Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Messpin it!
Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Messpin it!
Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Messpin it!
Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Messpin it!
Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Messpin it!

What to do when it’s kind of Spring-like during the day, but also chilly and damp into the evening? Eat a coconut broth bowl. It’s the soupier, steamier, and only slightly messier sibling of the all-pervasive grain bowl. I like to keep all the portions intact as I eat, but if you’re a compulsive mixer, this winds up looking like a thick, golden stew. Both great!

The recipe really hinges on the broth. Roasted crispy cubes of tofu and branches of broccoli are placed in a bowl, you pour that spicy, salty, rich (undeniably coconut-y), and flavourful broth in there, and then a scoop of quinoa (or whatever grain you like) is added for extra heartiness. Garnishes are only limited by your imagination, but I like sesame seeds, LOTS of green onions, lime juice squeezes, and chopped cilantro.

This would be a VERY meal prep-friendly recipe if you’re into that kind of thing. Make the broth and a batch of cooked grains on the weekend. Then, all you have to do is heat those prepped parts up, and make the tofu and any other veg you want to accompany the meal. While all that’s working, you can chop up your fresh components that will go on top. Fairly easy!

Hope you give this one a try if Spring is super chilly and grey where you live as well. This time period right when spring starts is always so full of hope, but peppered with firm reminders of the reality of season change in Ontario lol. One day it’s like summer and we’re enjoying a cool beverage outside (make mine a kombucha please), and the next day we’re contemplating whether we should put the heat back on while we’re shivering under heavy sweaters. It’s all a bit confusing and kind of an emotional roller coaster, but I promise you that tasty golden broth helps!

Sending love and wishes for Spring sunshine ;)

Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Messpin it!
Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Messpin it!
Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Messpin it!
Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Messpin it!
Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Messpin it!


Print the recipe here!
I definitely did not invent/discover this tofu crisping/baking technique. There’s lots of variations of this recipe online and in cookbooks. I just want to put that out there! Credit where it’s due ;)
-Go as hot as you can handle for the chili. I used a serrano, but a couple Thai Birds or even a Scotch Bonnet would be delicious.
-If you’re the kind of person that doubles the specified amount of garlic in every recipe, that would work out great here, just sayin’
-Beware of turmeric staining! Don’t wear your favourite clothes or an all-white outfit when you make this.
-You need to press the tofu to get the excess moisture out. Low-tech method right HERE.


2 teaspoons avocado oil
2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 hot chili, cut in half lengthwise
wide strips of lime zest from 1 lime
1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups filtered water
1 14-oz can (400 mL) full fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon light miso

14 ounce block (400 grams) firm or extra firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes
2 teaspoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
any other seasoning you like (garlic powder, chili powder, nutritional yeast, Old Bay even!)

2 cups cooked quinoa (or other grain you like)
cooked or raw vegetables to accompany (I like roasted broccoli)
sliced green onions
chopped cilantro
lime wedges
sesame seeds

Make the golden coconut broth. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the avocado oil and swish it around. Transfer the shallots to the pot and stir. Keep sauteing and stirring the shallots until they are slightly browned and soft. Then, add the ginger, garlic, chili, and the lime zest. Stir and saute until fragrant and garlic/ginger is slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the turmeric to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Stir the vegetables.

Add the water and the coconut milk to the pot and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes. Set a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. After 15 minutes, run the mixture through the fine strainer. Return the broth to the large pot. Add the tamari to the broth and stir. Place the miso in a small bowl and ladle a bit of the broth on top. Dissolve the miso in the broth with a spoon and pour it into the large pot of golden coconut broth. Taste the broth at this point and adjust the seasoning (more salt, pepper, tamari, acidity, spice, etc). Keep broth warm.

Make the crispy tofu. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dry the tofu and it into ¾ – 1-inch cubes. Place the tofu in a large bowl. Toss the bowl with the oil to coat. Sprinkle in the arrowroot, salt, pepper, and seasoning of choice. Quickly toss the tofu to coat again. Arrange the tofu on the baking sheet. Slide the tofu into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

At the 15 minute mark, take the tofu out and flip over all the pieces. Return the tofu to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crispy on all sides.

Make the golden coconut broth bowls. Heap up a serving of quinoa in a serving bowl (preferably a wide and shallow bowl). Pour one cup of the broth into the bowl. Place a handful (about a quarter of the batch) of the crispy tofu into the bowl. Top the coconut broth bowl with any other vegetables you’re including, green onions, cilantro, squeezes of lime, and sesame seeds.

  • Cindy10/04/2019 - 12:13 pm

    Hey Laura,

    I too, am in the Niagara region and, at this moment see white stuff falling from the sky! ugh. I am 100% having this coconut broth for dinner. Same thing happened when you posted the Mushroom Beet Bolognese a while back. I have made it twice – it’s off-the-charts good!!ReplyCancel

    • Laura10/04/2019 - 12:27 pm

      I almost cried when I saw that snow falling this morning. Stay cozy! Spring’s coming soon ;)

  • Brittany Scully10/04/2019 - 3:16 pm

    Slayin’ it again! Like always!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full10/04/2019 - 4:01 pm

    This broth bowl is exactly what I want right now! We had a gorgeous weekend of 60+degree temps but the nights have still been chilly. I’m definitely not ready for spring salads yet! ;)ReplyCancel

  • sm10/04/2019 - 5:26 pm

    I made this today! Fried up my tofu out of laziness and didn’t strain the broth – still delicious :) Thank you for the recipeReplyCancel

  • Daniela11/04/2019 - 2:28 am

    North of Italy, same weird weather. I’m definitely going to make this for dinner! TksReplyCancel

    • Daniela12/04/2019 - 1:59 am

      Made it, LOVED it, even if I didn’t have cilantro (I used parsley instead,SUCH A PITY, but I ordered cilantro for next week)ReplyCancel

  • Jessica11/04/2019 - 3:09 pm

    Looks so good– it’s my dinner tonight!
    Can’t wait to experiment with different seasoning variations with the crispy tofu!ReplyCancel

  • Carol12/04/2019 - 2:11 pm

    Hi Laura, this looks like the perfect bit of comfort food during the last throws of winter in April! Here in the UK we are getting our share as well. I just received in the post, my jar of sunshine (turmeric) from Diaspora. I can hardly wait to dive in. On the card the came with the jar, was the statement that a 1/2 tsp of Diaspora turmeric is equal to 1 tsp of conventional turmeric in flavor and strength. As I know you are a fan, do you use it in this way? For example, in this crispy tofu recipe are you using 3/4 tsp Diaspora rather than the 1.5 tsp conventional turmeric powder? Many thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Laura12/04/2019 - 3:01 pm

      Hi Carol!
      This is a great question. I’m using 1.5 teaspoons of Diaspora Co. turmeric in this recipe. You won’t need to adjust at all.

  • dana12/04/2019 - 2:36 pm

    gorgeous curry, friend!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica L14/04/2019 - 12:50 pm

    Can you sub cornstarch for arrowroot?ReplyCancel

    • Laura15/04/2019 - 10:58 am

      Yes! You can substitute the exact same amount of cornstarch with no other adjustments.

  • Emily14/04/2019 - 10:02 pm

    This was unreal! I added cilantro stems & coriander to the broth and it was so so good. Definitely will be making versions of this again and again!ReplyCancel

  • Diane14/04/2019 - 10:20 pm

    I made this tonight and it was just delicious! I’m not a fan of tofu so I subbed in shiitake mushrooms, roasted cauliflower and some white beans. It was sooo yummy! Thank you for the inspiration, Laura! I just love your recipes and am so grateful for themReplyCancel

  • Allison16/04/2019 - 1:25 pm

    I’m making this tomorrow! Your photos are so perfect… my mouth is watering just looking at them!ReplyCancel

  • danielle16/04/2019 - 6:47 pm

    sublime, laura! i made this for dinner last night & it was the perfect accompaniment to the warm day/cool evening scenario. looking way forward to another bowl this evening. thank you evermore for your endless flavor and nutrition, your meals are my favorite, they always hit all the marks. <3ReplyCancel

  • Emily16/04/2019 - 10:31 pm

    This was fantastic! My whole family (including two young kids) enjoyed it, and said how flavorful it was.ReplyCancel

  • Katie20/04/2019 - 6:46 pm

    This looks amazing and I can’t wait to make it. I’m going to cashew milk for coconut milk as my daughter is allergic to coconut, sadly!ReplyCancel

  • Linda01/05/2019 - 10:05 am

    This was absolutely delicious. I used marinated baked tofu, and added roasted broccoli and carrots to the rich broth. Like another poster, I did not bother to strain the broth, and I also used low fat coconut milk. I’m sure it was less rich but still delicious. Fantastic recipe, thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten04/05/2019 - 4:00 am

    Just heading into winter here in New Zealand, & this broth hit the spot for dark, damp evenings! Used pad thai rice noodles instead of quinoa, and wilted some spinach in the broth right before serving. Absolutely delicious :)ReplyCancel

  • Gina Gioldassis08/05/2019 - 3:46 pm

    This recipe was incredible! I made it with cooked shredded chicken instead of tofu, and also added roasted carrots and cashews. Without a doubt I will make it again!ReplyCancel

  • Autumn24/05/2019 - 10:34 am

    Hi! Does the coconut broth save well? I’m making it for just me. Looks awesome!!ReplyCancel

    • Laura25/05/2019 - 9:04 am

      Hi there!
      You could save it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It will also freeze well!

  • […] that I still don’t eat a lot of tofu, I rely on friends for recipes that I know work. I used this crispy tofu recipe from The First Mess. I don’t change it one bit which is why you’ll need to head to her site for the […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu […]ReplyCancel

  • […] I still don’t eat a lot of tofu, I are dependent upon friends for recipes that I know job. I employed this crispy tofu recipe from The First Mess . I don’t remained unchanged one bit which is why you’ll need to head to her locate for […]ReplyCancel

  • […] the recipe here!SERVES: 2-3NOTES: My crispy tofu would be an excellent addition here! I just wanted to keep this simple with veggies and crisped up […]ReplyCancel

  • Maclean Nash12/05/2020 - 12:01 pm

    This recipe turned out beautifully and so delicious!
    For us two, it made enough for one meal – with seconds (you’re going to want seconds!).
    I was surprised how well the tofu turned out! Often times I make “crispy tofu” per a recipe and the final result is either a mushy interior or being overly dredged in arrowroot/cornstarch and ends up flaking off. I will be using your method for tofu in MANY other recipes now!
    Thank you so much, your recipes are always wonderful!ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *