September 27, 2020

Easy Vegan Recipes

Eat Vegan – Eat Well

Sweet & Sticky Coconut Tofu

4 min read

Crispy pan-fried tofu is drenched in a rich brown sugar coconut milk sauce and served with a sprinkling of toasted coconut to make this decadent vegan meal. Absolutely delicious and easy enough for a weeknight!

Wooden Table Set with Plate of Sweet & Sticky Coconut Tofu, Chopsticks, Water Glass, and Skillet

I never realized how polarizing coconut is until I started this blog. I just assumed it was one of those things that everyone loved, like chocolate or peanut butter. But I’ve never had a reader ask for a substitution because they hate either one of those ingredients, whereas people ask me that about coconut all the time.

Well, for the record, I absolutely love coconut. And I’m hoping the fact that you’re here means you do too! This is one recipe where I unequivocally can not give you a substitute for coconut. The dish is all about coconut. It has coconut in not one, but three forms (oil, milk, and shreds). Coconut lovers rejoice!

What You’ll Need

Skillet of Sweet & Sticky Coconut Tofu with Wooden Spoon on the Side

  • Shredded coconut (unsweetened, please!)
  • Cold water
  • Cornstarch
  • Full-fat coconut milk
  • Soy sauce
  • Organic brown sugar
  • Lime juice
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Coconut oil
  • Extra-firm tofu
  • Garlic
  • Scallions
  • Ginger
  • Jalapeño pepper
  • Rice (for serving)

How to Toast Coconut

Toasted Coconut on a White Plate

Toasting coconut brings out the flavor and gives it a little crunch, making it a great topping for this dish.

Start by heating up your oven to 350°F and spreading some shredded coconut evenly on a baking sheet. Pop it into the oven and toast it until it turns golden and crispy. This should only take about 4 or 5 minutes, and the coconut can burn easily, so keep a close eye on it!

How to Make Sweet & Sticky Coconut Tofu

Do all of your prep work before you begin cooking. Chop your garlic, scallions, ginger, and jalapeño. To make your sauce, first dissolve your cornstarch in cold water, then add coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and sriracha.

Coconut Tofu Sauce in a Liquid Measuring Cup with Spoon

Now heat up some coconut oil in a medium nonstick skillet. Once the oil is hot, add diced tofu in an even layer. Let it cook for about 10 minutes, flipping it a couple of times to get the pieces browned and crispy on all sides.

Now push the tofu to the side and add your garlic, the white parts of your scallions, ginger, and jalapeño pepper. Cook the aromatics until they become very fragrant, then flip everything a few times to mix them in with the tofu. Now pour in your sauce, flip everything a few more times, and let it cook until the sauce thickens up.

Collage Showing Steps for Cooking Sweet & Sticky Coconut Tofu: Pan-Fry Tofu, Add Aromatics, Add Sauce, and Simmer

I like to serve my tofu with some coconut rice, for the ultimate coconut dining experience.

Plate of Sweet & Sticky Coconut Tofu and Rice with Skillet, Chopsticks, and Water Glass in the Background

Coconut Tofu Tips & FAQ

  • Can this recipe be made gluten-free? Yup! Just substitute gluten-free tamari for the soy sauce.
  • Shelf life & storage: Store your coconut tofu in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Try adding veggies! This recipe makes plenty of sauce, so feel free to add your favorite veggies (stir-fried or steamed). Broccoli, snow peas, and baby bok choy would all be great.
  • Need some extra guidance on cooking perfectly crispy tofu? Check out this post.

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!

Wooden Table Set with Plate of Sweet & Sticky Coconut Tofu, Chopsticks, Water Glass, and Skillet

Sweet & Sticky Coconut Tofu

Crispy pan-fried tofu is drenched in a rich brown sugar coconut milk sauce and served with a sprinkling of toasted coconut to make this decadent vegan meal. Absolutely delicious and easy enough for a weeknight!

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 4

Calories 333 kcal

Author Alissa Saenz

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons organic brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) package extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 medium scallions, white and green parts separated and chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
  • Rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and arrange the coconut in an even layer on a baking sheet.

  2. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the coconut for 4 to 5 minutes, until it turns golden brown and crispy. Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack to cool.

  3. While the coconut cools, stir the cornstarch and cold water together in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. When the cornstarch has fully dissolved, stir in the coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and sriracha.

  4. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Spread the coconut oil around to coat the bottom of the skillet as it melts.

  5. Give the oil a minute to heat up, then add the tofu in an even layer. Cook the tofu for about 10 minutes, flipping it once or twice to achieve browning on multiple sides of the pieces.

  6. Push the tofu to the sides of the skillet and add the garlic, ginger, white parts of scallions, and jalapeño pepper. Cook everything for about a minute, until it becomes very fragrant.

  7. Toss everything with a spatula to mix the aromatics with the tofu. Pour in the sauce and toss everything again to coat the tofu with sauce.

  8. Bring the sauce up to a simmer (it should start almost immediately) and let it cook for about 1 minute, until it thickens up.

  9. Remove the skillet from heat. Top the tofu with toasted coconut and the green parts of your scallions.

  10. Divide onto plates and serve with rice.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information does not include rice.

Nutrition Facts

Sweet & Sticky Coconut Tofu

Amount Per Serving

Calories 333 Calories from Fat 229

% Daily Value*

Fat 25.4g39%

Saturated Fat 17.8g89%

Sodium 698mg29%

Potassium 298mg9%

Carbohydrates 19g6%

Fiber 4.1g16%

Sugar 9.8g11%

Protein 12.6g25%

Calcium 197mg20%

Iron 3mg17%

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

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