Rainbow Sesame Bowl by Tess Challis


If you love rice bowls with a ton of sesame flavor, try this recipe out! To create this dish, Tess Challis combined components from two of her books: the sesame sauce from FOOD LOVE and a simpler version of her sesame tofu from Radiant Health, Inner Wealth. Both the sauce and tofu are wonderful on their own, but adding them together is sesame heaven! Be sure to check out our previous posts with recipes by Tess, and learn more about her and her delicious recipes at tesschallis.com

Sesame Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot
½ cup water
¼ cup EACH: tamari (or soy sauce) and raw agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • Optional: red chili flakes to sprinkle on top

Sesame Tofu

  • 1 lb. tofu, extra-firm
  • 3 tablespoons tamari, shoyu, or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried garlic granules
  • ¾ cup sesame seeds (preferably a mixture of black and brown sesame seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon dry cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)


  • 3-4 tablespoons oil
  • 8 oz. soba noodles
  • 1 cup EACH: thinly sliced cucumbers, julienne cut carrots, and chopped purple cabbage
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
    1. Make the sauce: In a small saucepan, whisk the arrowroot with a little bit of the water until it’s smooth and no lumps remain. Add the remaining water and other ingredients and set over medium heat. Continue to whisk over heat until it becomes thicker in consistency. Remove from heat when lightly thickened and set aside (still in the saucepan, but not over heat).
    2. Prep your cucumbers, carrots, and cabbage and set them aside. Chop your broccoli.
    3. Make the tofu: Cut the tofu into eight slabs. Press the tofu between paper towels to remove excess moisture. Remove the tofu and cut into triangles that are about two inches in size. Place the pieces in a single layer on a plate. Evenly sprinkle the tamari and garlic granules over the tofu, turning the pieces to coat all sides. Place the seeds, cornmeal, and flour in a large plastic bag and shake well to combine. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Place several of the tofu triangles in the bag and gently shake to thoroughly coat the tofu with the breading. When the oil in the pan becomes hot, add the tofu in a single layer. When the tofu pieces are golden brown and crisp on the bottom, turn them over. When both sides are crisp and golden, remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all of the tofu has been used up.
    4. While the tofu is in process, you can get the rest of this dish together. Cook the soba noodles according to the directions on their package (they cook quickly, so check them often!). Steam the broccoli until bright green and crisp-tender. If necessary, gently reheat the sauce.
    5. Assemble your delicious rainbows: In each bowl, place some noodles, tofu, and the veggies. Drizzle with sauce, and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. ENJOY!




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