I’ve loved tofu my entire life, and this marinated tofu recipe is one of the easiest ways to make it.
As you’ve probably heard before, tofu picks up the flavors of whatever you cook it with. So while it tends to be bland on its own (I do find silken tofu with soy sauce very delicious, though), the secret is all in the sauces or dressings that go along with the tofu.
Nutritionally, tofu is super healthy. It’s a high-quality plant protein, with around 15 grams per cup. Tofu can also be a source of calcium and iron, depending on which one you buy. Tofu is also very inexpensive, so it’s a great choice for a meatless family meal that’s within your food budget.
I get a lot of questions about whether soy is safe to eat, so let’s clear all of that up now.
First of all, yes, soy is safe to eat. Phytoestrogens, which are the plant-based estrogen-like compounds in soy, are weak. Unless you’re drinking quarts and quarts of soy milk, you shouldn’t worry about soy and breast cancer. Soy also doesn’t impact male hormones unless, again, it’s overconsumed. Men eating soy several times a week in normal amounts shouldn’t grow boobs or whatever the latest rumor is that soy does.
Nope. And remember, dietary soy is not the same as phytoestrogens you get in supplements. Those are more concentrated, so I wouldn’t recommend taking them.
As far as eating soy to ‘balance’ hormones, this is off the table, too. Again, phytoestrogens in soy foods are weak, so it’s unlikely (and research shows this) that eating edamame or tofu will increase your estrogen levels to the point where you’re going to have a resolution of those pesky menopause symptoms.
That being said, soy is yummy, so let’s talk about this recipe.
Everything tastes better out of a bowl, and the combination of marinated tofu with rice, vegetables, and a thick, rich tahini dressing is over-the-top good.
Note that the prep time looks really long – that’s because I recommend you marinate the tofu overnight. It’s not mandatory, though – I’ve made this tofu and eaten it pretty much right away.
You can use any sort of vegetables you want in this tofu bowl. A simple steaming is all they need, but if you have leftover grilled or roasted vegetables, toss them in! Anything goes.
The tahini dressing recipe makes quite a bit, so enjoy it on other foods for a few days afterwards. You’re welcome.
These delicious plant-based tofu bowls are the perfect way to add more plant protein to your diet!
- Marinated Tofu:
- 1 lb extra firm tofu cut into ¾” cubes
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ bunch cilantro snipped into 1” pieces
- Tahini Dressing:
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup tahini
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4 cups steamed vegetables like bok choy broccoli, carrots, and snap peas.
- 3-4 cups steamed brown rice or another grain.
Marinate the tofu:
Combine the bottom 5 ingredients, whisk briefly to blend, and pour over the tofu.
Marinate for between 1 and 24 hours, the longer the better.
Discard marinade after use.
Make the dressing:
Combine all ingredients but the oil and blend with an immersion or regular blender.
Add oil and blend until mixture is emulsified, about 20-30 seconds.
Layer the tofu, rice, and vegetables in bowls and serve with tahini dressing.