Alright! I've got something delicious AND nutritious for you guys today. And guess what? It's even vegan!
I know right? Time to be proud. Let's cut right to the chase today. Sweet and Sour Tofu Rice Bowls for the WIN ????????!
Most important thing about this recipe? The sauce. That's where all the delicious flavor comes in and it couldn't be easier to make! In a small sauce pan, whisk all the ingredients together (minus the corn starch and water), and bring to a boil. Combine corn starch and water, whisk into the pot, and lower to a simmer.
There you have it. Your own, homemade sweet and sour sauce.
If any of you are doing the "tofu? *shudder*" thing, not to worry! First off, for these Sweet and Sour Tofu Rice Bowls, I strongly suggest using extra firm tofu. Even firm tofu will fall apart in the pan for this particular meal. You'll also want to get as much water out of the tofu as possible. I don't actually have a tofu press and went the old school paper towel route and that worked just fine. The extra firm tofu will get a nice, crispy outside when sauteed in the pan, avoiding that icky, spongy, undercooked tofu texture.
Secondly, make sure to add some seasoning to the tofu! As tasty as that sauce is, you don't want to rely on it alone to flavor the dish. A little sesame oil mixed in with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic will do you just fine (detailed in recipe).
PS. I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I make a chicken version of these Sweet and Sour Tofu Rice Bowls at the center for the kids....and the vegetarian version AKA tofu is one of my favorite meals. Ergo, the reason I had to make it and share it with you ????.Print
For the Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1/4 teaspoon minced ginger or ginger paste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons water
For the bowls
- 3 cups cooked white rice
- 1 lb extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt + extra to taste
- 1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1/4 fresh pineapple, peel and core removed, cut into wedges and thinly sliced
- Make the sauce: In a small bowl combine corn starch and water until cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside. In a small sauce pan, whisk the rest of the ingredients over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Whisk in corn starch mixture, reduce to a simmer for 1-2 minutes, until thickened. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sesame oil over medium high heat. Add tofu. Sprinkle with pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Stir to coat. Cook until tofu begins to brown, about 1-2 minutes per side (around 6-8 minutes).
- Add bell pepper, onion, and pineapple. Cook 3-4 minutes, until veggies are softened, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat to medium low. Add 1/2 cup of the sweet and sour sauce to the pan, stirring to coat. Let simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat and add salt to taste.
- Assemble the bowls: Add equal amounts of rice to bowls, top with tofu stir fry, and drizzle with remaining sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.