Go Back
+ servings
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Crispy Garlic Tofu Buddha Bowl

A Buddha bowl recipe made with Crispy Tofu tossed in a sweet garlicky lemongrass honey soy sauce served with a variety of fresh produce over rice.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Asian, Fusion
Servings: 4 Bowls
Calories: 255kcal
Author: Joyce


  • 1 ½ cup of cooked rice per bowl (or quinoa, brown rice)

Crispy Tofu (Makes 4 Servings)

  • 454 g firm tofu
  • potato starch (enough to lightly rub onto each tofu piece before pan-frying)

Honey Garlic Lemongrass Soy Sauce

  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 2 cloves garlic (approx. 1 tablespoon)
  • ½ stalk lemongrass (approx. 2 tablespoons)

Braised Shiitake Mushrooms (Optional)

  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Pickled Red Onions (Optional)

  • ½ small red onion (sliced)
  • 1 lime

Toppings (Mix & Match)

  • ½ cup red cabbage (thinly sliced, per bowl)
  • ¼ cup wakame seaweed salad (per bowl)
  • 1-2 radishes (thinly sliced, per bowl)
  • ¼ cup cherry tomatoes (cut in halves, per bowl)
  • ¼ cup cucumbers (sliced or chopped, per bowl)
  • ¼ cup mango (sliced or chopped, per bowl)
  • ½ avocado (sliced or chopped, per bowl)

Garnishes (Mix & Match)

  • black sesame seeds
  • furikake
  • crispy onions
  • green onions (finely chopped)



  • Remove the tofu from the packaging and place in on a plate with a lip on it (so it can catch the excess water).
  • Place a cutting board on top of the tofu and place something heavy like a bowl on top of the cutting board for an hour. Gravity will do its magic and press out any excess water from the tofu. Discard the water.
  • Make rice (or quinoa, brown rice) ahead of time and set aside
  • (Optional, if you are making pickled red onions) Finely slice a red onion and place it into a bowl. Cut a lime in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl with the onions and let it soak for an hour. Mix it around occasionally so that lime juice is distributed to all the onion slices.
  • (Optional, if you are braising shiitake mushrooms) Rinse the dried shiitake mushrooms and place it in a bowl with room temperature water and let it soak for 1 hour.

Making the Sauce

  • Peel and finely chop the garlic and set aside
  • Remove the first layer of the lemongrass and wash the sand off the lemongrass.
  • Cut 2 inches from the bottom and smash the lemongrass with a rolling pin or the back of the knife to release the oils.
  • Finely chop the lemongrass by hand or use a food process to grind it. It is important that it is very finely chopped, since lemongrass is very woody and it's not fun getting it stuck in your teeth.
  • In a small pot, add a bit of oil and set the heat to medium-low heat.
  • Add in the garlic and lemongrass and toast it until it is golden brown (approx. 1-2 minutes)
  • Once the garlic and lemongrass has been toasted, add in the soy and honey and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and set it aside to cool, it will turn syrupy once it has cooled.
  • Do a taste test. If it is too salty, mix 1-2 tablespoons of honey into it and adjust it to the right amount of sweetness for you.

Braising Shiitake Mushrooms (Optional)

  • Once the shiitake mushrooms have absorbed the water, it should be soft and pliable.
  • Squeeze the water out of the mushrooms and place the water in a small pot.
  • Add in additional water, soy and sugar and set the pot over the stove on medium-low heat.
  • Add the shiitake mushrooms back in and braise it for 10 minutes or until the mushrooms have absorbed most of the liquid
  • Set the braised mushrooms aside to cool.
  • Once it has cooled, cut and remove the stem off (it is usually chewy) and finely slice it.

Preparing the Toppings

  • Depending on what fresh produce you are using, slice or dice the ingredients you are using and set it aside.

Making the Crispy Tofu 

  • Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes or triangles.
  • Sprinkle potato starch over each piece and gently rub each flat surface with it, until each piece is finely coated with the potato starch.
  • Add oil to a frying pan and set the heat to low heat. Make sure there is enough oil to coat the bottom of the frying pan.
  • When the oil is hot, add the tofu in - being careful to keep them apart and not overcrowd it so they don't stick together.
  • Pan fry each surface of the tofu until it is golden brown and crispy. Remove it and set it aside once it is done.

Putting It Together

  • In a large bowl, place 1 ½ cups of cooked rice at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Toss a few pieces of tofu with 1 ½ teaspoon of garlic lemongrass soy to lightly coat it.
  • Arrange all the fresh produce, seaweed, pickled onions (optional), shiitake mushroom (optional) and crispy tofu over the rice.
  • Drizzle 1 ½ tablespoons of garlic lemongrass soy over everything and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds and enjoy!
  • Best eaten with everything mixed together so the flavors all mingle together! Do a taste test, if you like your food a bit saucier, add a bit more sauce to your preference!


  • For this buddha bowl recipe, use firm tofu. 1 hour (or a day) before you plan to use it, remove it from the packaging and place it on a large plate with a lip on it. Put a small cutting board with a heavy bowl on top of the cutting board or a heavy plate on top of it. Gravity will do it's magic and the excess water in the tofu will be pushed out from the weight on top. Drain the water from the plate a few times.
  • Use fresh lemongrass for this if possible. You can also use the frozen pre-ground lemongrass for this as well. Make sure you chop this really finely since lemongrass is very woody and can get stuck between your teeth if they are large and chunky.


Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 679mg | Potassium: 304mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 318IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 2mg