Vegetarian Buddha Bowl
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Vegetarian Buddha Bowl

by Lily
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Kick off the new year with this colourful Vegetarian Buddha Bowl! It’s packed with delicious edamame, crispy tofu, seasoned bean curd, spicy kimchi, creamy avocado, sweet tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, garlic butter mushrooms and seasoned purple cabbage with a healthy base layer of delicious brown rice. If vegetarian is not your style, you can easily add extra protein such as fish, shrimp, chicken or beef to this bowl.
vegetarian buddha bowl
Happy New Year guys! Boy what a year we’ve had! If you’re like me, I’ve decided to approach 2021 ….cautiously. Setting some goals but also being realistic with these goals. One of them is getting back into healthier eating habits. Yeah, yeah…I know, everyone sets these types of goals for this time of year and by february, that stops with Valentine’s celebration. You know.. binging on chocolate or cake or whatever it is that you like to eat to celebrate the day of love.
I say, everything in moderation! Especially during these unprecedented times! So, here’s to kicking off 2021 into a buddha…err…better eating habit starting with my delicious Vegetarian Buddha Bowl!

*Good To Know*

  • What type of Brown Rice should I use? You can choose any type of brown rice you like. Be sure to follow the package’s cooking instructions as cooking time varies depending on the type of grain you choose (long grain, short grain etc.). For this recipe, I chose a short grain brown rice. Typically 1 cup uncooked short grain rice yields about 3 cups cooked rice.
  • What is firm tofu? Firm Tofu is soft Tofu that has been pressed to remove most of its water content. This gives it a stronger texture for better flavour absorption and its ability to hold together during the cooking process. It comes in a variety of flavours such as smoked, teriyaki, five spice or just regular (no flavour).
  • What is japanese rice seasoning (Furikake)? Furikake (pronounced “Foo-ree-kah-kay” or “foo-dee-kah-kay”) translated from japanese means “to sprinkle or shake over”. Furikake comes in many varieties (usually bottled in a glass jar) found at your local asian grocery store. For this recipe, I used Katsuo Fumi which has a blend of ingredients such as bonito (smoked fish shavings), sesame seeds, sugar, salt, seaweed, soy sauce and cooking wine. A little sprinkle packs a lot of flavour onto rice.
  • What if I can’t find shelled Edamame beans? Edamame beans are sold as frozen shelled or unshelled beans. If you are unable to find the ready-to-eat shelled beans, you can buy the unshelled frozen edamame beans (the kind you normally eat at a sushi restaurant). Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and cook the edamame for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and remove the beans from their pods. Set aside in a bowl until ready to use.
  • What is seasoned fried bean curd (Inari)? Inari is seasoned deep fried tofu pockets. It tastes more sweet in flavour (usually marinated by simmering pockets with ingredients such as dashi stock, soy, mirin, sake and sugar) ). Typically these pockets are used at sushi restaurants to make Inari sushi. Rice is formed into a rectangular ball and stuffed into the bean curd pocket.

My buddha bowl recipe is flexible with ingredients you want to use or have on hand. Use my recipe as a guide to add or swap vegetables and protein to your liking. Having said that, I encourage you to give my recipe a try since the combination of sweet, savoury and spicy is a really good punch in flavours. I ended up searing some scallops for extra protein in my bowl and it was very delicious!

california brown rice

If you’re wondering what rice brand I used, I just discovered a new brand by Texana at my local asian grocery store. It’s a short grain “California Brown Sweet” rice and with an intriguing name like that I decided to give it a try. Cooking instructions are for the stovetop method and would take approx. 45 minutes to cook, however, I decided to make the rice in my rice cooker with the brown rice feature. Needless to say, it really did not disappoint! The rice turned out nutty in flavour with a sticky & creamy texture (unlike its name though, it’s not sweet but neutral in taste). I enjoyed the sticky texture because it reminded me of sticky glutinous rice that a lot of asian dishes incorporate, except with this one, it’s a healthier alternative and it’s gluten free!

edamame beans

I’m a huge fan of all types of beans. These are edamame beans usually found in the frozen aisle. Some stores sell beans that are already shelled while most sell them within their pods. You might already be familiar with these beans sold as appetizers at sushi retaurants.

A quick boil in hot water from frozen for 4 mintues and you can easily remove the beans from their pods. Can’t find these at all? Try sweet green peas instead.

furikake

Furikake. What is it? Pronounced “foo-ree-kah-kay” or “foo-dee-kah-kay” is rice seasoning and translated from japanese means “to sprinkle or shake over”. Furikake comes in many varieties (usually bottled in a glass jar) found at your local asian grocery store. For this recipe, I used Katsuo Fumi which has a blend of ingredients such as bonito (smoked fish shavings), sesame seeds, sugar, salt, seaweed, soy sauce and cooking wine. A little sprinkle onto rice packs a lot of flavour! You can purchase it here. If you’re looking for a quick meal, sprinkle this seasoning over rice, add some cucumber, avocado and sushi grade fish such as salmon or tuna et voila! You’ve got yourself a deconstructed sushi bowl (but with more flavour)!

Firm Tofu

Since this is a vegetarian recipe, for protein, I used smoked firm Tofu.  Firm Tofu is soft Tofu that has been pressed to remove most of its water content. This gives it a stronger texture for better flavour absorption and its ability to hold together during the cooking process (rather than crumble apart like silky or soft Tofu would). It comes in a variety of flavours such as smoked, teriyaki, five spice or just regular (no flavour). Cut the Tofu into 1″ cubes and pan fry for added crispness (skip this if you prefer to make this healthier).

If you’re not a fan of Tofu, you can easily add other vegetarian friendly proteins such as eggs, lentils or tempeh. Lastly, if vegetarian is not your style, you can easily add seafood (shrimp, scallop, fish) or meats (chicken, beef, pork) to this bowl. Don’t be afraid to make it unique to your liking!

seasoned bean curd - inari

Inari is a seasoned deep fried tofu pocket found at the refrigerated section of your local asian grocery store. It’s also known as seasoned bean curd pocket (not to be confused with dried bean curd or tofu skin as these are not seasoned and are cooked differently) . It tastes more sweet in flavour (usually marinated by simmering pockets with ingredients such as dashi stock, soy, mirin, sake and sugar). Typically these pockets are used at sushi restaurants to make Inari sushi. Rice is formed into a rectangular ball and stuffed into the bean curd pocket. I incorporated this for depth of protein flavour. If you can’t find this, you can substitute it with another protein to your liking.

kimchi

Kimchi or kimchee is fermented, sliced Napa cabbage and is a popular korean side dish that can be found at almost any local asian grocery store. Usually you’ll find other vegetables fermented with kimchi such as spring onions, ginger and radish. One bite and you’ll immediately taste spicy chilli along with sour and garlic flavours.

If you ask me, kimchi is a must-have vegetable for our buddha bowl to complement the creamy avocado and mayo sauce. You can skip adding kimchi if you’re not a fan of spicy foods.

Vegetarian Buddha Bowl

Colourful with multidimensional flavours. Wouldn’t you agree that this is something you could enjoy without feeling like you’re on a diet? Choose your base of complex carbs, add veggies, protein, crunchy garnish with some dressing and you’ve got yourself a delicious bowl that won’t make you feel guilty, devouring the whole bowl!

If you enjoyed my recipe, please leave a comment or rate it below.  Also don’t forget to follow me on my social media channels (YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram) to keep up with my latest kitchen shenanigans.

Vegetarian Buddha Bowl

Vegetarian Buddha Bowl

Kick off the new year with this colourful Vegetarian Buddha Bowl! It's packed with delicious edamame, crispy tofu, seasoned bean curd, spicy kimchi, creamy avocado, sweet tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, garlic butter mushrooms and seasoned purple cabbage with a healthy base layer of delicious brown rice. If vegetarian is not your style, you can easily add extra protein such as fish, shrimp, chicken or beef to this bowl.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Rice Cook Time (varies): 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 4

Ingredients

Rice

  • cups (300 g) uncooked brown rice (short grain)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) unsalted butter
  • 3 cups (710 ml) water

Garlic Butter Mushrooms

  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) garlic, minced
  • cups (180 g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pinch sea or kosher salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

Crispy Tofu

  • 3 tablespoon (44 ml) vegetable oil
  • ¾ cups (186 g) firm tofu (smoked or regular), cut into 1" cubes

Vegetables

  • 2 cups (178 g) purple cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 2 cups (310 g) edamame beans, boiled
  • 1 cup (149 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups (208 g) english cucumber, cut into quarters
  • 2 whole (402 g) avocados, halved & sliced
  • 1 cup kimchi
  • ¾ cup (186 g) Inari (seasoned fried bean curd), sliced

Garnish

Dressing

Sauce

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Rinse brown rice under cold water and add to the bowl of a rice cooker with salt, butter and water (if you don't have a rice cooker, follow rice package cooking instructions). Set to brown rice cook feature and allow rice to fully cook (approx. 45 minutes).
  • In a large skillet, on medium high heat, add butter and oil to pan. Add minced garlic and fry garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant but not browned. Add sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Set aside in a bowl.
  • In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Add cubed Tofu and fry for 4 minutes or until all sides are browned and crispy. Set aside on a plate with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
    In the same skillet with remaining oil, turn heat to high, add sliced purple cabbage with pinch of salt & pepper and cook cabbage for 5 minutes (continue to stir). Cabbage should be softened but still have some crunch.
  • Boil edamame beans according to package instructions (see notes for more information). Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Set aside. Cut english cucumber into quarters. Set aside. Cut avocados in half, remove pit, slice avocado in the shell and scoop with a large spoon to remove from shell. Set aside. Slice seasoned bean curds and set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar and sesame oil. Stir until well combined and set aside.
    In a small mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise and sriracha sauce. Pour into a small plastic zippered bag. When ready to use, cut a small corner of the bag to drizzle over bowl.
  • To layer buddha bowl, add 1 cup cooked brown rice to a large bowl. Then add 1 to 2 tablespoons (or desired amount) of mushrooms, cabbage, cucumber tomatoes and edamame next to each other. Add 1/4 cup kimchi slices. Place 3 to 4 slices of avocado to one side of the bowl, on top of vegetables. Add a few fried tofu cubes into center and 2 tablespoons of sliced bean curd. Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of furikake (rice seasoning) evenly over ingredients. Pour 2 tablespoons of soy dressing over ingredients and lastly drizzle sriracha mayonnaise to finish dressing the bowl. Repeat this step for remaining 3 bowls. Bon Appetit!
Category: Main Course
Diet: Vegetarian
Keyword: bowl, buddha, healthy, vegetables

Tips

What type of Brown Rice should I use?
You can choose any type of brown rice you like. Be sure to follow the package’s cooking instructions as cooking time varies depending on the type of grain you choose (long grain, short grain etc.). For this recipe, I chose a short grain brown rice. Typically 1 cup uncooked short grain rice yields about 3 cups cooked rice.
What is firm tofu?
Firm Tofu is soft Tofu that has been pressed to remove most of its water content. This gives it a stronger texture for better flavour absorption and its ability to hold together during the cooking process. It comes in a variety of flavours such as smoked, teriyaki, five spice or just regular (no flavour).
What is japanese rice seasoning (Furikake)?
Furikake (pronounced “Foo-ree-kah-kay” or “foo-dee-kah-kay”) translated from japanese means “to sprinkle or shake over”. Furikake comes in many varieties (usually bottled in a glass jar) found at your local asian grocery store. For this recipe, I used Katsuo Fumi which has a blend of ingredients such as bonito (smoked fish shavings), sesame seeds, sugar, salt, seaweed, soy sauce and cooking wine. A little sprinkle packs a lot of flavour onto rice.
What if I can’t find shelled Edamame beans?
Edamame beans are sold as frozen shelled or unshelled beans. If you are unable to find the ready-to-eat shelled beans, you can buy the unshelled frozen edamame beans (the kind you normally eat at a sushi restaurant). Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and cook the edamame for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and remove the beans from their pods. Set aside in a bowl until ready to use.
What is seasoned fried bean curd (Inari)?
Inari is seasoned deep fried tofu pockets. It tastes more sweet in flavour (usually marinated by simmering pockets with ingredients such as dashi stock, soy, mirin, sake and sugar) ). Typically these pockets are used at sushi restaurants to make Inari sushi. Rice is formed into a rectangular ball and stuffed into the bean curd pocket.
Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Buddha Bowl
Amount Per Serving
Calories 977 Calories from Fat 378
% Daily Value*
Fat 42g65%
Saturated Fat 16g100%
Cholesterol 23mg8%
Sodium 1372mg60%
Potassium 1146mg33%
Carbohydrates 124g41%
Fiber 15g63%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 1034IU21%
Vitamin C 50mg61%
Calcium 390mg39%
Iron 10mg56%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this? I would love to see your creation!Tag me @sweet2savoury on Instagram and hashtag it #sweet2savoury

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