Better than take-out Sweet and Sour Tofu! This is a vegan version of the classic Chinese dish. Crispy tofu in a sticky homemade sweet and sour sauce with pineapple and peppers. Just serve with rice for a very tasty vegan dinner.
One of my all-time favourite dishes to get from my local Chinese takeaway was sweet and sour chicken. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to find a good veggie version. So when we went veggie, I knew I had to recreate my own at home. This sweet and sour tofu is the result.
So easy to make, this sweet and sour tofu is delicious! With perfectly crispy tofu in a tasty homemade sweet and sour sauce, this has become my favourite fakeaway dish. The tofu is fried then added to stirfried onion, peppers and pineapple. The sauce comes together in a flash and tastes amazing. It really is that easy!
What You’ll Need
This sweet and sour tofu recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients. You probably have everything in your cupboards already!
How To Make Sweet and Sour Tofu
This is just a quick visual guide, please see the recipe card below for full instructions and ingredients list.
- Drain and press the tofu. Cut the tofu into bite-size pieces then place it in a large bowl. Add the soy sauce and toss the tofu. Add the cornflour (cornstarch) and toss again until the tofu is covered.
- Fry the tofu in a wok until crispy then set aside and keep warm.
- Stir fry the onion, garlic, ginger and peppers. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Add the sauce to the wok, then add the pineapple chunks and the juice from the can to the sauce and stir well.
- Return the tofu to the wok and stir. Cook until the tofu is hot and the sauce is thick then serve immediately with rice.
Recipe Tips and Variations
- Tofu – extra firm tofu is best for this recipe. You should find it in all the big supermarkets. You will need to drain the tofu by pressing it. This is how I drain tofu: Cut it into thick slices and line a baking tray with two layers of kitchen paper. Place the tofu on the paper, then cover the tofu with another two layers of kitchen paper. Place a baking tray over the covered tofu and place at least four cans of beans on top of the tray. Leave the tofu to drain for at least 30 minutes.
- Canned Pineapple – I use canned pineapple chunks in juice not syrup for this recipe. You can use fresh pineapple if you want. I prefer the canned pineapple as the juice is added to the sauce and adds some extra flavour to the sauce. I find it’s better than using fresh pineapple juice.
- Ketchup – Yes, there is ketchup, I know it sounds weird! But the ketchup is what makes your sweet and sour sauce taste delicious, trust me!
- Sugar – Dark brown soft sugar adds sweetness to the sauce, it also gives the sauce a lovely rich flavour.
- Swaps – If you don’t like tofu or are allergic to soy you can swap the tofu for cauliflower. You might need to cook the cauliflower slightly before you fry it though.
- Pro-Tip – To make sure your tofu stays crispy, keep it warm while you stir fry the veggies. If the tofu is in the sauce for too long it will start to get soggy.
- Add more veggies – you can add more veggies in here if you want, baby corn, sugar snap peas and mange tout work well.
More Tasty Tofu Recipes You’ll Love
- Sesame Tofu – crispy panfried tofu drenched in a sticky, spicy and sweet sauce along with stir-fried peppers and onions. One of my favourites!
- Teriyaki Tofu – sweet, salty and full of flavour, this teriyaki tofu is a great vegan weeknight dinner. Perfectly crispy tofu in a sticky sauce is so easy to make and tastes amazing!
- Tofu Tikka Masala – a rich and creamy vegetarian curry with crispy baked tofu, this curry is bursting with flavour!
Have you made this Sweet and Sour Tofu Recipe? Rate it and leave me a comment below to let me know what you think!
Sweet and Sour Tofu
- 280 g (1 x 10 oz pack)) extra firm tofu
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 ½ tbsp grapeseed oil divided
- 1 medium brown onion cut into thick wedges
- 3 cloves of garlic finely grated or put through a garlic press
- 1 x 5cm piece (2 inches) of fresh root ginger finely grated
- ¼ tsp dried red chilli flakes more if you want it hotter
- 2 medium red bell peppers seeds and pith removed then cut into chunks
- 1 x 227g can ( 1 x 8 oz can) of pineapple chunks in juice
For the sauce
- 120 g (½ a cup) of tomato ketchup
- 3 tbsp malt vinegar
- 4 level tbsp dark soft brown sugar
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
- Spring onions (scallions)
- Drain the tofu - Dry the tofu with kitchen paper. Slice the tofu into 4 even slices. Line a baking tray with 2 layers of kitchen paper, place the tofu on the paper. Cover with another 2 layers of kitchen paper. Place a smaller baking tray over the covered tofu then place 4 cans of beans on top. Leave the tofu to drain for at least 15 minutes, 30 minutes if you have more time.
- Cut the tofu into chunks of about 2 cm or 1 inch.Place the tofu into a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce and toss the tofu so that it absorbs the soy sauce.Then add 2 tablespoons of cornflour (cornstarch) to the tofu and toss gently until all the tofu is covered in the cornstarch.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok. Start frying the tofu. Use tongs to turn the tofu so that it is crispy on all side. Transfer the crispy tofu to a plate and cover to keep warm. You may need to cook the tofu in two batches.
- Add 180g or half a cup of ketchup to a bowl, stir in 3 tablespoons of malt vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce. Add 4 tablespoons of dark brown sugar to the bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Add ½ a tablespoon of oil to the wok then add the onion and cook until translucent.Add the chopped bell peppers and cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes.Next, add the garlic, ginger and ¼ pinch of dried red chilli flakes.
- Pour the sauce into the wok then add the canned pineapple and the juice.Stir well, bring the sauce to a fast simmer. It should be getting thick now.Add the tofu and toss it in the sauce until it is covered in sauce. Cook for a minute or two until the tofu is hot and the sauce is thick.
- Serve immediately with boiled or steamed rice, some sesame seeds and some sliced green spring onion (scallions).
- Tofu - extra firm tofu is best for this recipe. You should find it in all the big supermarkets.
- Draining the tofu - you will need to drain the tofu by pressing it. Slice the tofu into 4 even slices. Line a baking tray with two layers of kitchen paper. Place the tofu on the paper. Cover the tofu with another two layers of kitchen paper. Place a baking tray over the covered tofu. Place at least four cans of beans on top of the tray. Leave the tofu to drain for at least 30 minutes.
- Canned Pineapple - I use canned pineapple chunks in juice not syrup for this recipe. You can use fresh pineapple if you wish. I prefer the canned pineapple as the juice is added to the sauce and adds some extra flavour to the sauce.
- Sugar - Dark brown soft sugar is best for this it adds the sweetness to the sauce and gives the sauce a lovely rich flavour.
- Swaps - If you don't like tofu or are allergic to soy you can swap the tofu for cauliflower. You might need to cook the cauliflower slightly before you fry it though.
- Pro-Tip - To make sure your tofu stays crispy, keep it warm while you stir fry the veggies. If the tofu is in the sauce for too long it will start to get soggy.
- Recipe inspiration - this recipe was inspired by and adapted from this recipe and this recipe
- Nutritional information - is calculated using an online tool and is approximate. It does not include rice or garnishes
- Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible.