After having tried this recipe, you will never again think that tofu is boring. Crispy tofu tossed in that addicting, spicy, tangy, sweet chilli sauce served on a bed of fluffy rice. You will not want to go back to takeout and will want to start stocking up your fridge with tofu. A must try for all vegans and all non-vegans!
What is special about this dish?
It is normal to think that tofu is boring and tastes like nothing. Because it really can. But if you know how to prepare it the right way, you‘ll be convinced differently! Just as in this recipe. Here the tofu is first tossed in flour and then baked. This makes it really crispy on the outside and provides a great texture. Personally, I think that the texture maters a lot when preparing tofu. It just is a completely different experience whether you have a crispy bite or a soggy pulp in your mouth.
And then comes the sauce. The sauce is suuuper important! Since tofu itself is quite flavor neutral, the sauce it is toss in really matters! And this sauce is a slightly healthier twist on the conventional sweet chili sauce. Plus it is homemade, so it automatically tastes better and is fresher.
Moreover, all of this is really easy to prepare and does not take very long either. Ot is perfect if you just want a quick dinner after an exhausting day or just a tasty lunch!
Is this dish healthy?
Tofu itself actually is really nourishing. It is high in protein and therefore a favorable ingredient in plant based diets. Plus, tofu contains a wide range of amino acids, vitamins and minerals, all essential for your body. A serving of tofu also comes with a small amount of carbs and fibre, making it a really nutritious addition to meals.
Sweet chili sauces in general are not very nutritious. In order to achieve the addictive sweet flavor, a lot of sugar is needed. Usually, refined, white sugar is needed, which really has no benefit for your body. In this version we are substituting the white refined sugar for honey. Honey still contains sugar (without it would not have the sweet flavor) but also comes with other minerals, vitamins and health promoting features. Switching the refined sugar for honey does not drastically reduce the amount if sugar but it adds some nutritional value.
Plus, we are adding some greens on top, so we also get a decent amount of fibre and even more vitamins. And since we are serving it with some rice we also have a bunch of carbohydrates that will keep us energized!
How to make this dish?
The first thing that needs to be taken care off is the tofu because it takes the longest. Here it is essential that firm tofu is used and that we press it (placing it inbetween kitchen towels and letting something (rather) heavy sit on top). This way all the excess liquid is running out and it will turn out crispy. After is has being pressed for about 10 minutes, we can already chop it into about 1 cm sized cubes, which are then tossed in flour. The flour on the one hand binds the remaining liquid, and on the other hand forms a crust. Once they are placed on a baking tray, they can be drizzled with a little oil and baked in the oven until crispy.
That is it for the tofu. Now we can focus on the rest. First on the list is the rice. This can actually already be prepared while the tofu is pressing, since we only need to add rice, water and salt to a pot, bring it to a boil and reduce the heat. So what really still needs to be done is the sauce, for which we combine water, honey, vinegar, chili flakes and sambal olek in a pot and also bring that to a boil. In the meantime we also mix a little cornstarch with water and also mix it in. Also this can be turned down and simmer. The simmering will cause the honey to melt into the rest and everything to combine well, while at the same time the cornstarch helps to bind and thicken everything! After its time in the oven, the tofu can be taken out and tossed in the sauce and that already is it!
Varieties of the dish
You can either enjoy it with some rice and broccoli, as described here but you can also enjoy the sweet chili sauce in several other ways.
For example could you make a tofu stir fry out of it, by frying some veggies in hot oil and then adding the baked tofu and sweet chili sauce to it and mixing it. Also, you could add this tofu onto bowls or into wraps or even onto salads!
If you are not that hyped for that much tofu, why not just make the chili sauce and keep it in the fridge? You can then use it for several different dishes and with several different ingredients. Make sweet chili noodles or sweet chili prawns! Add it to soups, to salad dressings or as a dip! There really are plenty ways of using it!
This recipe is a great and easy way of making the kitchen staple a little lot healthier! And in combination with the tofu it is unbeatable!! Definitely something worth trying!
I genuinely hope that you will enjoy this recipe and make it on repeat! If you do so, I would highly appreciate it if you leave a comment or send me a pic of your remake!!
Better than takeout Crispy Sweet Chilli Tofu
Whoever says tofu is boring, has not trued this dish. Spicy, sweet, addictive goodness that is super easy to make and will convince everyone of how delicious tofu can be!
What you will need
For the sauce:
- 100 ml water
- 100 g honey
- 40 g vinegar
- 1 tbsp sambal olek
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
For the rest:
- 400 g tofu
- wholegrain flour (about 5 tbsp)
- 400 g (brown) rice
- 500 g broccoli
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Place the tofu inbetween a kitchen towel or kitchen paper and add a (relatively) heavy object on top. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. This will press the tofu and remove any liquid that is inside of it. Then cut it into about 1cm sized cubes, toss them in the flour, so they are evenly coated and lay on a baking tray. Drizzle with oil and bake for about 25 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
To a pot add the rice along with twice the amount of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer at medium heat and let simmer until all water has been absorbed. Turn down to low heat and let sit for another 5-10 minutes until soft and fluffy.
In the meantime add the honey, vinegar, sambal olek, chili flakes and water, except for 2 tbsp to a pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. In the meantime combine the cornstarch with the remaining water until there are no lumps left, then stir into the remaining sauce. Turn down to medium heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, storing occasionally until it thickens. Then reduce the heat to very low.
In the meantime break the broccoli into florets and steam it in a pot with boiling, salted water for about 4 minutes, then drain. Once the tofu is done baking, add it into the sauce and make sure it is all covered.
Divide the rice, broccoli and tofu onto bowls and garnish with some fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
Have fun cooking!
Katie // Une Petite Cuisinière
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