Spicy Maple Tofu Bowls with Golden Garlic Rice & Broccolini

Created by Laura Wright
4.98 from 34 votes
Ready in 45 minutes, this sweet and spicy glazed tofu cooks on the stovetop alongside some fragrant golden garlic rice. Steamed broccolini rounds this easy vegan dinner out nicely.
An overhead shot shows a spicy maple tofu bowl with golden garlic rice as a base and a few stalks of steamed broccolini. The bowl is topped with sliced green onions.

Ready within 45 minutes, these spicy maple tofu bowls with golden garlic rice and broccolini are the perfect vegan weeknight meal. They’re made with simple ingredients, like brown rice, ground turmeric, firm tofu, maple syrup, Tamari, garlic, and sambal oelek (you could use any hot sauce/chili paste that you like), and comes together entirely on the stovetop with two pots. Filled with punchy flavours, spicy glazed tofu, and nourishing whole grains and vegetables, this easy and saucy bowl dinner is sure to satisfy all types of eaters.

An overhead shot shows ingredients for a spicy maple tofu bowls recipe,

I am over the moon to share this quick and easy tofu recipe with you today! I’m going for a vegan version of a hot honey vibe here. A go-to method for adding flavour to tofu is using a spicy glaze-like sauce. With the spicy maple glaze in this recipe, I combine maple syrup, sambal oelek (gochujang is also great!), rice vinegar, garlic, and Tamari–all things I have on hand in my pantry. It is quite spicy, so just be aware :)

One of the keys with this spicy maple tofu recipe, is using firm or extra firm tofu and really taking your time to brown it in oil with a nonstick skillet. The full browning adds a lot of flavour on its own. I’ve tried versions of this with aluminum skillets and I always end up doubling and tripling the amount of oil to keep the tofu from sticking. Nonstick is less fussy and just generally more ideal.

The golden garlic turmeric rice is simple to fix up and simmers away while you get the tofu and broccolini happening. Plain rice would also be great! I make a version of this rice for our bowl suppers all the time, so wanted to share. The warm flavour is really nice with the slightly chewy glazed tofu and broccolini.

I used to be quite rigid on pressing tofu before cooking. I don’t have the forethought to be doing this myself anymore, and I still enjoy the tofu all the same. If you prefer pressed tofu and have an extra 15-20 minutes, go ahead! Dusting in arrowroot helps to promote some extra chew on the tofu and thickens our sauce.

If you love this easy spicy maple tofu, I recommend also checking out my blackberry glazed tofu with black pepper and chili and my crispy sesame garlic tofu.

An overhead shot shows two spicy maple tofu bowls with golden garlic rice as a base and steamed broccolini. The bowls are topped with sliced green onions.
An overhead shot shows a spicy maple tofu bowl with golden garlic rice as a base and a few stalks of steamed broccolini. The bowl is topped with sliced green onions.

Spicy Maple Tofu Bowls with Golden Garlic Rice & Broccolini

Ready in 45 minutes, this sweet and spicy glazed tofu cooks on the stovetop alongside some fragrant golden garlic rice. Steamed broccolini rounds this easy vegan dinner out nicely.
4.98 from 34 votes
An overhead shot shows a spicy maple tofu bowl with golden garlic rice as a base and a few stalks of steamed broccolini. The bowl is topped with sliced green onions.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings 3 -4

Ingredients

Golden Garlic Rice

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated with a Microplane
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 ¾ cups vegetable stock
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Tofu and Broccolini

  • 1 lb (454 grams) firm tofu, drained
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek or gochujang
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated with a Microplane
  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • sliced green onions, for garnish

Notes

  • I leave the broccolini as long stalks here. If your broccolini stalks are particularly thick, cut them in half lengthwise. 
  • You can use white rice if you like! You will have to adjust the amount of vegetable stock according to the package directions, and be mindful that it will cook up faster.
  • As written, this sauce/glaze is pretty spicy! I say that as someone who likes the spice. If you have a milder palette, I would reduce the sambal oelek for sure.
 
 

Instructions

  • Start on the rice. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl it around. Add the garlic and turmeric and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the vegetable stock, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, place a lid on top, and cook until all liquid is absorbed and rice grains are tender, about 45 minutes. Take it off the heat.
  • Cut the tofu into cubes. Place the tofu cubes on a clean kitchen towel and press/blot out the excess moisture. Place the tofu in a bowl and toss with the arrowroot, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, sambal oelek, Tamari, rice vinegar, and garlic. Set aside.
  • Trim the ends off the broccolini and cut any thick stalks in half lengthwise.
  • Set a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour enough water into the skillet to cover the bottom. Bring to a simmer, add the broccolini, and put the lid on top. Steam the broccolini until bright green but still firm, about 5 minutes. Remove the broccolini and place on a plate to the side. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Wipe out the skillet and return it to the medium flame. Pour in the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, carefully add half of the tofu to the skillet. Let the tofu pieces sit until deeply browned on the bottom, about 3-5 minutes. Carefully flip the pieces over. Brown the other side as deeply as you can–this should take about 5 more minutes. Place the tofu on a plate and repeat this cooking process with the remaining tofu, adding more oil if necessary.
  • Get all the tofu back into the skillet. Pour the maple and sambal oelek mixture into the skillet as well. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer until slightly thickened, spooning it over the tofu. Once the liquid has reduced by half, about 5 minutes, you’re good. Add the broccolini to the skillet and toss in the warm sauce.
  • Serve the spicy maple tofu and broccolini with the golden garlic rice and sliced green onions, and enjoy!
A 3/4 angle shot shows a spicy maple tofu bowl with golden garlic rice and spears of broccolini. A fork is sticking out of the bowl and it is garnished with sliced green onions.
13/09/2023 (Last Updated 03/01/2024)
Posted in: autumn, broccoli, earthy, gluten free, main course, nut free, quick, salty, side dish, sour, spicy, spring, summer, sweet, tofu, umami, vegan, winter

28 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Mary Rutter

    5 stars
    Loved this. Rice is wonderful and maybe the only way I ever make it again. Thanks for recipe!

  • Sarah

    5 stars
    love this recipe! it was delicious, simple to make and flavorful. i reduced the maple syrup as suggested by other reviewers and used just over a tbsp of sambal oelek – the sauce turned out great. the rice though- omg! i am always going to make my rice like this!!
    will make again. thx for another fab recipe!

  • Josephine

    If I don’t have arrowroot but do have tapioca flour that I’m trying to use up, would that work instead? If so, any adjustments?

    Thank you!

    • Laura Wright

      Any time you substitute tapioca starch for arrowroot, you need to double the amount! I have not tried this in this recipe specifically, so can’t guarantee that you’ll get the same texture on the tofu and in the sauce.
      -L

      • Josephine

        5 stars
        Thank you!

        Reporting back that the tapioca flour worked well, noting that the sauce thickened and almost caramelized right away instead of in ~5 minutes.

  • Cristal

    5 stars
    Oh wow! I just finished making this and eating it for the first time and I’ve already put another pot of golden garlic rice on the stove to cook. It’s the best brown rice I’ve ever eaten! The tofu and broccoli (I didn’t have broccolini) were also delicious with the sweet sauce. I think I’ll try air frying the tofu at some point in the future just for convenience but the texture was perfect from frying it in the skillet and I know I won’t get that in the air fryer.

    My picky eater partner also enjoyed the meal so this will be in rotation and I am so excited about that! I feel like all the meals in heavy rotation are currently from your website, haha.

  • Keli

    5 stars
    Fantastic, easy recipe! I’m loving the golden rice. I just make it in my rice cooker and it is a definite upgrade from the plain white rice we normally eat.

    I’ve made this a few times, and the only tweak I make is 3 tbsp of maple syrup instead of 4.

    Thanks for a great weeknight meal, Laura! :)

    • Laura Wright

      Really glad that it’s working for you, Keli!
      -L

  • Jeff

    5 stars
    Everything was delicious! Especially the rice. I might have to make the rice more often!

  • Charis

    5 stars
    Delicious! I loved the crispy edges and pillowy interior of the tofu. I didn’t have the recommended chili sauces, but I’m also a little wimpy with spice, so I used a bit of dried Aleppo pepper instead. While it certainly tasted different from your original vision, it was yummy.

  • Kathryn Surchek

    5 stars
    The sauce is so delicious! I slightly undercooked the rice, which needed 2.5 cups of water. But that’s on me!

  • Alina

    5 stars
    Wow! So good!! I had to make a couple of substitutions (long instead of short grain brown rice, frozen broccoli instead of broccolini, chili crisp instead of sambal), but it still turned out so flavorful and satisfying. My partner and I both went back for seconds.

  • Katharina

    5 stars
    I have made the maple glazed tofu tonight and it was delicious!! I didn’t have sambal oelek or gochujang but used sriracha sauce and really enjoyed the taste. This will become a staple recipe for sure!!

  • Julea

    5 stars
    So good!! So much flavour for such a simple recipe. This one will be on repeat for us :)

  • Panda

    5 stars
    Do you have the macro list?

  • Theresa

    What is your thoughts on air frying the tofu?

  • Hanne

    5 stars
    This is truely a game changer when preparing tofu….full of flavour and the recipe works! Thank you
    I’ll use the tofu bites in my salad bowls as well….

  • Robin T

    5 stars
    Best tofu recipe I have ever made!! No maple syrup, so I used organic honey and threw in a handful of spinach at the end. The sauce is AMAZING!! This will be a regular on my menu.

  • Marie

    5 stars
    You did it again, Laura! You made me look good!
    My Husband has requested this to go on the weekly rotation! It is SO delicious, even though I left out the sambal oelek and gochujang. I didn’t have rice vinegar so I subbed cider vinegar, SO GOOD!
    Thanks again for all these delightful recipes!

  • Jeff

    Any guidance on making the rice in a rice cooker or instant pot but with same ingredients?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Jeff,
      To make the same rice in a rice cooker, I would recommend quickly sautéing the garlic and turmeric in olive oil in a separate small skillet and then adding that to the rice cooker along with the rice and vegetable stock. Give it all a stir, turn the machine on, and you’re good to go!
      -L

  • Kim H

    5 stars
    This was so delicious! And that golden rice! So good! I did heed Melanie’s advice about the maple syrup and cut down slightly to 3T. This was a fantastic dinner. Truly. Thanks, Laura!

  • Kim

    5 stars
    So delicious!!! Thank you for this!! I did tweak it a bit by reducing the heat. I love how simple it was and that it has a new flavor combo for me

  • Paula

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner and it was absolutely delicious! Had to substitute a few things since I didn’t have exact recipe ingredients. I also used less oil (4 Teaspoons) and maple syrup (1 Tablespoon). Gochujang (1 Tablespoon). Coconut amino and low sodium soy sauce (total 1 Tablespoon). Rice flour. Regular broccoli and my own food prepped defrosted brown rice. Whew! It was CRAZY good. Thank you!

  • Mark

    I like your recipes and your presentation. However, I would hesitate to call this an “easy” dinner. based on the time involved and all that must be done to finish the dish. It does sound delicious however.

  • Mélanie

    4 stars
    Thank you, dear Laura, for this rich-flavoured recipe, it was properly delicious, even if I used some basmati white rice which was cooked a day before and upgraded with turmeric and garlic. It is possible however that the conversion from 1/4 cup to grams (48 g) of maple syrup was very lightly too sweet to me, but my goodness, it was a delightful lunch experience! Thank you again!

  • Elizabeth

    This sounds like my ideal dinner. I love the idea of adding some flavor to the rice and the tofu glaze sounds perfect. I can’t wait to make it!

  • Misty

    After watching “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones”, I’ve been wanting to add more easy tofu dishes to my meal planning. This comes at the perfect time and it sounds delish!