Sesame Eggplant and almond Butter Tofu Bowls

We’ve only been living in our first (and new!) home for a few short months. Even though our old neighborhood is only 10 minutes away from our new home, I still feel nostalgic. Our new community is also pretty cool.

We were very close to a Boke Bowl, a healthy Asian “fast food” place in Portland. The tofu bowl was my favorite dish. The rice was sticky and tender, the tofu perfectly fried, the eggplant seared, and there was Kimchi.

It takes only 30 Minutes to prepare this dish, which can be customized to your taste and the season. This dish fuses influences from Thailand, Indonesia, and Japan with Korea, China, and other countries.

At the moment, I am a fan of eggplants (these are tiny Japanese eggplants!). You can also choose from sugar snap peas or squash.

The base is made of rice. The protein is my favorite almond butter tofu, and the toppings are plentiful. Kimchi is highly recommended.



  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 3 Tbsp of cornstarch
  • Sesame oil 2 tbsp


  • 1 Tbsp sesame seed oil
  • Salted almond, cashew, or peanut butter, 2 Tbsp
  • Use 1 Tbsp of tamari or soy sauce (gluten-free if needed).
  • 1 Tbsp of lime juice
  • Maple syrup or coconut sugar, 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp
  • Use one medium bird’s eye chili crushed (or use 1 tsp Chili garlic sauce instead).


  • Sesame oil, toasted or not.
  • Two medium Japanese eggplants (stem removed and halved; then cut into 1-inch pieces with skin on).
  • Use 1 Tbsp of tamari or soy sauce (gluten-free if needed).
  • Maple syrup, 1 tbsp
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

FOR SERVING optional

  • 2 cups of white or brown rice or cauliflower rice
  • Kimchi
  • Quick Asian Pickles (if vegan, omit fish sauce or sub our homemade vegan fish sauce)


  • Wrap the tofu with a clean, dry towel. Place something heavy (such as a skillet) on top of it to squeeze out any excess moisture. Let this sit for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  • Start by boiling 1 1/2 cups of water and 3/4 cup of white or brown rice in a small pan. If you are serving traditional rice, adjust the amounts. Reduce heat to low and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes if you are cooking white rice or 20-25 for brown rice. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together sesame, almond, and tamari oil, along with maple syrup or coconut sugar, crushed chili, and lime juice. Add more tamari if you want it saltier, lime juice if you prefer acidity, chili for heat, or maple syrup if you like sweetness. Set aside.
  • Cut the pressed tofu into rectangles and heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add cornstarch to coat (they should look well-coated) and cook in 2 tbsp of sesame oil.
  • Stir to combine. Continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring gently every few minutes to ensure that all sides are evenly cooked. Remove from pan.
  • Add 1 Tbsp of sesame oil to the pan that is still hot – on medium heat (amount according to the original recipe // adjust for batch size). Once the pan is hot, add the eggplant. Sprinkle with tamari and maple syrup (optional), and then saute the eggplant, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes or until it is browned all over.
  • Divide the rice into serving bowls. Top with tofu, eggplant, and any other toppings you desire, including fresh vegetables, Asian pickles, or Kimchi. Fresh is best.

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