Blog Post

Rice Bowl Recipe (with Mango Salad, Crispy Tofu and Peanut Sauce)

This bright, colourful rice bowl recipe is a taste sensation. Fresh mango, cilantro (or parsley, for you cilantro despisers out there) and red peppers – complemented with a hint of chilli. Rounded off with a delicious peanut sauce, this dish is a match made in heaven.

This rice bowl recipe is made with tofu, marinated and baked until perfectly crisp on the outside and tender inside. It can also be adapted by replacing the tofu with chicken. 

Tofu and peanut butter can be off-putting for some. Tofu can seem intimidating to prepare – it’s not. Some people have health concerns regarding peanut butter. 


It took me a long time and much trial and error before I found a way to prepare tofu that didn’t make me recoil at the texture. I have found that if I prepare my tofu with the following considerations, it will usually turn out crispy and delicious:

Use firm tofu

Soft tofu is great for soups, desserts or smoothies. On the other side of the spectrum extra-firm tofu, although robust enough not to fall apart, does not absorb flavours as well. I find that firm tofu holds its shape and also absorbs marinade well.

Press the water out

Tofu is infused with water. Unless you want to drastically increase your cooking time or have soggy tofu, it is recommended to draw out excess moisture. This is the most effective method for me:

  • slice open the package and drain
  • remove the tofu block and cut into 3 equally thick slices, parallel to the main surface area
  • place these slabs onto a folded kitchen towel on a chopping board 
  • place another folded kitchen towel on top and another chopping board on top of this, so that you have a dish towel-tofu sandwich, with chopping board “bread”
  • on top of this, place something heavy so that you are literally pressing out any moisture. I like to use my food processor base
  • let the pressure squeeze out the moisture for 15 minutes or longer
Tofu in marinade

Always buy organic, non-GMO tofu

Tofu is made from soy (or soya), one of the most genetically modified crops in the world. In fact, in the United States 94% of soybean crops are genetically modified (up from 17% in the early ‘90s).

This is predominantly due to the versatility of soybeans, from cheap-to-produce oil for cooking to biodiesel fuel. The leftover meal, and arguably the main reason so much is grown, is used for animal feed. 


Be it because of allergies or just plain old aversion to the taste, peanut butter can put people off a dish. Don’t despair, you can easily replace the peanut butter in this sauce with almond butter or your favourite Asian sauce.

Should we eat peanut butter? Is it not unhealthy?

Peanut butter is rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s a good protein source, low in carbs and high in good fats. This also makes it high in calories, so no more than now-and-again, if you enjoy dipping into the peanut butter jar.

When buying peanut butter, make sure that it contains only peanuts. Many brands add sugar and salt to their product and this is not only unhealthy, but unnecessary as pure peanut butter tastes just as delicious on its own.

Peanut sauce

Rice Bowl Recipe with Mango Salad, Crispy Tofu and Peanut Sauce

This is mango salad rice bowl is so delicious and bursting with healthy nutrients. It takes no time at all to make. You can easily substitute any of the vegetables to suit your family’s tastes.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Lunch
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 5 cups water


  • 1 350g block of firm or extra firm organic tofu
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce (preferably reduced sodium)
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (omit if you are feeding people who don’t enjoy spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1 large mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips and then halved
  • I kohlrabi bulb*, peeled and cut into matchsticks (you can easily replace this with half a red or white cabbage finely sliced)
  • 1 carrot, sliced into ribbons (use a peeler for this)
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • ½ cup cilantro (or parsley), chopped
  • Juice of half a lime

Peanut Sauce:

  • ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce (preferably reduced sodium)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup water
  • Sriracha sauce, to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F

Prepare your tofu:

  1. Drain the tofu and cut it into slabs of approximately 1cm
  2. Press the water out by placing the tofu on a dishtowel, covering with a second towel, then placing a chopping board on top, followed by something heavy (I use my food processor).
  3. The pressure helps to squish the water out.
  4. Leave for 15 minutes, or until you are ready to marinade

Get the rice cooking:

  1. Rinse the rice in a sieve, to remove excess starch
  2. Bring your 5 cups of water to the boil in a large pot and add the rice
  3. Boil, uncovered, for 30 – 40 minutes (keep checking and add more water, if necessary)
  4. Now mince, grate, slice and dice your vegetables & mix them together (see ingredients)
  5. Mix the rest of the tofu ingredients in a bowl
  6. Cut the tofu into 1cm squares, then add these to the bowl and coat in the marinade
  7. Allow to sit for 10 minutes so that the tofu sucks up the juices
  8. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spread out the tofu
  9. Place the tray on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes
  10. Turn over and cook for a further 10 minutes before removing from the oven (increase the time if you like it more crispy)

Assemble your dish:

  1. Spoon some rice into a bowl and then layering with tofu, followed by a drizzle of peanut sauce and then your vegetables.
  2. Scatter crushed cashews, peanuts or sesame seeds on top
  3. And enjoy!


*Kohlrabi is related to cabbage, even though the “bulb” itself looks more like a turnip. This main part or the stems can be eaten raw or cooked, as you would a cabbage. With its slight broccoli-stem flavour and fresh crunch, I like to use it for this dish. Cabbage is just as good a substitute.

The tofu in this dish can be substituted with chicken or you can just leave it out altogether.

You can also substitute the rice with quinoa or cauliflower rice.

If you don’t enjoy nut sauces, this rice bowl recipe would be just as good with any dressing of your choice.

Keywords: lunch, easy, dinner, weeknight, vegan, healthy

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