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Miso Lacquered Tofu Bowl with Vegetables and Brown Rice

This Japanese-inspired bowl features miso, which like other cultured foods including kombucha and kimchi, promotes a healthy gut, proven to improve mood. Adding a squirt of sriracha adds a nontraditional but nice touch.


  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 14- ounce container firm tofu pressed, drained and blotted dry and cut into
  • bite-sized batons or cubes
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 3 tablespoons sake or sherry
  • 2 tablespoons mirin rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon garlic about 2 cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil like grapeseed or peanut
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 8 ounces shiitakes or substitute white mushrooms,
  • 1 bunch bok choy or half a small cabbage, shredded
  • chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts for garnish


  • Pour water or vegetable broth into a medium saucepan. Heat over high heat and bring to boil. Pour in brown rice. Stir. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook rice for 30 or 40 minutes or until the grains are tender and plump and all the liquid is absorbed.
  • Meanwhile, make the marinade for the tofu. In a small bowl, combine white miso, sake or sherry, mirin, garlic, ginger and agave. Stir to combine into a thickish paste, somewhere between the consistency of tahini and nut butter.
  • Spread tofu on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush with miso marinade — you will have some leftover. Broil on high heat for three to five minutes, or until the tofu starts to turn golden and blistered. Turn and continue broiling for another minute or two, until done on the other side.
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan, over medium-high heat. Add the sliced carrots and shiitakes and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes, or until vegetables soften. Add the shredded bok choy or cabbage — it will look like a lot, but the greens will wilt down once they meets the heat of the pan.
  • Stir the water or broth and rice vinegar into the remaining miso marinade. Pour it into the saucepan and stir into the vegetables to make just enough sauce. Heat through, another few minutes.
  • Spoon about 3/4 cup brown rice into four separate bowls. Top with a generous amount of vegetables and a scattering of the lacquered tofu. Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro as desired.