Peanut Coconut Tofu Bowls with Pickled Veggies


Tofu tastes best when smothered in a yummy sauce and this coconut peanut sauce is no exception. The tofu gets marinated in a sweet and salty coconut based peanut sauce and then simmered in that sauce until it reduces and clings to the tofu. The remaining coconut milk gets used to make aromatic coconut rice for the base of the bowl. Raw crunchy veggies get quickly pickled and add a refreshing tangy crunch. Top with lots of fresh herbs and crunchy peanuts!

Ingredient highlight

Tofu! is a soybean curd is made by curdling fresh soy milk, pressing it into a solid block and then cooling it. It’s a great source of protein, calcium, selenium, iron, magnesium, and zinc to name a few.

I’m personally not a huge tofu fan and usually opt for tempeh, but when you get it crispy and smother it in a sauce, it’s delicious!

Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes


For the tofu:

  • 1 (13.5 oz) can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk, divided
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional, to make it spicy)
  • 1 (14 oz) block extra firm tofu, drained**

For the coconut rice:*

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

For the veggies + bowls:

  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups thinly sliced or grated veggies (radish, cucumber, carrot, etc…)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • Chopped cilantro and/or scallions, for topping
  • Chopped peanuts, for topping
  • Lime wedges, for topping
  • *Or just use plain cooked rice or any other grain for the base.
  • **Or use 1 lb thinly sliced chicken breasts and/or thighs.


  • Cook the rice (instructions below).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, curry, maple syrup, salt and red pepper flakes (if using) until combined.
  • Tear the tofu or cube it into bite-sized pieces. Place the pieces on top of a kitchen towel, fold the edges over, and press gently to remove excess moisture. Add the tofu to the peanut sauce bowl and toss to coat. Let it marinate for 10-30 minutes while you prep the veggies.
  • In a medium bowl, add the onion, veggies, vinegar, and salt and toss to coat. Let sit for at least 10 minutes to soften and marinate.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu, scraping out every last bit of the sauce. Spread out into an even layer and cook until the sauce reduces, clings to the tofu, and begins to brown in spots, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Serve the tofu over warm coconut rice and serve with the marinated veggies, cilantro, peanuts, and a squeeze of lime.

Instant Pot rice instructions:

  • Add the rice to a fine mesh strainer and rinse, using your hands to agitate the grains, until the water runs clear. This gets rid of the extra starch so your rice isn’t mushy. Add it to the Instant Pot along with the water, remaining coconut milk from the can (about ⅔ cup), and salt. Set the vent to “sealing”, then pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Let it naturally release for 10 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure by moving the valve to “venting”.

Stovetop rice instructions:

  • Same as above with rinsing the rice. Add it to a medium/large pot with a tight fitting lid along with the other ingredients as mentioned above. Cover, bring to a rapid simmer over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 12 minutes or until the rice is cooked through (no peeking!).

Items you can prep ahead (optional)

  • Mix together the peanut coconut sauce
  • Cook the coconut rice
  • Thinly slice ¼ red onion + 3 cups veggies
  • Make the pickled veg
  • Chop cilantro and/or scallions, for topping


  • Sub tofu with 1 lb thinly sliced chicken breast or thighs. Make sure to simmer for at least 5 minutes to kill the raw chicken bacteria.
  • To make it nut-free, use tahini in place of peanut butter and top with toasted pumpkin seeds.


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer:
    • Rice: up to 5 days in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer.
    • Tofu: up to 5 days in the fridge
    • Pickled veggies: up to 7 days in the fridge

Leftovers + Repurposing:

  • Warm up leftover rice and tofu in the microwave until warmed through. Top with the pickled veg, herbs, and nuts.
  • Put a fried egg on it.
  • Top with sriracha for some spice.
  • Leftover pickled veg can be added to tacos, bowls, enchiladas, salads, etc…
  • Add leftover tofu to scrambled eggs.

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