If you ask me, summer meals should be quick, easy, and don’t require you to turn on your oven. This vegan watermelon poke bowl is a classic summer meal that is super simple to whip up! If you’ve never had and/or heard of a poke bowl before, it is a native Hawaiian dish that is usually served with cubed raw fish. In place of the raw fish (which is often tuna or salmon), I marinated some watermelon in a bit of soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil. It may sound strange, but it totally works as a sushi like substitute. 🙂
In each bowl, you’ve got a pile of cooked rice, crispy tofu, marinated watermelon, and chopped veggies. To make these even easier, I just bought microwave rice in a pouch from the store so it was ready in just 90 seconds. (I love to cook, but I’m all about shortcuts for quick meals like this one!) A tip for making crispy tofu is: patience. After adding to tofu to a well-oiled non-stick pan, just let it cook undisturbed fro 2-3 minutes. Turn over a piece with a fork and if the bottom is lightly browned, turn over all the pieces to cook another 2-3 minutes on the next side. Just keep repeating that process until it is golden brown on all sides. You also want to use the right kind of tofu – extra firm is best for these bowls. If you are a Chicago local, we love using Phoenix Bean tofu!
Vegan Watermelon Poke Bowl
- For the Tofu:16 oz package extra firm tofu
- 1 1/2 tablespoon oil
- For the Watermelon:1/4 reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger paste I get it from Trader Joe's! You can also use grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 1/2 cups watermelon cut in 1/2" cubes
- For the Bowls: 4 servings cooked white rice cooled
- Sliced cucumber
- Sliced red pepper
- Sliced carrots or make carrot ribbons!
- Basil I used thai basil - soo good!
- Add oil and cubed tofu to a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Cook tofu on each side for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, add the watermelon marinade ingredients to a mason jar and shake well to combine. Add watermelon to a small mixing bowl and pour just 3 tablespoons of the marinade over top. Toss gently to coat watermelon in the marinade and set aside.
- Add the rest of the marinade to the pan with the tofu and cook until it thickens and coats tofu. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- To assemble your bowls, divide rice between 4 bowls and evenly divide the rest of your toppings between each bowl.