Jerk Tofu, Rice and Peas with a watermelon salsa

Join us as we butcher recipes and peel back the layers on our relationship with food

Jerk Tofu, Rice and Peas with a watermelon salsa

In Episode 2 of the podcast Emma challenged Mark to create a nutritionally balanced vegan dish and he made a Mexican Quinoa Salad. Emma took a different approach by trying to make a classic plate of food with “protein, carbs, veg”. The result? Jerk Tofu, Rice and Peas!

Vegan food made easy

When we asked our Instagram followers what they found most challenging about moving to a more plant based diet there were a few common themes:

  • Needing to purchase weird and wonderful ingredients they didn’t know how to cook.
  • Struggling to get enough protein (and generally concerned about how to eat a balanced diet).
  • Still being able to eat some of their favourite foods!

Whilst tofu is not the most popular of vegan meat alternatives it is one that can be used as a direct meat substitute in stir fries, curries, tacos and more! It works best with strong flavours which is why I’ve swapped chicken for tofu in this vegan Jerk Tofu, Rice and Peas dish. It’s also a “complete” source of protein which means it not only has high levels of protein but also includes all nine essential amino acids.

If it’s the “block” shape that puts you off, simply tear your tofu into chunks before frying. Simple!

The recipe

Jerk Tofu, Rice and Peas

Jerk Tofu, Rice and Peas is a fantastic meal for anyone new to a vegan diet. It's easy to make and packed full of flavour.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 2 people


For the salsa

  • 400 grams watermelon diced
  • 0.5 small cucumber diced
  • 2 spring onions thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lime juice only
  • 5 leaves mint shredded

For the rice and peas

  • 150 grams white rice
  • 400 millilitres coconut milk
  • 1 tin kidney beans roughly 240g drained weight
  • 0.5 tsp all spice

For the jerk tofu

  • 280 grams firm tofu cut / torn into 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper roughly chopped
  • 6-8 tbsp jerk sauce

For serving

  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut optional


To make the salsa

  • Add the watermelon, cucumber and spring onions to a bowl. Sprinkle over a little salt and pepper to season and place to one side to let the salt draw out some of the moisture.
  • Before serving, squeeze over the juice of the lime and stir through the mint leaves.

To make the rice and peas

  • Rinse the rise thoroughly before adding to a saucepan along with the coconut milk and all spice.
  • Slowly bring the coconut milk to a boil then cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the rice is just becoming tender.
  • Add the kidney beans to the rice and give it a stir. Leave the lid on but place the heat on low to allow the rice to absorb the coconut milk.

To make the jerk tofu

  • While the rice is cooking, add the oil to a pan along with the onions and a pinch of salt.
  • Cook the onions for 10-15 minutes until they are soft and translucent.
  • Push the onions to one side of the pan and add another tsp of oil. Space the tofu out across the pan so that they aren't touching each other and fry on a medium-high heat.
  • Turn the tofu as each side turns golden brown and crisp.
  • Once the tofu is crispy combine with the softened onions and add the yellow pepper to the pan. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the peppers are soft and the rice has absorbed all of the coconut milk.
  • Add the jerk sauce to the tofu, onion and pepper mixture and cook until hot.

To serve

  • Plate up the rice and beans followed by the jerk tofu and finally the watermelon salsa!
  • Garnish with some desiccated coconut if you wish!
Keyword all spice, coconut cream, cucumber, jerk sauce, kidney beans, lime, mint, red onion, tofu, watermelon, yellow pepper

About the author

This recipe was created by Emma.

Emma is a vegan food blogger who has been sharing her recipes with the world for the last 10 years.

You can find more recipes like this at

No Comments

Add your comment

Recipe Rating