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12 Jan, 2022

Anna Jones' Caramelised Tofu and Aubergine with XO Sauce

This may even be our favourite dish of the lot (if we had to choose). The unique and rich flavours in the XO sauce - marrying smoky paprika with blitzed tomato and a sweet and sour blend - are really quite special. We thought about keeping the sauce recipe a secret but then thought this need to be shared to the world so all the more can experience its goodness! Poured generously over our favourite duet of crispy tofu and baked aubergine, along with corn, edamame, spinach and spring onion, served on a bed of brown rice and spinach.


Serves 2


  • 200g tofu, cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 200g aubergine, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 100g charred corn
  • 100g edamame
  • Fresh coriander
  • 10g sesame seeds

For the XO sauce

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red chili
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp maldon salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds


  1. To make the XO sauce fry the onion, chili and garlic until soft, then remove from the heat and add in the rest of the ingredients, stirring until completely combined. The sauce should be glossy and thick, perfect for drizzling.
  2. Wash the rice thoroughly under cold running water and then place in a pan with cold, salted water and bring to the boil, simmer until cooked.
  3. Cut the aubergine into 2 cm chunks and place on a roasting tray, drizzle with a little oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven for around 20-30 minutes until golden and soft.
  4. Whilst the aubergine is cooking, heat a little oil in a small frying pan and cook the tofu until it is golden on all sides. Tip the tofu onto some kitchen towel to soak up any excess oil and set aside. Then place the frying pan back on the heat, add a little more oil and add the sweet corn, fry on a high heat to char the corn.
  5. Take the aubergine out of the oven and toss it in a few tablespoons of XO sauce.
  6. Now bring the whole dish together, spoon the rice into bowls, add the tofu, aubergine, corn, edamame, fresh coriander and sesame seeds. Drizzle over the XO sauce.
  7. Any leftover sauce can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.