Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu

Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu
Sonja_For The Pleasure Of Eating

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I’m Sonja and “For The Pleasure Of Eating” is my food blog.

Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds or discover new recipes, my blog is the perfect place to find ideas that impress your family and friends while creating a party in your mouth!

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The Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu is a great start for the Veganuary. Lots of colourful crunchy veggies in a flavourful fruity-hot Asian sauce topped with crispy air fried cauliflower and tofu. Meal prep a large batch and you are all set for your work week with a seriously delicious and nutritious meal.

 

Why You Want to Make This

 

All the Nutrition in One Bowl

I’m often aiming to get all my veggies for the day in my main meal and this Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu is no exception. If you use the same vegetables as I do, you get a phenomenal 7 portions of veg, protein from the tofu and healthy carbs from the rice.

Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu

Versatile

Of course you could swap the vegetables out for any you might enjoy. Courgettes, broccoli, asparagus, sugar snaps or kale would all fit nicely into this dish.
Protein wise, if you are not a fan of tofu, you could use any meat you enjoy or even some fish. Though do try this way of preparing tofu. It’s super flavourful from the marinade, which doubles as sauce and crispy with tempura batter!

The Sauce

The Sauce is made with a delicious mix of Asian and Middle Eastern flavours, which may sound odd, but work wonderfully. It is both used to marinade the tofu and coat the vegetables, quick pickling the red cabbage in the process, making for a seriously flavourful bowl that you’ll want to keep eating.

 

The Ingredients

 

Vegetables

Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu_Ingredients

Cauliflower – I found a rather pretty orange cauliflower at my local Tesco and just couldn’t resist. You could just steam or roast it as is, after cutting into small florets, but I opted for coating it in crispy tempura batter and air frying it. If you are using a whole head, you can either fry it in batches or simply put it in the oven. I tried both and found the air fried pieces to be a bit crisper, so that would be my favourite method.

For the remaining veggies, you could use anything in your veg drawer. I had spinach, carrots, mushrooms, red cabbage, mini sweetcorn, and a bag of soy sprouts for a nice Asian inspired mix.
To top the bowl with bright green accents and more flavour, I used a bunch of spring onions and cilantro.

Protein – I’m using tofu here, which gets marinated in part of the sauce, then dipped into tempura batter, same as the cauliflower, and air fried/oven roasted. The sauce imparts lots of flavour here, so no need to worry about bland tofu.

The Sauce

Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu_Sauce Ingredients
A mix of low sodium soy sauce, orange juice, balsamic and rice vinegar, honey, pomegranate molasses, gochujang paste (or any chili sauce of your choice), nutty sesame oil, garlic and ginger make this a very more-ish dressing that you’ll want to drizzle on anything from salads to stir fry.
The pomegranate molasses has a distinct fruity sweet and sour taste. Most healthfood shops have it these days. If you can’t find it, use a little more balsamic vinegar and a bit more honey.

The Tempura Batter

While you could roast both cauliflower and tofu just covered with the sauce and they will be delicious, the batter adds that extra crispy shell and makes this bowl irresistible. You only need flour (gluten free works too), cornstarch, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, pepper and ice cold sparkling water.

Carbohydrates – I had rice as carb with this bowl, but you could use noodles or any other grain you enjoy. Frekkeh would be particularly good here due to its nutty flavour.

 

The Process

 

Pressing the tofu

Start by pressing the tofu, so it’s easier to fry to that perfect chewie texture and can soak up the marinade. If you don’t have a tofu press as mine in the picture, you could wrap it in a clean kitchen towel, then top with something heavy, like a cast iron skillet, to push out the moisture. Be careful though, I had a heavy cast iron pot slide off it once and drop to the floor, leaving a chip in my tiles. Hence my tofu press. I figured it’s less expensive than having to get tiles re-done or buy a new cast iron pot. About 30 minutes should be enough, but you can leave it for longer if you have time.
Once it has given up a good bit of moisture, cut it into bite sized cubes.

Vegetable Preparation

While the tofu is left to its devices, prepare the veggies. Cut the cauliflower into florets, half or quarter the mushrooms, depending on size, julienne or slice the carrots, shred the cabbage thinly, slice the mini sweetcorn in half lengthwise and wash and roughly chop your spinach. Slice the spring onions and roughly chop the cilantro if using.

Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu_Process

The Sauce

Peel your ginger. This is easiest done by scraping the skin off with a teaspoon. Sounds weird, I know. But give it a try. I promise you won’t look back.
Peel and mince your garlic.
Mix all the sauce ingredients in a jar and shake well.

Marinate

Use ¼ of the sauce to marinate your tofu cubes. Keep in the fridge for at least 30minutes, so they can soak up all the delicious flavour.
In a large bowl, coat the shredded cabbage with about 3-4 tbsp of the sauce and mix well. Let it marinate until ready to serve.

Line either your air fryer basket with some baking parchment (after pre-heating, as the empty air fryer will pull the paper up and might cause burning) or 2 baking trays. If using the air fryer, you might have to fry in batches, but the results will be a little crispier.

The Tempura Batter

To mix the batter add all dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly add the water, whisking as you go, until you have a smooth batter that will coat tofu and cauliflower. Add the water slowly, you might not need it all.

Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu_Process

Bake

Pre-heat your air fryer or oven to 400°F/200°C.

Dredge your tofu and cauliflower pieces through the batter, shaking each lightly, to let excess batter drip off. Distribute between the trays or add to your hot air fryer basket. Spray lightly with some oil or cooking spray. Air fry for about 17-20min until golden brown and crispy, flipping the pieces halfway through.
In the oven, they will need about 30-35 minutes.

 

Cook rice, fry vegetables

Cook your rice according to packet instructions and drain when done.

Meanwhile, heat 2 frying pans. Coat both with some oil or cooking spray. Add the mushrooms to one pan and fry until nicely browned, stirring only occasionally, to not disturb the browning process.

In the second pan, stir fry the mini sweetcorn, followed by the julienned carrots, then soy sprouts and lastly the spinach until wilted. Add the remaining sauce to the pan and let it bubble up briefly, to take the raw edge off the garlic and ginger.

Serve

Start by adding rice to your bowl, then top with the remaining ingredients, finishing with the crispy cauliflower and tofu. Drizzle some sauce over. Sprinkle with some spring onions, cilantro and sesame if you like. Enjoy your colourful and healthy Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu.

Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu

Meal Prep

 

I made the ingredients for the Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu on my weekend and stored them in separate containers, to keep them fresh. While I fried each vegetable on its own to show them in the bowl, it makes more sense from a flavour perspective to stir fry them all in one pan and also store them that way. No need to go through all the trouble I did. Though if you want to keep them separate, you can just microwave them with the rice later, to heat them.

For the tempura battered tofu and cauliflower, I lined a large container with kitchen towels, and stored them in layers, to stop them from sticking. I then re-heated them in portions in the air fryer for a few minutes, to crisp them up.

Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu_Meal Prep

The ingredients keep stored as above for about 4 days in the fridge. I wouldn’t necessarily advise to freeze them, especially the tofu and cauliflower, as they will go soggy.

Looking for more ideas for Veganuary? Here are some of my favourites:
Vegan Tom Kha Soup

Vegetable Stew with Dumplings

Sumac Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Black Garlic Mushroom Sauce

Please Comment

Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
What other recipes would you like to see?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu

Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu

The Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu is a great start for the Veganuary. Lots of colourful crunchy veggies in a flavourful fruity-hot Asian sauce topped with crispy air fried cauliflower and tofu. Meal prep a large batch and you are all set for your work week with a seriously delicious and nutritious meal.
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Fusion
Servings 6
Calories 750 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pack tofu
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • ¼ red cabbage
  • 1 pack mini sweetcorn
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 pack mushrooms
  • 1 pack bean sprouts
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 bunch Spring onions - sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro chopped, optional
  • sesame seeds for serving, optional

Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or peanut oil
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cups honey
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses or pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp gochujang paste
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1 inch fresh ginger grated

Tempura Batter

  • 3 cups gluten free flour blend or brown rice flour
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups sparkling water extra cold

Instructions
 

Pressing the Tofu:

  • Press the tofu for about 30 minutes to remove excess moisture, then cut it into bite-sized cubes.

Vegetable Preparation:

  • Cut cauliflower into florets, mushrooms into halves or quarters, carrots into julienne strips, shred the cabbage thinly, slice mini sweetcorn in half lengthwise, and wash and roughly chop the spinach.
  • Slice spring onions and chop cilantro if using.

The Sauce:

  • Peel and mince the garlic, and peel and grate the ginger.
  • Mix all sauce ingredients in a jar and shake well.

Marinate:

  • Use ¼ of the sauce to marinate tofu cubes. Keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, coat shredded cabbage with 3-4 tbsp of the sauce and let it marinate.

The Tempura Batter:

  • Mix all dry tempura batter ingredients in a bowl. Slowly add sparkling water, whisking until a smooth batter forms.

Bake:

  • Preheat air fryer or oven to 400°F/200°C.
  • Dredge tofu and cauliflower through the batter, shaking off excess. Air fry for 17-20 minutes or bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and crispy, flipping halfway.

Cook Rice, Fry Vegetables:

  • Cook rice according to package instructions.
  • In separate pans, fry mushrooms until browned in one pan. Stir-fry mini sweetcorn, carrots, bean sprouts, and spinach in the second pan. Add remaining sauce to the stir fry and let it bubble briefly.

Serve:

  • In a bowl, layer rice, vegetables, and crispy tofu and cauliflower. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with spring onions, cilantro, and sesame seeds if desired.

Meal Prep:

  • Prepare ingredients and store separately for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave and crisp up tempura battered pieces in the air fryer.
  • Enjoy your colourful and healthy Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu!

Notes

Total for the Dish (including rice, excluding optional toppings):
Calories: Approximately 750 kcal
Protein: Around 19g
Carbohydrates: Roughly 110g
Fat: About 26g
Fiber: Around 15g
Sugar: Approximately 26g

Nutrition

Calories: 750kcal
Nutrition Facts
Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu
Amount per Serving
Calories
750
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Healthy, High Fibre, Protein, vegan, vegetables, Vegetarian
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