Sweet and sour tofu is a tasty and easy to make vegan Asian recipe that gets ready very quickly. The combination of creamy tofu and crunchy vegetables in a delicious Asian sauce is something that everyone loves.
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Asian cuisine is my favorite cuisine and you must would have guessed that if you follow my blog as most of the recipes here are from Asia.
Though my mission is to explore vegan and vegetarian food from all over the world, after trying a few recipes from other countries I always come back to Asian food. The reason is that most of the Asian dishes not only taste good but are also very easy to make.
Today I am sharing another simple and tasty vegan Asian recipe- Sweet and sour tofu with vegetables. The combination of creamy tofu and crunchy vegetables in a delicious Asian sauce is something that everyone loves.
What goes in sweet and sour tofu?
To make sweet and sour tofu with vegetables, the following ingredients will be required:
- Tofu: Medium firm tofu is the preferred type of tofu in this dish. Firm tofu can be used too. Silken tofu breaks easily so not the best choice for this recipe. Medium-firm tofu is comparatively easy to handle and you also get to enjoy its soft moist center even after baking it for a few minutes.
- Broccoli: Feel free to use more vegetables of your choice like French beans, carrots, cauliflower, snow peas, etc.
- Bell peppers: I have used three different colors to make the dish more appealing. A single type of bell pepper is fine too.
- Condiments: Soy sauce, tomato ketchup, white vinegar, Sriracha or any hot sauce, brown sugar, chili flakes, salt, and ground black pepper.
- Oil: Vegetable oil and sesame oil. Vegetable oil is used for cooking and sesame oil is used to flavor this dish.
- Toasted white sesame seeds for garnishing: You can also use black sesame seeds.
How to make?
This is a very easy vegan tofu dish and making it involves just the following major steps:
- Baking tofu: Remove the excess moisture of tofu by wrapping and pressing it in a thick kitchen towel. Cut into bite-size cubes. Marinate with just vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes at 200°C (400°F). We just want the skin to start turning brown but the center should remain moist so don't overbake.
- Preparing the sauce: Mix all the condiments and sesame oil in a bowl to make sweet and sour tofu sauce.
- Sautéing the vegetables: Heat oil in a large pan. Saute ginger and garlic for a few seconds or until the raw smell of garlic goes away. Then add onion, broccoli, and bell peppers. Saute them together on high heat. Keep on stirring so that they don't get burned and are evenly cooked. The vegetables should remain crunchy.
- Combining all the ingredients: The final step involves combining all the ingredients. To do that first add baked tofu cubes to the pan and stir fry with the vegetables for about a minute. After that add the sauce and mix everything until the sauce evenly coats the vegetables and tofu. Switch off the gas. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and enjoy!
How to make sweet and sour tofu with gravy?
The sweet and sour tofu that I have made is without gravy. If you want to make it with gravy, make the following changes in the recipe.
- After adding the sweet and sour sauce to the vegetables, add around 1 cup of water to the pan and let it boil.
- In a bowl mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with around 2 tablespoons of water and add to the boiling sauce in the pan. Mix everything and cook for 1-2 minutes while continuously stirring. After that, you can stop stirring just cook until the sauce thickens.
Tofu marinade options
In the recipe I have marinated tofu with just oil, salt, and pepper. If you want to make baked tofu more flavorful you can add some more ingredients to it. I am sharing some options below:
- Soy sauce
- Hot sauce
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Ginger powder
- Chili flakes
- Maple syrup/ agave/ honey(if not vegan)
- Brown sugar
- Lime juice
- Orange/ pineapple juice
Sweet and sour tofu can be enjoyed with steamed jasmine rice, sticky rice, Asian fried rice, or any other rice dish. You can also enjoy it with a noodle dish like vegetable chow mein or mushroom noodles.
Since this tofu dish is without gravy, you can also serve it as a starter.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Use a large wok or pan to stir fry the vegetables so that stirring them around becomes easier. In a small pan, the vegetables will get piled up on each other so the moisture won't allow them to stay crunchy.
- Don't overcook the vegetables.
- Cut equal size pieces of vegetables.
- You can also add other ingredients like mushrooms, carrots, French beans, sprouts, etc.
- Don't over-bake the tofu cubes, they should be soft and moist at the center.
Step by step photo instructions
More easy tofu recipes
Looking for more easy tofu recipes? Don't miss to check the following links:
- Tofu in peanut sauce
- Stir-fried tofu with sprouts and mushrooms
- Vietnamese tomato tofu
- Pineapple tofu
- Orange tofu
- Chili garlic tofu
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Sweet and sour tofu with vegetables
For baked tofu cubes
- 500 grams medium-firm tofu around 3 cups
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil/ any neutral flavored cooking oil
- Salt as per taste
- Ground black pepper as per taste
- 1 medium-sized red onion cut into around 1” chunks
- 1 medium-sized red bell pepper cut into around 1” chunks
- 1 medium-sized yellow bell pepper cut into around 1” chunks
- 1 medium-sized green bell pepper cut into around 1” chunks
- 1 small broccoli head around two cups broccoli florets
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes adjust as per taste
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoons chili sauce adjust as per taste
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil/ any neutral-flavored cooking oil
- Salt as per taste
- Toasted white sesame seeds for garnishing optional
- Wrap the tofu block in a thick paper kitchen towel and gently press to remove the excess moisture. Remove from the towel and cut into bite-size pieces.
- Put the tofu cubes, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Gently toss and then spread on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes at 200°C (400°F).
- In a bowl put all the sauces, vinegar, brown sugar, chili flakes, salt, and sesame oil. Mix well and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a large wok. Add ginger and garlic. Saute for a few seconds or until the raw smell of garlic goes away.
- Add onion, bell peppers, and broccoli. Stir fry on high flame for a few minutes i.e. until the vegetables get cooked but still crunchy.
- Add the baked tofu cubes and mix. Cook for about a minute.
- Finally, add the sauce blend and mix until it gets evenly coated on all the vegetables and tofu.
- Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and enjoy with jasmine rice or noodles.
- More vegetables like cauliflower, beans, carrots, or mushrooms can be used in this dish.
- Feel free to alter the quantity of sauces, vinegar, sugar, and chili flakes to suit your taste.
- Use a large wok to stir fry so that the vegetables can be stirred easily. It also helps in even cooking.
- Don't overcook the vegetables they should be crunchy.