Smoked Tofu Bowl In United Airlines First Class - Live and Let's Fly

My Meal of the Week feature examines an airline meal from my travels over the years. This may be a meal from earlier in the week or it may be a meal served over a decade ago.

Last week I scored a rare “battlefield upgrade” on my flight from Los Angeles to Denver, which gave me the opportunity to sample the “smoked 5-spice tofu bowl” on United Airlines in first class.

Smoked 5-Spice Tofu Bowl In United Airlines First Class

It may not seem like it based upon the airline meals I review on Live And Let’s Fly, but I’ve made a conscious effort to curb my meat consumption this year and find protein from other sources (mostly yogurt, fish, and nuts).

My love for red meat makes this difficult, as does my general aversion to plant-based protein sauces…like tofu. Nevertheless, I thought I’d use the opportunity to order United’s version of tofu for lunch (the other choices were a beef and broccoli plate or a glass noodle salad with beef).

Here’s how the dish was described:

Smoked 5-spice tofu bowl
Smoked 5-spice tofu bowl on a bed of long grain rice with broccoli and roasted peppers, topped with cashews in a teriyaki sauce.

It was with some trepidation I dove into this dish because I also don’t care for teriyaki sauce and don’t each much rice (I’m not incredibly strict, but still try to avoid carbs).

The dish did not look very appetizing and for whatever reason, no side salads were loaded with it, making the tray look rather bare and carb-heavy.

I do not have much to compare it to, but the tofu was not bad…it was edible, for lack of a better term. The cashews and vegetables were also a nice accompaniment.

I left most of the rice, the bread, and the dessert behind…though I did eat the warmed mixed nuts.


I’m not sure I would order the tofu dish on Untied Airlines again, but I am glad it offers a vegetarian alternative to passengers onboard and don’t think it was so revolting that I could not stomach it. Now I need to experiment more with tofu in my cooking at home.

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