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sweet and sour tofu

Sweet and Sour Tofu

  • Author: Megan
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This sweet and sour tofu recipe is a homemade, plant-based version of a takeout classic. It’s crispy tofu coated in a thick and flavorful sweet and sour sauce.


  • 1 (16 oz) block extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil (or sesame oil) divided
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped

Sweet & Sour Sauce

  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari sauce)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 45 drops (natural) red food coloring optional

Garnishes (optional)

  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds


  1. Start by draining and pressing the tofu for 30 minutes. Wrap the tofu in paper towels or a kitchen towel. Press the tofu using a tofu press or by placing it between two cutting boards with heavy books or weights on top.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sweet and sour sauce: add all of the ingredients except for the cornstarch, water, and food coloring (if using) to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. In a small bowl, dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons  cornstarch in the water. Pour into the saucepan and stir continuously for 2 – 3 minutes. Simmer and stir the sauce until it thickens. Stir in the food coloring (if using) and remove from heat.
  4. Cube the tofu and toss it with cornstarch, salt and pepper (to taste) in a large freezer bag or bowl.
  5. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or sesame oil) and cook the tofu 3 – 4 minutes on each side, until browned and crispy. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  6. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet over medium high heat and saute the green pepper 3 – 5 minutes, until barely tender.
  7. Add the tofu back into the pan and pour in the sauce. Stir to coat. Serve immediately. Optional: garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.
  • Prep Time: 35
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Keywords: tofu