shredded
- 2 cups cooked rice 390 g, white or brown
- To serve: ½ red fresno chili*, lime, chives, sesame seeds
- Dry Tofu: Cut tofu into ½ inch thick slabs and set on paper towels. Cover with a few more paper towels and set a heavy plate on top to press out excess moisture.
- Flavor Tofu: Meanwhile, whisk remaining “Tofu” ingredients to create a marinade. Taste and adjust to your level of spiciness. Dice tofu into ½ inch cubes (the smaller they are, the more flavor they absorb). Gently combine tofu with marinade and set in refrigerator until everything else is ready.
- Prep Fillings: Cook rice and prepare “Bowls” ingredients. Drizzle the juice of 1 lime onto avocado slices to keep them from browning.
- Assemble: Spoon rice into 2 or 3 serving bowls. Evenly top with pineapple, avocado, cucumber, carrot, and marinated tofu. Drizzle with remaining marinade and garnish with sliced chili pepper, a slice of lime, chopped chives, and/or sesame seeds.
Tips & Tricks
- *You can also use jalapeno or chipotle.
- Inspired by Half Baked Harvest’s Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl.