This vegan Sweet and Sour Tofu recipe with vegetables is a super tasty and simple Thai dish made with crispy pan seared or “air fried” tofu cubes that are finished in a luscious sweet and sour sauce, vegetables and pineapple. Perfect served with a bowl of rice or tossed with your favorite noodles.
I started by sautéing some bell peppers and scallions I had in the fridge (broccoli florets would be amazing here too) then added the sauce and finally the pan seared or air fried tofu to absorb as much of that goodness as possible.
You can seriously forget about greasy take-out with this delicious quick tofu recipe in your back pocket.
Add In Ideas:
The Sweet and Sour Sauce
A really simple but super delicious sauce made with classic pantry ingredients:
- Rice Vinegar
- Brown Sugar (agave or maple syrup)
- Ketchup <— Trust me, just go with it 😉
- Red chili flakes
How to Press Tofu and Make It Crispy:
- Remove the tofu from its package and pat it dry very well with a dish towel or paper towels.
- Line a plate with a dry cotton dish towel (or a few paper towels) and place the tofu on top. Cover with another absorbent towel. (best to choose cotton towels over paper to save the trees).
- Place a heavy skillet or pot on top of the tofu.
- Allow the tofu to press at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes. (If pressing the tofu overnight make sure to place it in the refrigerator.)
- Once pressed cut or tear the tofu into bite size cubes and use the towel to pat dry any remaining moisture. At this point you want to dust the cubes with tapioca flour and toss them to coat well. Cook using your favorite method below!
Tofu Cooking Methods
- Air Fryer Method – after pressing the tofu and coating in tapioca or cornstarch, air fry it for 15 minutes at 375″F for a healthy WFPB no oil alternative.
- Oven Method – follow the exact recipe below, only instead of pan searing the tofu you are going to bake it at 400”F on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 25 minutes (or until golden) tossing it half way. Meanwhile prepare the sauce and toss everything together.
- Pan Fry – heat up a cast iron skillet and add just enough oil to coat the bottom so nothing sticks. Pan sear the tofu cubes until golden on all sides. Toss with the sauce and enjoy.
- What is Tofu ? A high plant protein food made using soy curd that is pressed into white blocks. It is low in calories with neutral flavor and ideal texture for soaking up whatever flavor you want to give it. It can be soft, firm or extra firm.
- Is Tofu Healthy? A fantastic source of protein tofu and contains all eight essential amino acids. An excellent nutritious food with way more benefits than just its protein content. Make sure to only purchase organic and non-gmo.
Watch How to Make Sweet and Sour Tofu Video
Sweet and Sour Tofu Recipe (Vegan)
- 14 oz block extra firm tofu (organic, drained and pressed)
- 2 bell peppers (your favorite colors)
- 3 scallions
- 4 tbsp tapioca flour
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 1/3 cup filtered water
- 3.5 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1.5 tbsp ketchup
- 3 tbsp brown sugar (agave or maple syrup)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Add all of the sauce ingredient to a bowl and whisk them together. Set aside.
Prep the Tofu
- Try to drain and press the tofu in advance. Use a cotton tea towel to pat it dry as best as you can. Slice it lengthwise and pat dry again. Continue cutting the tofu into small cubes and pat them dry some more. If prepping tofu in advance you can place it in the fridge at this point and allow to air dry overnight. This step will really help your tofu get extra crispy.
- Just before cooking dust the tofu cubes with the tapioca and use your hands to toss it well to coat all over.
Pan fry Method:
- Preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium flame and add a drop of olive oil, enough to coat the entire bottom. Start adding the tofu cubes and pan sear on all sides until golden. Transfer to a bowl until needed. Make sure to work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan.
Air Fryer Method:
- After pressing the tofu and tossing it in the tapioca place it on a parchment lined baking sheet or air fryer basket. Air fry between 375" and 400"F for 14 minutes flipping it half way. (If the tofu is well pressed the 375" temperature is perfect, otherwise air fry at 400"F). Add it to the pan with the sauce and vegetables and cook everything together until the sauce starts to thicken and tofu is nicely coated all over. Enjoy!
Oven Baked Method:
- Follow the exact recipe above and bake the tofu at 400”F on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 25 minutes (or until golden) tossing it half way. Meanwhile prepare the sauce and toss everything together.
Cook the Veggies + Assemble your Dish
- Cut the bell peppers and scallions into one inch pieces, discard the core from the peppers.
- Add the peppers and scallions to the skillet together with a drizzle of oil (or a splash of water) and pinch of sea salt. Stir fry a few minutes until the peppers just begin to soften.
- Pour the sweet and sour sauce over the peppers and bring to a simmer. Add the tofu and give it a good stir. Cook everything together until the sauce starts to thicken and tofu is nicely coated all over.
- Serve hot over a bed of rice or tossed with soba or ramen noodles.
Tofu Cooking Methods
- Air Fryer Method: Air fry the pressed tofu for 15 minutes at 375"F for a healthy WFPB no oil alternative.
- Oven Method: Follow the exact recipe below, only instead of pan searing the tofu you are going to bake it at 400”F on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 25 minutes (or until golden) tossing it half way. Meanwhile prepare the sauce and toss everything together.
- Pan Fry - heat up a cast iron skillet and add just enough oil to coat the bottom so nothing sticks. Pan sear the tofu cubes until golden on all sides. Toss with the sweet and sour sauce.