maple soy braised tofu
recipe + photo by Betty Liu
Like everyone, I have my set of go-to weeknight meals. One that is especially easy and delicious that I make almost every week is braised tofu. Braising is a very common technique in Chinese cooking and tofu is quick and easy to braise. Extra firm tofu is drained, lightly fried, and then braised in a salty sweet sauce of maple syrup and soy sauce. Serve it simply with fresh scallions or for a bit more substance, over rice.
- 1 12-ounce package extra firm tofu
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 bunch fresh scallions, divided
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnish
- Prepare tofu. Slice tofu into 1/2-inch slices, width-wise, and place on a paper towel-lined plate in a single layer. Allow excess moisture to drain.
- Make sauce. In a small bowl, add maple syrup, soy sauce, water, garlic, and sesame oil and whisk until combined.
- Julienne green parts of scallions and place in a small bowl of cold water. Allow to sit and curl up (for garnish).
- In a non-stick pan, heat oil over medium heat. When oil is thoroughly heated (a drop of water will skid over its surface), gently place tofu in a single layer, reserving sauce. Allow to sit, untouched, until bottom is golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Turn tofu and repeat until other side of each is golden brown.
- Pour sauce evenly over tofu and reduce heat to low. Simmer for another 5 minutes, turning tofu once halfway, until sauce reduces and thickens.
- Place remaining pieces of scallions on a serving platter. Place tofu on top and drizzle with sauce. Top with sesame seeds and julienned scallions and serve.