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Sesame Crusted Hoisin Tofu Bowls

If there is one kind of meal I never get tired of, it’s definitely Buddha Bowl. Introducing Sesame-Crusted Hoisin Tofu Buddha Bowl!

Why do I love bowls so much? Because 1) It’s cozy and comforting. 2) Easy to eat; you don’t need to bring table mats, skillets, spatulas, and all the other stuff on the table. Just get your bowls and a fork! Plus, it’s perfect to have in front of your favorite TV show. And 3) It’s healthy and LOADED with different flavors and textures.

This Buddha bowl comes with marinated tofu that is perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, plus spicy roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, avocado, greens, and hummus!

Sesame Crusted Hoisin Tofu Bowls

This recipe starts with the tofu. You have two ways to prepare it, you can freeze it overnight and then thaw on the counter, or simply press it for 30 minutes. The first method yields a chewier tofu that will absorb more of the marinade, while the other yields a slightly more tender texture but doesn’t absorb as much flavor. Freezing really helps the tofu get rid of excess water. I went with the first method, but the second one is also great if you are short on time.

Sesame Crusted Hoisin Tofu Bowls

Once your tofu is ready, prepare the marinade. I went with something very simple yet flavorful: hoisin sauce + soy sauce. If you have never tried Hoisin sauce, it’s a thick, dark red sauce that is sweet and a bit salty. We usually use it as a dipping sauce or to glaze meats. It’s like the Chinese version of BBQ sauce. If you are wondering, it’s totally different from Sriracha which is a lot spicier and garlicky. You can find Hoisin sauce online, in Asian markets, or make your own.

Let the tofu marinate for at least two hours to give it time to soak up the marinade. Once the tofu has marinated, heat a skillet over medium heat and cook on each side for a few minutes before pouring the remaining marinade. This step allows the tofu to soak up more flavor from the marinade.

Next, dust the tofu slices with rice flour, dip them into the wet batter, and finally, coat them with the sesame breadcrumbs. It’s now ready to shallow-fry until crispy and golden brown! Make sure to cook the tofu just before serving, though, if you want it crispy. Check the notes for a baked version.

Sesame Crusted Hoisin Tofu Bowls

To complement the tofu, you can never go wrong with roasted potatoes + avocado. This combination always works, like peanut butter + jelly, chocolate + sea salt, or apple + cinnamon. Anyway, sweet potatoes are coated with cumin and chili powder, then roasted in the oven until soft.

For healthy fats and added protein, I added a generous dollop of hummus in the bottom of the bowls before topping it with the quinoa, avocado, sweet potatoes, and tofu. I highly recommend you use the hummus as a dipping sauce for the tofu and sweet potatoes, so good!

Quick note: If you love hoisin sauce as much as I do, I won’t judge if you add a drizzle of hoisin on top of everything for even more flavor.

Sesame Crusted Hoisin Tofu Bowls

This good-for-you Buddha bowl has it all! It is packed with protein, healthy fats, carbs, vitamins, and, last but not least, flavor!

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Sesame Crusted Hoisin Tofu Bowls
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Sesame Crusted Hoisin Tofu Bowls

Sesame Crusted Hoisin Tofu Buddha Bowl

5 from 4 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Freakin' awesome buddha bowl with sesame crusted hoisin tofu, roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, avocado, and spinach. Comforting, healthy, and filling!
Servings 4 Bowls
Calories 673 kcal


Sesame Crusted Tofu

The Rest

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp ground chili 1/4 tsp if you like it very spicy
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups greens: spinach, kale, or bok choi
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 3/4 cup hummus (homemade or store-bought)
  • garnish: a drizzle of hoisin sauce, ground pepper, fresh basil and/or mint


Sesame Crusted Tofu

  • Two ways to prepare the tofu: 1) Wrap the tofu in plastic film and freeze overnight. The next day, allow it to thaw on the counter until completely thawed. Transfer to kitchen paper towels and press with your hands to remove excess water. This method gives the tofu a chewier texture, plus it tends to absorb more marinade. Or 2) Place the tofu on a double layer of kitchen paper towels. Top with another layer of paper towels. Place something heavy on top like an iron skillet for example. Let the tofu sit at least 30 minutes.
  • Cut the tofu into nuggets-size pieces, about 1/2 inch thick. I ended up with about 8 slices. Set aside.
  • In a large baking dish, prepare the marinade by combining the hoisin sauce and soy sauce. Transfer the tofu to the dish and use your hands to coat the tofu with the marinade on each side. Arrange the tofu slices in a single layer, cover with plastic film and let marinate for at least 2 hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator.
  • Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu slices and cook about 1 minute per side, or until golden brown. Pour the remaining marinade over the tofu and cook for another minute, or until almost no liquid remains. Remove from heat and let the tofu cool a few minutes.
  • Next, we will prepare our batter. Place 1/2 cup of rice flour on a soup plate or shallow dish. Set aside. In another plate, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of rice flour with the cornstarch and water. Whisk until no lumps remain. Finally, in a third plate, combine the sesame seeds with the breadcrumbs.
  • Take a slice of tofu, coat it in the rice flour and shake off excess. Then dip it into the wet batter to coat it lightly, and finally lay the tofu in the sesame-breadcrumbs. Turn it over to make sure it's fully coated. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining tofu.
  • I recommend cooking the tofu at the last minute, so if you haven't yet, prepare the rest of the bowls (see below).
  • To cook the tofu, heat about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a skillet (see notes for the baked version). Once hot, shallow fry the tofu slices, about 1 minute per side or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Prepare the bowls. Place about 3 tbsp of hummus in each bowl and smear it using the back of a spoon. Top with cooked quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, sautéed greens, avocado, and finally sesame crusted tofu. Garnish with chopped basil or mint, and serve. Drizzle the tofu with hoisin sauce for even more flavor and top the hummus with toasted sesame oil.

The Rest

  • For the sweet potatoes:
    Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Wash the sweet potato and cut it into 1/2 inch slices. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with the oil, sprinkle with cumin, and chili, and mix with your hands to coat each slice with the spices. Arrange the slices in a single layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until soft and golden brown.
  • For the quinoa:
     In a large saucepan, combine the quinoa with the water, hoisin sauce, and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, and cook covered about 15 minutes.
  • For the greens:
     Use your favorite method to cook your greens. To sautée, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add chopped garlic (optional) and sautée for a few minutes. Then, add your greens (I went with baby spinach) and sautée until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.


Crusted tofu can also be baked: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the tofu coated with sesame seeds and breadcrumbs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes.
This recipe makes 4 large bowls or 5 smaller ones. It’s fully customizable, feel free to omit avocado or hummus for a lighter meal.


Serving: 1 Bowl (with all the toppings) | Calories: 673 kcal | Carbohydrates: 84.9 g | Protein: 20.8 g | Fat: 30 g | Fiber: 14.4 g | Sugar: 13.4 g
Course : Entree, Main Course
Cuisine : Asian
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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nom nom, this looks great! I’m gonna make this for sure 🙂

My Buddha bowl was different from your Buddha bowl, but it did contain the sesame crusted tofu, the spicy roasted sweet potato wedges, and the hummus. This is a very enjoyable way to eat tofu. Delicious. And, yes, I did add extra hoisin sauce to the bowl.

This was so delicious. Thanks for sharing.

I didn’t know what to cook for diner tonight. I showed my Pinterest board to my young daughter and she pointed your pin.
Wow! The kids were fighting for the last slice of tofu! Huge hit!
I used home made hummus, and kabocha squash instead of sweet potatoes. I baked the tofu. I will cook them in oil next time to see the diference.
Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

5 stars
This recipe was delicious! I will definitely be making it again. The texture and flavor of the tofu is so perfect!

I love this recipe and have made it so many times! The idea of putting hummus as a part of a dish is genius. I’ve started using the general base of hummus + quinoa + green + whatever other vegetables/etc we have in a lot and changing up the sauce.

Time-saving tip: the sesame-crusted tofu is very time consuming, so a shortcut is to use just cornflour (cornstarch) instead (about a third of a cup). I put the cornflour in a zip-lock bag, add the tofu, shake, and voila! tofu has been coated. Cook it the same way. Takes only a minute or two and is about 75% as good as the more time-consuming sesame-crusted option 🙂

Thanks for the recipe!

I have always just pressed my tofu and marinated and fried. I stumbled upon this recipe and its tofu method intrigued me. So I followed the tofu as per instructions with one slight alteration, I changed the marinade to a Char Sui marinade with chili paste and soy sauce. And it turned out delicious. Def the best tofu I have ever marinated and made. Thank you for posting this recipe.

5 stars
sorry I forgot to rate it 5 star

Love the crust on the tofu

This looks and sounds amazing, I have to try it! The mushrooms in the photo, how were they prepared? Thanks for sharing your delicious recipe and photography!

5 stars
Loved this so much! Definitely will be making this one again soon. Had some extra veggies to use up in addition to everything in the recipe so I roasted some carrots with the sweet potatoes and sautéed some red cabbage with the kale and spinach. Sriracha was also a good topping at the end too for some extra kick

5 stars
Thank you so much for this recipe. The tofu in this recipe is fantastic and the best I have ever had. We fried ours as we wanted it brown and crispy. I will keep this tofu recipe forever. This was also my first bowl recipe. We made our favorite hummus recipe and dipped the tofu into that and ate it. So good, but the tofu by itself was the absolute best! What a hit! Thanks again.