Buddha bowls with spicy chilli sauce

Buddha bowl with spicy chilli sauce

This has become another of our favourite sauces for Buddha bowls. It’s spicy and garlicky and very more-ish.

The sauce is loosely based on one for Ma Po Tofu.

Cauldron’s marinated tofu pieces were used for the protein part of the dish, though you could fry your own tofu or use tempeh or seitan instead.

The chilli bean paste we use is made by Amoy: Toban Jhan Chilli Bean Paste. It’s got a wonderful complex flavour that we both just love. We bought it from our local Chinese market. You can read more about chilli bean paste, and substitutions, here.

British American
150g fried tofu 5 ounces
1 tablespoon groundnut (peanut) oil 1 tablespoon
450g assorted vegetables 1 pound
For the sauce
1 tablespoon groundnut (peanut) oil 1 tablespoon
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 3
1 fresh hot chilli, finely chopped 1
1 tablespoon Chinese chilli bean paste 1 tablespoon
1/2 vegetarian chicken-style bouillon cube 1/2
300ml water 1-1/4 cups
1 teaspoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon sugar 1/8 teaspoon
1-1/2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) 1-1/2 tablespoons
To serve
cooked rice, noodles or quinoa

1. First, make the sauce. In a small saucepan, heat one tablespoon oil over low heat. Gently fry garlic and chilli until fragrant (about one minute). Add chilli bean paste and continue frying for another minute. Then add bouillon cube and mash to break it up. Reserve two tablespoons of water and pour the rest into the saucepan. Add soy sauce and sugar, and bring sauce to a simmer. Mix reserved water with cornflour (cornstarch), then add to simmering sauce and cook until thickened. Keep warm.

2. Cut veggies into bite-size pieces, and set aside.

3. Heat a large wok (I use cast iron) over medium heat. Saute fried tofu until heated through, then remove and keep warm.

4. Increase heat to medium-high. Add one tablespoon oil to wok. Lightly salt the oil, then stir-fry veggies until crisp-tender. Periodically, add a tablespoon of water to create steam and help soften the veggies.

5. When everything is cooked, put rice (or noodles or quinoa) into bottom of two large bowls. Top with veggies and tofu, then with sauce.

Makes two servings.


  1. nice! that egg roll is calling me. i hope ya made more than 2! no way can just one satisfy me. nom nom.

    wow that really looks delicious and will satisfy the spot…i have mixed feelings abt mapo tofu….havent really found one that’s juuuuust right….not a fan of the sourish stuff…buuuut i gotta say i would try yours in a heartbeat!


  2. I want to come over to your house to eat. the buddah bowl looks so good. you even have fried spring rolls.

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