Tofu Bowls With Avocado, Cabbage and Turmeric Tahini

Time30 minutes
YieldsServes 4
Simply seasoned tofu adds heft to this easy grain bowl tricked out with avocado, turmeric-spiced tahini and chile crisp.
(Lindsay Kreighbaum / For The Times. Prop Styling: Dorothy Hoover)
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This recipe shows that seasoning tofu can really be as simple as letting it soak up soy sauce before a quick sauté to get the edges crisp and browned. Adding on avocado, creamy turmeric tahini sauce and cooked grains make it filling and texturally exciting to eat. Squeezing as much liquid as possible out of tofu is the secret to getting it delectably crisp. If you’d rather not use a ton of paper towels, you can use a couple of clean, absorbent dish towels instead.


Pat tofu dry with paper towels. Halve the block lengthwise, then slice each new block crosswise into 10 slices, creating 20 squares. Lay squares on a few fresh sheets of paper towels. Top with a few more sheets of paper towels and place a baking sheet on top. Place a few cans or a heavy skillet on top of that to help press as much liquid as possible out of the tofu.


Meanwhile, pour the soy sauce on a large plate or other shallow dish. Arrange the tofu in a single layer on the plate, gently nudging and flipping the pieces so they soak up soy sauce on both sides.


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown on the underside, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until golden brown on the other side, about 3 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat.


Divide the rice among bowls and top each with tofu, half an avocado and some cabbage. Drizzle everything with tahini sauce and chile oil or chile crisp, if using.

Lemon-Lime Cabbage


In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, lemon or lime juice, olive oil, salt, sugar, pepper and chile flakes. Toss to combine and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Turmeric Tahini


In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, water, lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Makes about 1/2 cup.