Sweet And Sour Tofu

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This Sweet And Sour Tofu Recipe is flavorful and easy to prepare, seasoned tofu, pan-fried and then smothered in a sweet and sour sauce. Move over Chinese takeout, this homemade version is way better!

Sweet And Sour Tofu

This homemade Sweet and Sour Tofu version is similar to the one I used to get from one of my favorite restaurants. This version is prepared from simple ingredients.

You should also try my Tofu Broccoli Skillet, Sesame Tofu Recipe, and General Tso’s Tofu.

Tofu is very bland so when I prepare it, I tend to season the tofu and leave it to marinade a bit to soak up some of the flavors. 

sweet and sour tofu on a white plate with green beans and a white bowl of green beans in the back

What Is Sweet And Sour Tofu?

Sweet and sour tofu is a blend of sweet flavors with the tart.

 

Pineapple juice, cane sugar, lemon juice combined to make an incredibly flavorful sauce that is poured over marinated pan-fried tofu and peppers. 

What Kind Of Tofu Is Best?

I use superfirm tofu because it doesn’t break easily, you don’t need to press it but extra-firm tofu will also work. You can purchase it at a Trader Joes near you. 

Tofu for sweet and sour tofu seasoned in a ziplock bag

What Is Sweet And Sour Tofu Made Of?

The sauce gives the tofu its flavor, the simplicity of this sauce means you can whip it up easily. 

Pineapple Juice – pineapple juice gives your sauce an amazing flavor, use any store-bought pineapple juice for this recipe. You can make double and keep half refrigerated for making a quick dish later.

Brown Sugar – I used Florida Crystal’s organic cane sugar but you can substitute with coconut sugar. 

Lemon Juice – most recipes use vinegar for the tart/sour flavor but I love to use fresh lemon juice. 

Tomato Paste – gives great color to your sauce. 

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos – Adds a salty, savory flavor to your tofu recipe. It is a substitute for soy sauce that is gluten-free and flavorful. Substitute with gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.

Cornstarch – mix cornstarch with water to make a slurry, bring your sauce to a simmer and add this cornstarch mixture to thicken your sauce.

The Tofu  – when you purchase tofu that is in a carton with water, keep fresh by placing your tofu in a container with a fitting lid. Add filtered water, store in the refrigerator for a week. Change the water daily

Cornstarch – cornstarch makes tofu crispy when it is pan-fried, you can substitute with tapioca starch. 

Nutritional Yeast Flakes – gives the tofu a flavor boost, you can omit if you don’t have this ingredient, your recipe will taste just as good.

Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Paprika – adds flavor and the paprika adds color to the tofu.

Salt – I used Himalayan Pink Salt, sea salt is great.

Bell Pepper – colorful bell peppers give a lovely color. 

Garlic – adds a nice flavor balance with the sweet, salty, and sour

How To Make Your Sweet And Sour Tofu Recipe?

  1. Prepare the sauce and set aside.
  2. Drain and wrap tofu in a paper towel or clean dish towel if you are using extra-firm tofu. Place on a plate and put a cast iron pan on the top. Let it press for about 20 minutes to release the water. Skip this step if you are using super firm tofu.
  3. Cut tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. 
  4. In a zip-log bag, or container with a lid add nutritional yeast flakes, onion, powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt cornstarch. Add tofu cubes, close bag, and shake to coat tofu cubes. If you want tofu with a chewier texture then freeze tofu before preparing it. 
  5. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add tofu cubes, and pan-fry until golden brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. You can also bake tofu cubes on a prepared baking sheet at 400 degrees F. for about 25-30 minutes turning halfway.
  6. Add bell pepper and garlic, saute stirring for one minute. 
  7. Add sweet and sour sauce, bring to a boil, stir in the cornstarch slurry and stir until thick and bubbly. Garnish with green onion and serve immediately.

sweet and sour tofu in a skillet on the stove top

Other Vegan Asian Inspired Recipes To Prepare

  1. Chinese Scallion Pancakes
  2. Easy Vegan Fried Rice
  3. Easy Vegan Kimchi 
  4. Chinese Eggplant In Garlic Sauce
  5. Japchae 

wide angle view of sweet and sour tofu with green beans on a white plate in the middle

Serving Suggestions

It is delicious served with Jasmine Brown Rice, Quinoa, Green Beans, or Vegetable Lo Mein.

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Categories

Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 175 kcal / 732 kJ
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Carbs: 0 g

Cooking Time

  • Cooking: 10 min
  • Ready in: 10 min
For: 4 Servings

Ingredients

Sweet And Sour Sauce

For The Tofu

Vegetables

Instructions

For The Sweet And Sour Sauce

  1. Mix pineapple juice, sugar, lemon juice, Bragg's Liquid Aminos, tomato paste, in a cup, and set aside.

For The Tofu

  1. Drain tofu and wrap in paper towels or a clean dishcloth. Place weights on top, like a cast iron pan or a stack of books. Wait for about 20 minutes for the water to be released.
  2. Slice tofu into 1/2 inch cubes.
  3. In a zip-log bag, or container with a lid add nutritional yeast flakes, onion, powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt cornstarch. Add tofu cubes, close bag, and shake to coat tofu cubes. If you want tofu with a chewier texture then freeze tofu before preparing it. 
  4. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the tofu cubes, and pan-fry until golden brown and crispy, about 4-6 minutes on the sides. You can also bake tofu cubes on a prepared baking sheet at 400 degrees F. for about 25-30 minutes turning halfway.
  5. Add bell pepper and garlic, saute stirring for one minute. 
  6. Add sweet and sour sauce, bring to a boil, stir in the cornstarch slurry and stir until thick and bubbly. Garnish with green onion and serve immediately.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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