January 24, 2021

Easy Vegan Recipes

Eat Vegan – Eat Well

Easy Sweet & Sour Tofu

5 min read

Better than takeout and almost as easy! This sweet and sour tofu is made with crispy tofu and red bell pepper chunks in a tangy pineapple sauce.

Plate of Sweet & Sour Tofu and Rice with Fabric and Bunch of Scallions on the Side

Pineapple is a secret weapon of mine for making delicious and easy recipes.

Pineapple is so delicious and pairs well with so many flavors. In fact, you might have to try pretty hard to mess up a pineapple based dish, by pairing it with … I can’t even think of anything (I sat and brainstormed on this for about 10 minutes).

Point proven. Pineapple rules.

Since it’s so hard to make pineapple taste bad, it must be really easy to make it taste good. Such is the case with this recipe. It was so easy.

Let’s talk about just how easy, shall we?

What You’ll Need

Skillet Filled with Sweet & Sour Tofu with Bunch of Scallions in the Background

  • Vegetable broth. I used Better Than Bouillon in roasted vegetable flavor.
  • Apple cider vinegar. Rice vinegar can be substituted for this.
  • Maple syrup. You can also use another liquid sweetener, like agave.
  • Soy sauce. Substitute gluten-free tamari for a gluten-free version.
  • Sriracha sauce. This is totally optional — just use it if you’d like a little heat.
  • Garlic.
  • Fresh pineapple.
  • Red bell pepper.
  • Water. Make sure it’s chilled.
  • Cornstarch.
  • Peanut oil. Or another high-heat oil.
  • Tofu. Extra firm or super firm works best!
  • Toasted sesame seeds. Or substitute chopped roasted cashews or peanuts.
  • Scallions.

How to Make Sweet & Sour Tofu

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

Make the Sauce

  • Mix up your broth, vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, sriracha (if using), and garlic in a saucepan.
  • Stir in the pineapple and diced bell pepper, place the pot over heat, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Now stir the cornstarch and cold water together in a small container, then stir it into the mixture on the stove.
  • Bring the mixture back up to a simmer and wait for it to thicken up a bit before removing the pot from heat.

Two Images Showing Steps for Preparing Sweet & Sour Tofu Sauce: Simmer and Add Cornstarch Slurry

Fry the Tofu

  • While the sauce simmers, place some cornstarch in a small bowl. Add some diced tofu and gently stir it around to coat it in cornstarch.
  • Heat some oil in a nonstick skillet — it should be at least 1/8 inch deep.
  • Add the cornstarch-coated tofu cubes and fry them for a few minutes on each side, until they’re golden and crispy.
  • When the tofu has finished frying-remove the cubes from the skillet and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Four Images Showing Stages of Cooking Crispy Tofu

  • Now mix up the tofu and the sauce! I like to return the tofu to the skillet after removing the oil, then pour the sauce over it.

Close Up of Sweet & Sour Tofu in a Skillet with Wooden Spoon

  • Serve your sweet & sour tofu with a sprinkle of scallions and sesame seeds, and a side of rice — I really like it with coconut rice.

Plate of Sweet & Sour Tofu and Rice with Skillet and Bunch of Scallions in the Background

Sweet & Sour Tofu Tips & FAQ

  • Can this recipe be made gluten-free? Sure can! Just substitute gluten-free tamari for the soy sauce.
  • This dish is best served immediately. The tofu won’t stay crispy in the sauce for long!
  • Leftovers & storage: Leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days. The tofu will get soggy, but it will still taste good!
  • You’ll probably end up with some leftover pineapple. Put it in a batch of fried rice, stuff it in a sandwich, or make a vegan pineapple upside down cake!
  • For an even lighter and easier version of this dish, skip the cornstarch and cook your tofu using this method, which uses less oil.
  • You can switch up the bell pepper with your favorite veggies, but keep in mind that the cook-time might be different. Firmer veggies will generally need to simmer longer, while softer veggies will cook in less time.

Like this recipe? If so, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter. And please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you make it!

Close Up of Sweet & Sour Tofu in a Skillet with Wooden Spoon

Pineapple Sweet and Sour Tofu

Better than takeout and almost as easy! This sweet and sour tofu is made with crispy tofu and red bell pepper chunks in a tangy pineapple sauce.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 35 minutes

Servings 4

Calories 332 kcal

Author Alissa

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch (or as needed), divided
  • 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) package extra firm tofu, drained, pressed at least 15 minutes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil (or high-heat oil of choice)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Cooked rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Stir the vegetable broth, cider vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, sriracha, garlic, pineapple, and bell pepper together in small saucepan and place it over medium heat. 

  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Lower the heat and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. While sauce simmers, whisk the cold water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch together in a small bowl. Set it aside.

  4. Begin preparing the tofu. Heat about 1/4 cup of oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. The oil should be about 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep.

  5. Place the remaining 4 tablespoons of cornstarch in a small bowl. Add a few tofu cubes and gently stir to coat them in cornstarch.

  6. When the oil is hot, arrange the tofu cubes in the skillet. Continue dredging tofu cubes in the cornstarch and adding them to the skillet in an even layer, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet. You can cook the tofu in two batches if you don’t have enough room.

  7. Cook the tofu cubes for about 10 minutes, turning them about halfway through cooking.

  8. When the tofu cubes are golden and crispy on both sides, remove them from the skillet and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

  9. Once the simmer time for the sauce is up, stir in the water and cornstarch mixture. Bring the sauce back up to a simmer and allow it to cook for another minute or two, until it thickens up. Remove the pot from heat. Taste-test the sauce and adjust any seasonings to your liking.

  10. Pour the sauce and pineapple mixture over the tofu. Stir to coat the tofu and remove the skillet from heat.

  11. Combine the tofu with the sauce and pineapple/pepper mixture, either by adding it directly to the pot, or mixing everything in a separate container. Stir gently to distribute the ingredients and evenly coat the tofu with sauce.

  12. Divide the sweet and sour tofu onto plates and serve with rice. Top with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information does not include rice.

Nutrition Facts

Pineapple Sweet and Sour Tofu

Amount Per Serving

Calories 332 Calories from Fat 167

% Daily Value*

Fat 18.6g29%

Saturated Fat 3.3g17%

Sodium 543mg23%

Potassium 350mg10%

Carbohydrates 33.8g11%

Fiber 2.5g10%

Sugar 18.8g21%

Protein 9.7g19%

Calcium 346mg35%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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