Baked Tofu with Maple Glaze makes a delicious appetiser when paired with the freshly prepared Mango Maple Basil dipping sauce with tons of fresh flavours. There are other uses for both the baked tofu and the dipping sauce, which I shall share with you in the post.
I’ve been in love with maple syrup since my US days. Tall stacks of pancakes, still hot from the griddle, doused with a generous pour of maple syrup, the aromas of freshly brewed coffee in the air and the sounds of busy waiters and happy conversations – these made an ideal neighbourhood cafe scene over the weekends.
Of course, those days, I was just a newbie cook and my love for maple syrup started and ended with pancakes. But now, I am (or at least I’d like to think) a more evolved cook, constantly experimenting with new flavour combinations. You’ll find two absolutely divine flavour pairings with the 100% Pure Maple Syrup of Canada in the baked tofu with maple glaze recipe here – one with a Bhut Jholokia Chili Sauce (superrrrr hot sauce) in the marinade for the tofu and another with Basil and Mango in the dipping sauce (I could eat a whole cup of this all by itself).
Before we jump over to the recipe, answering a couple of commonly asked questions here:
What are the health benefits of 100% Pure Maple Syrup from Canada?
Pure Maple Syrup of Canada is an excellent source of vitamin B2 and manganese.
The rich golden colour of Maple Syrup is due to the presence of health boosting polyphenols, similar to what is present in wine, berries and tea. Maple syrup prevents inflammation, insulin resistance and helps in maintaining a healthy liver and gut. In its pure and natural form, maple syrup is a healthier and unprocessed alternative to refined sugars.
How can you use maple syrup?
- In marinades for tofu, chicken etc. such as in this baked tofu recipe
- As an ingredient salad dressings
- In place of sugar in bakes such as cakes, cookies etc.
- As a topping on pancakes, French toast and waffles (this one of course is everyone’s fav)
- Pure maple syrup can be used to sweeten frostings, beverages such as coffees
Coming to the recipe I am sharing with you today…Baked Tofu with Maple Glaze
It is easy to dislike tofu. People say it has the most bland and boring flavour. Sometimes, if tofu is not fresh enough, it even ends up with an unpleasant odour. But when you choose good quality tofu and marinate it well, tofu acts like a blank canvas ready to absorb any flavours you want it to.
Rule no.1 and 2 of cooking with tofu: Always blot out excess moisture and ALWAYS marinate it before proceeding to cook with it.
Today’s special marinade for the tofu is a combination of some highly flavourful ingredients.
Starring ingredient here is Pure Maple Syrup from Canada. Bhut Jholokia chili sauce plays the supporting role and a couple of other ingredients balance out the story here.
Tofu is first cut into desired shapes and placed between two layers of absorbent clean cotton towels, if possible with some weight over them, so that all the water content from within is squeezed out. Tofu is now ready to absorb the flavours from our maple chili marinade.
Marinated tofu is then baked for 15-20 minutes until golden around the edges.
This baked tofu can be eaten as it is as an appetiser along with this life changing Basil-Mango-Maple dipping sauce. Or, you can cut it into smaller pieces and make it a part of a lettuce wrap or a rice paper roll or as a part of a Buddha Bowl.
I promise you, this baked tofu with maple glaze will convert you into a tofu lover. The full bodied flavour of Pure Maple Syrup from Canada goes a long way in making this baked tofu into an addictive appetiser.
And you MUST stock this 2 minute dipping sauce in your fridge when ripe mangoes are in season this summer. It will save many a boring meal and wow any guests you may have over the weekends. We loved this sauce with rice paper rolls. The bland filling of cucumber, carrots and rice noodles inside the roll just delight in the company of this flavour bomb of a sauce.
Baked Tofu with Maple Glaze and Mango Basil Dipping Sauce
- 1 block firm tofu 250 grams
For Maple Glaze / Marinade
- 1.5 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup from Canada
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 2 tsp cold pressed peanut oil
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 tsp rice vinegar or lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
For Dipping Sauce
- 1 small ripe mango 150 grams weight
- 1 cup Italian basil leaves loosely packed
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1.5 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup from Canada
- 2-3 green chilies
- 1/4 tsp salt
- To prepare the baked tofu with maple glaze, cut the tofu into half horizontally (depending on thickness). Place both halves between layers of cotton kitchen towels with a moderate weight on top to squeeze out all the excess liquid.
- Cut the tofu into triangles or cubes and keep aside.
- Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. Gently toss the tofu pieces in this and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare a baking tray with foil or parchment paper. Preheat the oven at 180°C.
- While the oven is preheating, prepare the Mango Maple Basil dipping sauce. Peel the mango and slice out the cheeks from the ripe mango. Add to a small mixer jar / blender, and blend it into a smooth puree along with all the other listed ingredients. Remove into an airtight container and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
- Shake off excess marinade from tofu pieces and place in a single layer on the baking tray taking care not to overcrowd.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 180°C and then turn over and bake the other side for 10 minutes.
- Drizzle some of the leftover marinade over the baked tofu pieces if desired.
- Serve immediately with the prepared dipping sauce.