Happy Monday everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the start to the week. I certainly am solely because I’m posting this poke bowl recipe! I made these Vegan Poke Bowls with Green Tea Rice on Friday and have been dying to share all weekend. They were DELICIOUS. I’ve never actually made a Poke bowl before, but the entire process didn’t feel foreign to me – it’s much like making a Buddha bowl but with Asian flare. Typically poke bowls are made by marinating raw fish in sesame oil and soy sauce, then placing on a bed of brown rice and pairing with popular asian veg. I’ve noticed these style bowls are famous here in France. I see them a lot at sushi restaurants; and being featured on big poster boards to lure in customers. McDonalds has some serious competition for hungry lunchers. And those pretty pictured bowls have poked their way into my yearnings as well; making it a top priority to create a vegan rendition.
Actually, seeing these poke bowls in sushi restos made me believe that poke bowls were of Japanese origin, but actually they’re Hawaiin. Poke, pronounced “Poke-ay,” means to section, slice or cut. And although this vegan poke bowl doesn’t include raw fish, it’s poke-ay nonetheless. The tofu in this dish is sliced into cubes, then marinated in a lime tamari dressing to give it full flavour. Then it’s decorated in a bowl with asian favs: avocado, edamame, green onion, cilantro, toasted peanut and sesame.
My favourite part about this bowl though? THE RICE!
This green tea rice is premium! Being boiled with green tea instead of water for additional flavour. It’s then folded in with torn nori and splashes of tamari. It’s unique and delicious, worthy of delicacy status. Forget those hungry lunchers – this rice could peak the interest of Jiro Ono. But don’t worry, making this green tea rice requires no cumbersome process of being fanned, vinegared, and maintained at the perfect temperature. It’s much much easier! Simply switch the water for cooking the rice to green tea! That’s it – instead of pouring the cold breakfast brew down the drain save it for your rice. Or, boil a new pot and let it steep for 10 minutes. As you’re waiting for the rice to cook tear your nori into small pieces, then fold it into rice with a couple splashes of tamari. It’s delicious! You will love how this jazzed up rice pairs with your poke bowl.
Another great thing about poke bowls? You can add whatever you want to them. For this bowl I’ve used edamame, green onion, cilantro, toasted peanut and sesame. But the options are endless. Actually, Bon Appetit recently had a good overview for acing the poke bowl; which is what I used to create mine:
1. Choose your base: Brown rice, sushi rice, soba noodles, leafy greens, or Green Tea Nori Rice (see recipe below!)
2. Add protein: Tofu, or if you eat fish; ahi tuna, fluke, salmon, or shrimp
3. Pour in the dressing: For this I’ve used the reserved tofu marinade, tamari and lime. I love the combination of fresh citrus and salty tamari.
4. Add the fun stuff:
Think fresh asian veg like avocado, bean sprouts, edamame, and shaved radish
nuts and seeds like peanuts, sesame, and macadamia
a dose of heat (optional)
alliums like scallions, sweet onion, garlic and fried shallots
seaweed like nori or wakame
and fresh herbs like cilantro, chive and mint.
Whatever your combination it’s bound to be a success. Especially when you’ve got this killer green tea rice to pair it with. Hope you enjoy this Poke Bowl rendition as much as I do!
And for all my Canadian lovelies; Happy Family Day!
Vegan Poke Bowls with Green Tea Rice
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 3 cups green tea steeped for 10 minutes
- 2 sheets nori
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 12 oz tofu (350g)
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 lime juiced
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 1 cup edamame
- 2 avocados chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro tightly packed, chopped
- 1/4 cup peanuts chopped
- 4 green onion chopped
- Cook rice in green tea for 30 minutes, or until cooked. Rip nori sheets into small pieces and fold into cooked brown rice, pour in tamari sauce and fluff with a spoon. Cover pot with tea towel and place to the side.
- Start by pressing your tofu to release excess water. Remove tofu from package and rinse. Wrap tofu in a clean dish towel. Set tofu against solid surface, like a wall, and place a few heavy books on top to help press out the excess water. Leave tofu to press for 20 minutes. Then, unwrap tofu and cut into small cubes.
- In a skillet add sesame oil, bring to medium-high heat and add tofu cubes searing each side until golden brown (1-2 minutes). Add more sesame oil if needed to stop tofu from sticking to pan. Transfer tofu to paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Prepare your tofu marinade: In a skillet add almond butter, tamari, coconut sugar, lime juice and water. Bring to medium heat and stir to combine. Turn heat to low and add tofu cubes to saucepan. Gently mix to cover tofu with marinade. Let tofu marinade for at least 10 minutes, scooping sauce over tofu occasionally with a spoon to ensure all is coated.
- Scoop green tea rice into bowls and top with tofu, edamame, avocado, cilantro, green onion and peanuts. Pour reserved tofu marinate overtop of bowls and serve with fresh lime.
VEGAN – VEGETARIAN – WHEAT-FREE – GLUTEN-FREE – DAIRY-FREE