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.
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.
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Spicy Maple Tofu Bowls with Golden Garlic Rice & Broccolini
Golden Garlic Rice
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
- ¼ cup olive oil
- sliced green onions, for garnish
- 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.
- 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!