fbpx Print
Square photo of a plate of sweet and sour tofu

Sweet and Sour Tofu

  • Author: Iosune
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Total: 30 mins
  • 2-4 1x
  • Main Dish, Tofu
  • Chinese
  • Vegan

Servings 2-4 1x

Scale Tap or hover over number to scale servings

Sweet and sour tofu, made in just 30 minutes. A plant-based version of this classic Chinese food that is much healthier than take-out!


For the sweet and sour tofu:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 10 ounces firm tofu (275 g), cubed
  • 6 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped

For the sweet and sour sauce:

  • 4 tbsp sugar, I used brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 6 tbsp water (90 ml)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch


  1. Mix the soy sauce or tamari and apple cider vinegar in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Incorporate the tofu cubes and let marinate for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the tofu and transfer 1/3 of the tofu cubes to a freezer bag with 2 tbsp of cornstarch and toss to coat. Repeat this step with all the remaining tofu and cornstarch. Add more cornstarch if needed.
  4. Heat half of the oil in a skillet and when it’s hot, add the tofu cubes. Cook over medium-high heat until all sides are golden brown. Remove the tofu from the skillet and set it aside.
  5. Heat the other half of the oil in the skillet and when it’s hot, incorporate the veggies (carrot, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and onion). Cook over medium-high heat until golden brown. Set aside.
  6. To make the sauce just mix all the ingredients until well combined.
  7. Pour the sauce into the skillet and cook until it thickens, stirring frequently.
  8. Mix the tofu, veggies, and the sauce in the skillet, stir, and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  9. Serve your sweet and sour tofu immediately with some sesame seeds on top (optional).
  10. Keep the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.


  • Some people add pineapple to this sweet and sour tofu recipe, but I don’t. If you want to enjoy this dish with pineapple, just sautée it with the veggies.
  • Feel free to use any type of vinegar, starch, oil, veggies, or sweetener you have on hand.
  • Tomato paste can be replaced by tomato puree, ketchup, or tomato sauce.
  • The 1248 mg of sodium is not a real measurement because you’d need to marinate the tofu for hours for it to absorb all the soy sauce.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 of the recipe
  • Calories: 380
  • Sugar: 25.8 g
  • Sodium: 1248 mg
  • Fat: 10.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.6 g
  • Fiber: 5.2 g
  • Protein: 15.9 g