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Close up of a bowl of sweet and sour tofu stir fry with rice and sesame seeds.

Sweet and Sour Tofu

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegan sweet and sour tofu features crispy tofu with stir fried bell peppers and onions in a sticky, sweet and sour sauce.


For the Tofu:

  • 1 400 g block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch 
  • ½ tsp garlic powder 
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½  tbsp oil

For the Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp ketchup (30g)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar (30g)
  • ¼ cup soy or tamari (75g/ 60ml)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar or maple syrup) (35g)
  • ¼½ tsp chili flakes 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (12g)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with ½ cup cold water

For the Veggie Stir Fry:

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped (130g/1 cup)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced, reserve some for topping
  • 2 tbsp toasted white or black sesame seeds, for topping
  • cooked rice of choice, for serving


  1. Press Tofu: Cut tofu in half lengthwise, so you have two thinner rectangles, then wrap in clean kitchen towels. Place on a dinner plate or cutting board. Weigh tofu down with a heavy object like a cast iron skillet, or large pot for at least 20 minutes. Alternatively, use a tofu press.
  2. Make Sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chili flakes, garlic and cornstarch-water mixture, until combined.
  3. Coat Tofu: When you’re ready, cube the tofu into 1/2-inch pieces and add to a large bowl with the cornstarch, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss to coat until all pieces are covered in cornstarch.
  4. Cook Tofu: In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 ½  tbsp oil over medium-high heat.  When the pan is hot, add the tofu (depending on the size of your pan, you may have to do this in batches).  Cook for 6-8 mins, flipping pieces occasionally, until golden-brown and crisp on all sides. Transfer tofu to a plate and set aside. 
  5. Cook Veggies: To the same pan, add 2 tsp oil. Add peppers and onions.  Cook for 5-7 min, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp.
  6. Finish Stir Fry: Give the sauce another stir then pour over the veggies and cook for 1-2 minutes until it starts to thicken. Add tofu and bring to a simmer and cook for 1-2 min, stirring continuously, until sauce is thickened and the tofu is well coated. Remove from heat.
  7. Serve: Serve sweet and sour tofu over your favorite brown or white rice. Sprinkle with green onions and toasted sesame seeds


Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in a pan or in the microwave until heated through.

Nutrition facts do not include rice for serving.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 260
  • Sugar: 18 g
  • Sodium: 655 mg
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 12 g

Keywords: sweet and sour tofu