Sweet and sour tofu, made in just 30 minutes. A plant-based version of this classic Chinese food that is much healthier than take-out!
Tofu is a staple in my kitchen. I use it a lot and, lately, I’ve been obsessed with this delicious sweet and sour tofu. It’s a great meat alternative, especially when you’re trying to recreate meat-based dishes because, if you cook it properly, you can get a similar texture.
This sweet and sour tofu recipe is super flavorful and ready in just 30 minutes. Besides, it is way better and healthier than take-out. It makes the perfect dinner!
How to make sweet and sour tofu
- Mixthesoy sauceandapple cider vinegarin abowluntilwell combined.
- Incorporatethetofu cubesand letmarinatefor at least5 minutes.
- Drainthetofuandtransfer1/3 of the tofu cubesto afreezer bagwith2 tbspofcornstarchandtosstocoat.Repeatthisstepwith all theremainingtofuandcornstarch.
- Heathalf of the oilin askilletand when it’s hot,incorporatethetofu cubes.Cookover medium-high heat until all sides aregolden brown.Removethetofufrom theskilletandset aside.
- Heatthe otherhalfof theoilin theskilletandaddtheveggies.Cookovermedium-high heatuntilgolden brown. Set aside.
- Tomakethesaucejustmixall theingredients一起搅拌,直到混合均匀。
- Pourthesauceinto theskilletorpanandcookuntil itthickens.
- Mixthetofu,veggies, andsaucein theskillet,stir, andcookfor about5 minutesovermedium heat.
- Serveyoursweet and sour tofuimmediately.
Sweet and sour tofu ingredients and tips
- Soy sauce or tamari: I used soy sauce, but tamari is a good gluten-free alternative. If you don’t consume soy, coconut aminos is a great substitute. You could also add the same amount of water orvegetable stock再加点盐。
- Apple cider vinegar: you could also use white vinegar or lemon juice instead.
- Firm tofu: firm or extra firm tofu work best for this sweet and sour tofu recipe. Soft or silken tofu is not a good choice as it will fall apart easily.
- Cornstarch: I’ve only made this recipe using cornstarch, but any type of starch should work.
- Extra virgin olive oil: I’m Spanish, so I use extra virgin olive oil to cook most of my dishes. However, any type of oil will work. I always use extra virgin oils when possible because they’re healthier.
- Green bell pepper.
- Red bell pepper.
- Sugar: I used brown sugar, but feel free to use the type of sugar you want, or even other sweeteners like maple or agave syrup.
- Tomato paste: it can be replaced by tomato puree,ketchup, ortomato sauce.
Looking for more tofu recipes?
For the sweet and sour tofu:
- 2 tbspsoy sauce or tamari
- 1 tbspapple cider vinegar
- 10 ouncesfirm tofu (275 g), cubed
- 6 tbspcornstarch
- 2 tbspextra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1carrot, chopped
- 1/2green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2onion, chopped
For the sweet and sour sauce:
- 4 tbspsugar, I used brown sugar
- 2 tbsptomato paste
- 1 tbspapple cider vinegar
- 1 tspsoy sauce or tamari
- 6 tbspwater (90ml)
- 2 tspcornstarch
- Mix the soy sauce or tamari and apple cider vinegar in a bowl until well combined.
- Incorporate the tofu cubes and let marinate for at least 5 minutes.
- Drain the tofu and transfer 1/3 of the tofu cubes to a freezer bag with 2 tbsp of cornstarch and toss to coat. Repeat this step with all the remaining tofu and cornstarch. Add more cornstarch if needed.
- Heat half of the oil in a skillet and when it’s hot, add the tofu cubes. Cook over medium-high heat until all sides are golden brown. Remove the tofu from the skillet and set it aside.
- Heat the other half of the oil in the skillet and when it’s hot, incorporate the veggies (carrot, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and onion). Cook over medium-high heat until golden brown. Set aside.
- To make the sauce just mix all the ingredients until well combined.
- Pour the sauce into the skillet and cook until it thickens, stirring frequently.
- Mix the tofu, veggies, and the sauce in the skillet, stir, and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Serve your sweet and sour tofu immediately with some sesame seeds on top (optional).
- Keep the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Some people add pineapple to this sweet and sour tofu recipe, but I don’t. If you want to enjoy this dish with pineapple, just sautée it with the veggies.
- Feel free to use any type of vinegar, starch, oil, veggies, or sweetener you have on hand.
- Tomato paste can be replaced by tomato puree,ketchup, ortomato sauce.
- The 1248 mg of sodium is not a real measurement because you’d need to marinate the tofu for hours for it to absorb all the soy sauce.
- Serving Size:1/2 of the recipe
- Sugar:25.8 g
- Sodium:1248 mg
- Fat:10.8 g
- Saturated Fat:1.9 g
- Carbohydrates:58.6 g
- Fiber:5.2 g
- Protein:15.9 g
Update Notes:This post was originally published in May of 2018, but was republished with new photos, step-by-step instructions, and tips in April of 2022.