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Sweet n sour tofu with chopsticks

Vegan sweet and sour tofu

Easy vegan sweet and sour tofu recipe! Skip the take out and make this simple weeknight comfort food instead. A bit healthier, a bit lighter, a lot more fun.

Course entree, Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword dairy free, plant based, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Tofu pressing time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 266 kcal


  • 1 large block (about 12oz) extra firm tofu
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour or cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 Tbsp tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos, divided
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil or other oil of choice, divided
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice (from the can if you are using canned pineapple, below, or freshly juiced if you are using fresh)
  • 1/3 cup tomato ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha (optional; you can use more ketchup instead)
  • 1/4 cup cane or granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black or white pepper
  • 1 small onion, sliced into half moons
  • 2 medium bell peppers (different colors), seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 heaping cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks


  1. Open the tofu package, drain the water, then either press in a tofu press or wrap it in paper towels or a clean dish towel and put something heavy on top. I usually use a heavy cutting board and some cookbooks. Let it sit like this for 15 minutes, unwrap, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

  2. While the tofu is pressing, preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. In a bowl large enough to hold the tofu, stir together the flour, Chinese five-spice powder, just 1/4 tsp of the salt, 1 Tbsp of the tamari, and 1 Tbsp of the oil to form a paste. Toss the tofu cubes in the paste until they are all coated. If you have trouble coating them, use your fingers to rub the paste over the tofu pieces. Spread out on the prepared baking sheet and bake, tossing once at the 15-minute point, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until really golden.

  4. While the tofu is cooking, place the arrowroot powder in a small bowl and gradually add the pineapple juice, stirring constantly to work out any lumps. Stir in the ketchup, sriracha (if using), sugar, vinegar, the remaining Tbsp of tamari, remaining 1/4 tsp of salt and the pepper. Set this pineapple sauce aside.

  5. About 5 minutes before the tofu is ready, or just after it comes out of the oven, in a large skillet or wok, heat the remaining Tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat, and stir-fry the onion and bell peppers for 3 to 4 minutes; then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the pineapple sauce and keep stirring everything around until the sugar crystals have dissolved and the sauce has thickened. Lower the heat to low and add the tofu cubes and pineapple chunks. Allow to warm through, and then serve over fluffy rice or some noodles. Top with green onion and sesame seeds (optional).

Nutrition Facts
Vegan sweet and sour tofu
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 266 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 1214mg51%
Potassium 457mg13%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 1966IU39%
Vitamin C 87mg105%
Calcium 56mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.