This recipe will get you craving tofu! Try bang bang tofu bowls for an easy, healthy, and plant-based dinner on busy days.

White bowl assembled with white rice, steamed green beans, and bang bang tofu.

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It’s no secret that I’m on a dietitian mission to get you loving tofu.

That’s because it’s inexpensive, high protein, and so neutral that you can make it taste like almost anything! If you think you hate tofu, I’m convinced you just haven’t had it made right.

If you’re still hesitant, these bang bang tofu bowls will be the recipe to finally convince you. This easy weeknight dinner is high protein and (mostly) plant-based, so it can fit in your diet no matter your preferences. The crispy tofu is tossed in a satisfying sweet and savory sauce, and poured over a simple bowl with rice and vegetables.

The result is a satisfying dinner that you’d never guess was so good for you! You’ll love it.

Close-up photo of bang bang tofu bowls assembled in a white bowl

Why you’ll love it

High protein: Each bowl contains 20 grams of protein to support your fitness goals and keep you full.

Plant-based: This bowl is mostly plant-based and can easily be made vegan with my instructions below.

Easy: You don’t need much cooking skill to make this quick and easy dinner.

Gluten-free: One swap makes this simple dinner gluten-free for those who need it.

Delicious: These bang bang tofu bowls might be made from tofu, but they’re still satisfying and crave-worthy. Even seasoned meat eaters will love this recipe!

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

Tofu ingredients

  • Extra firm tofu
  • Spices — salt, garlic powder, and onion powder
  • Cornstarch — this helps make the tofu crispy
  • Neutral oil — vegetable oil, canola oil, avocado oil, and even olive oil work fine

Bang Bang sauce ingredients

  • Mayonnaise — sub vegan mayonnaise or light mayonnaise if desired
  • Sweet thai chili sauce — look for a vegan version if needed
  • Sriracha — look for a vegan version if needed
  • Rice vinegar
  • Soy sauce — sub gluten-free tamari if desired
  • Green onions

Bowl ingredients

  • Rice — I suggest short-grain white rice, but use what you have
  • Steamed green beans — sub any vegetable you prefer like broccoli, cauliflower, or edamame
Ingredients for bang bang tofu bowls displayed in bowls on a kitchen counter

Dietary restrictions

Gluten-free: Sub soy sauce for gluten-free tamari. Ensure you’re using a gluten-free thai chili sauce and sriracha as well.

Vegan: Use vegan mayonnaise. Look for vegan sweet thai chili sauce and sriracha.

Meat lovers: You can sub cubed chicken for tofu if you really want to.

Higher protein: Use steamed edamame when assembling your bowls.

Lower calorie: Use light mayonnaise in your bang bang sauce.

How to make bang bang tofu bowls

Preheat your air fryer to 400 F.

Dry your tofu with a kitchen towel. Rip into 1-inch chunks or slightly smaller and place in a large bowl. Add seasonings, oil, and cornstarch and toss well to combine.

Tofu chunks mixed with corn starch and seasonings in a large glass bowl

Transfer tofu to air fryer basket. Cook for 12-15 minutes, tossing halfway, or until tofu is lightly golden and crisp.

Tofu chunks in an air fryer basket before cooking

As the tofu is cooking, whisk together all ingredients for sauce in a large bowl. You will add the cooked tofu to this bowl, so make sure it’s big enough.

Ingredients for bang bang tofu sauce in a glass bowl
Bang bang sauce mixed in a glass bowl

Add cooked tofu to the sauce bowl and mix until all tofu pieces are well coated.

Tofu chunks tossed in bang bang sauce in a glass bowl.

Assemble bowls with rice and steamed vegetables of choice. Add tofu, top with seasonings, and enjoy!

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Meal prep instructions

Assemble bowls as normal in microwave-safe food prep containers (you don’t have to store anything separately for this recipe!). Bang bang tofu bowls will stay good in the fridge for up to four days.

If desired, double the sauce if you’re making this in advance as it slightly absorbs into the tofu over time.

To re-heat, microwave your food containers for 60-90 seconds or until bowls are fully heated, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water before warming to keep the bowls moist.

Bang bang tofu assembled in a white bowl with rice and green beans

Top tips

Some air fryers run hotter than others. If yours tends to run hot, cook your tofu at 375 F instead of 400 F to avoid burning. Watch your tofu until it gets golden and crisp.

You can double the sauce recipe if you prefer a super saucy bowl. But be mindful if you’re working on your health, because the sauce is mayo-based and therefore a little calorie-dense! You can use light mayonnaise if you want to make more sauce without adding too many extra calories.

Short grain sushi rice works best in these bowls, but you can use whatever variety you like.

To save time, you can make your tofu nuggets in advance and re-heat before mixing with sauce. Simply re-heat in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes at 400 F until they’re warm and crisp.

Did you try this recipe?

Leave your rating and review below! And don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, and tag me @real.life.nutritionist.

White bowl assembled with white rice, steamed green beans, and bang bang tofu.
5 from 4 votes

Bang Bang Tofu Bowls

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
This recipe will get you craving tofu! Try bang bang tofu bowls for an easy, healthy, and plant-based dinner on busy days.

Ingredients
 

Tofu

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp neutral oil

Bang Bang Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp sweet Thai chili sauce
  • 2 tsp sriracha, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 thinly sliced green onions, plus more for topping

To Assemble

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cups steamed green beans, or steamed vegetable of choice
  • sesame seeds, green onions, chili crisp condiment, optional toppings

Equipment

  • Air fryer

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400 F.
  • Dry your tofu with a kitchen towel. Rip into 1-inch chunks or slightly smaller and place in a large bowl. Add seasonings, oil, and cornstarch and toss well to combine.
  • Transfer tofu to air fryer basket. Cook for 12-15 minutes, tossing halfway, or until tofu is lightly golden and crisp.
  • As the tofu is cooking, whisk together all ingredients for sauce in a large bowl. You will add the cooked tofu to this bowl, so make sure it’s big enough.
  • Add cooked tofu to the sauce bowl and mix until all tofu pieces are well coated.
  • Assemble bowls with rice and steamed vegetables of choice. Add tofu, top with seasonings, and enjoy!
Calories: 593kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 1742mg, Potassium: 406mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 25IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 3mg
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Course: Dinner, Main Meals