Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu

Created by Laura Wright
4.91 from 31 votes

Golden coconut broth bowls are hearty and light at the same time. Served with quinoa, crispy tofu, broccoli, and herbs. Simple and tasty!

Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Mess
Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Mess

What to do when it’s kind of Spring-like during the day, but also chilly and damp into the evening? Make coconut broth bowls. 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!

If you like the flavour profile of these coconut broth bowls, I bet you’ll also enjoy my crispy coconut tofu lettuce wraps, ginger sweet potato and coconut milk stew OR this lentil stew with coconut, spinach and lime. Sending love and wishes for Spring sunshine ;)

Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Mess

Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu

Golden coconut broth bowls are hearty and light at the same time. Served with quinoa, crispy tofu, broccoli, and herbs. Come together very simply!
4.91 from 31 votes
Golden Coconut Broth Bowls with Crispy Tofu - The First Mess
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 3 -4



  • 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
  • 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 that you like
  • cooked or raw vegetables to accompany (I like roasted broccoli)
  • sliced green onions
  • chopped cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • sesame seeds


  • 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 Bird chilies 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.


  • 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 cut 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 golden coconut broth bowls with any other vegetables you’re including, green onions, cilantro, squeezes of lime, and sesame seeds.

10/04/2019 (Last Updated 13/05/2024)
Posted in: autumn, broccoli, coconut milk, creamy, earthy, gluten free, main course, nut free, refined sugar-free, roasted, salty, soup, sour, spicy, spring, sweet, tofu, umami, vegan, winter


4.91 from 31 votes (20 ratings without comment)

Recipe Rating

  • Dena

    5 stars
    This is SOOOOO delicious! I kept going back for more….ended up eating the whole thing!!! So warm and cozy!

  • Jennifer

    5 stars
    We loved the depth of flavours. I reduced the water by half but otherwise made as is, including adding roast broccoli. Another winner from Laura!

    • Laura Wright

      Thank you so much, Jennifer!

  • Laura

    2 stars
    Really could have used cauliflower, red peppers, peas or green beans; the broccoli just doesn’t work with this. The broth was missing something, so I added sugar for sweetness. You can cut down the water to at least of third of the water recommended to keep the taste of the coconut milk. The amount of broth for the bowls is excessive and it really dilutes the flavors of the veggies/aromatics you’re adding. I’d suggest cutting down lime peels too as it makes it a little bitter.

    • Laura

      We thought the crispy tofu would have been an interesting texture difference, but found it chewy and overcooked. I think a softer tofu would have absorbed the flavors of the broth better.

      • Laura Wright

        Thanks for your notes on this recipe, Laura. Apologies that it was a disappointing experience for you!

  • Valerie

    5 stars
    This is probably my favorite recipe to make for dinner. It’s so satisfying, balanced, and there is so much depth to the flavors. It’s the epitome of a cozy, feel-good meal :) Thanks for another delicious recipe, Laura! :)

  • Eils

    5 stars
    One of my favourite recipes to cook! I add lots of Brussels sprouts and some bean curd strips to mine just as a personal preference alongside everything else.
    10/10 recipe, thanks so much!

  • Mirella

    5 stars

  • Elizabeth

    5 stars
    This was so good!! I loved the flavor of the broth and the different textures of the tofu and veggies. It’s a really nice change from bowls with sauces or curries where the ingredients are cooked in the broth. Will definitely be making this again.

  • Jamie

    5 stars
    This was incredible. My husband and I both loved it so much.

  • Jules H.

    So excited to make this recipe! Can you give me a rough idea of how much salt and pepper should be used to season the tofu? It’s always such a bummer when things get over-salted but underdoing it can be a missed flavor opportunity. Thank you!

    • Laura

      Hi Jules,
      I always just sprinkle salt with my fingers from about a foot or two away from the thing that I’m salting, and aim for light but even sprinkle on all available surface area. This strategy does it for me every time in terms of good seasoning! For the tofu here, if I had to measure, my guess would be 3/4 teaspoon.

  • K

    I made this for dinner tonight after seeing it on IG earlier in the week. I served it over udon noodles with some fresh veg. I really wanted to love this, but unfortunately, the broth was bitter on the back end. I ended up adding some mirin and when that didn’t fully fix it, a splash of maple syrup. Any ideas on why this might have happened, Laura? The only thing I can think of is maybe there was too much pith on the lime peel or maybe too much ginger? I’m not too sure, but I’d love to make it again as it’s a great cozy/carby meal. Hopefully you have a pointer or two…Thank you!

  • Catherine

    Hi Laura! I made this a while back and it was delicious! Is there a way for me to make this ahead? If so, what should be made ahead vs right before serving? Thanks!! 

    • Laura

      Hi Catherine! You could make the broth and cook the quinoa ahead of time for sure. You could also have your tofu pre-pressed and ready to go in the fridge if you like.

  • Inbal

    5 stars
    Wonderful, warming, light and versatile dish. Thank you!

  • Bailey A Haines

    5 stars
    yuuuummmmmm. just made this…loved by everyone, even my 2 yr. old

  • Colleen

    Ok, so I’m late to make this one…. it all I can say is O.M.G.   Yum!  I served this over your brown rice with coconut and lime for a double dose of lime and I think I died and went to heaven.  Thank you!  

  • Kortneii Mackenzie

    5 stars
     This is amazing! So much warm spicy goodness! It takes a decent amount of time to make but well worth it! Definitely in my arsenal for when I am trying to impress!

  • Maria

    This was incredible! Easy to make and very satisfying. Thanks for such a great recipe Laura!

  • Vicki

    Wow! This broth is so flavorful! I didn’t have turmeric, and neglected to look back at the picture showing that I could have included the hot pepper seeds (later to be strained out). I didn’t pop the $6 for arrowroot starch and used tapioca starch instead. I didn’t have avocado oil and so I used olive oil. And I used dark red miso instead of light. But it was SOOO flavorful. And I skipped the rice because I have been having too many carbs lately.

  • Maclean Nash

    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!

  • Autumn

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

    • Laura

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

  • Gina Gioldassis

    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!

  • Kirsten

    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 :)

  • Linda

    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!

  • Katie

    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!

  • Emily

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

  • danielle

    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. <3

  • Allison

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

  • Diane

    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 them

  • Emily

    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!

  • Jessica L

    Can you sub cornstarch for arrowroot?

    • Laura

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

  • dana

    gorgeous curry, friend!

  • Carol

    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.

    • Laura

      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.

  • Jessica

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

  • Daniela

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

    • Daniela

      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)

  • sm

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

  • Sarah | Well and Full

    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! ;)

  • Brittany Scully

    Slayin’ it again! Like always!

  • Cindy

    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!!

    • Laura

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