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5 from 18 votes

Vegan Char Siu (BBQ Tofu) Rice - 素叉烧饭

This vegan Char Siu (BBQ Tofu) Rice is really simple to make at home. The tofu is first coated with cornstarch then pan-fried until golden. Then, they are coated with a homemade Char Siu sauce for a delicious and glossy sheen. This meal is complete with a homemade ginger garlic chili sauce. Enjoy!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Rice Cooking Time (in rice cooker)40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: CharSiu, rice, tofu
Servings: 3 people
Author: woonheng


  • Rice cooker


  • 16 oz firm tofu drained
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • oil for cooking

Ginger Rice (enough for 6 people)

  • 3 cups rice
  • a few slices of ginger [about 15g]
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pandan leaves knotted
  • water (see notes)

Char Siu Sauce

Sweet Sauce Mix (optional)


Prepare the Ginger Rice

  • Wash and rinse Jasmine rice with cold water until the water turns clear (about three rinses). Drain out the water and set aside.
  • Heat a large pan and add 3 teaspoons of cooking oil. Sauté ginger slices until aromatic and continue to do the same for garlic.
  • Add the rice, salt, and butter then stir-fry all the mixture over medium low heat until fragrant. [This step is to dry up the rice as well.]
  • Transfer rice to the inner rice pot. Add the pandan leaves and water.
  • Cook the rice on 'white rice' settings. When ready, fluff the rice with fork before serving.

Prepare the vegan Char Siu (BBQ Tofu)

  • Combine all the char siu sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • Cut tofu into 3 slabs, lengthwise. Rub all sides with cornstarch.
  • Heat a non-stick pan and add in a tablespoon of oil. Using low-medium heat, pan-fry the tofu until golden brown on all sides. Tip: Do not flip the tofu until a crust is formed.
  • Once the tofu is ready, add in the sauce. Coat each side with the sauce until the tofu has a nice glossy sheen. This process takes a little bit of time as you need to turn and coat each side evenly.
  • Remove the tofu from the pan and let them cool down completely before slicing it into slices.
  • Now, make the sweet sauce by mixing maple syrup and soy sauce with toasted sesame oil in a bowl. Or you can simply cook the sauce in the pan with the remaining oil in the pan.

How to serve

  • Place the flavored ginger rice and vegan Char Siu on a plate. Add a spoonful of sweet sauce mix on top of the Char Siu then pair it with a side of sliced cucumber and ginger garlic chili sauce. Enjoy.



  • How much water needed for 3 cups of rice? I used about 1¼ cup water to 1 cup of rice depending on the brand of rice. Usually, I measure my water needed using the first crease of my index finger as a guideline which is also known as the Knuckle Method. 
  • Check this recipe for homemade vegan 'oyster' sauce
  • Best served with homemade Ginger Garlic Chili sauce
  • Thick dark soy sauce such as kicap manis will work great. Some brands label it as Thick Caramel sauce.