Easy Sweet & Sour Tofu

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Better than takeout and almost as easy! This sweet and sour tofu is made with crispy tofu and red bell pepper chunks in a tangy pineapple sauce.

Plate of Sweet & Sour Tofu and rice with scallions and napkin on the side.

I love a good takeout remake recipe. Perhaps you’ve noticed?

Well, sweet and sour tofu was always a go-to takeout order of mine. It’s always delicious! Crispy tofu in gooey sweet, tangy sauce? Can’t beat it!

But actually, you can beat it — the takeout version that is. You can beat it by making your own! Because this recipe is not only way easy to make, but it’s also better than any version I’ve ever gotten delivered. For one one thing, you get to eat it as soon as it’s done cooking, when the tofu is crispy and the sauce is piping hot!

For another thing, it’s just GOOD. My version includes a scrumptious sauce, sweet peppers, and pineapple, which makes pretty much anything better.

And it’s EASY! Almost as easy as picking up a phone to place your order.

Let’s talk about just how easy, shall we?

Jump to:

Ingredients You’ll Need

Skillet of Sweet & Sour Tofu with a wooden spoon.
  • Vegetable broth. I used Better Than Bouillon in roasted vegetable flavor.
  • Apple cider vinegar. Rice vinegar can be substituted for this.
  • Maple syrup. You can also use another liquid sweetener, like agave.
  • Soy sauce. Substitute gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos for a gluten-free version of this dish.
  • Sriracha sauce. This is totally optional — just use it if you’d like a little heat.
  • Garlic.
  • Fresh pineapple. Canned pineapple could be substituted in a pinch.
  • Red bell pepper. You can switch up the bell pepper with your favorite veggies if you’d like, but keep in mind that the cook-time might be different. Firmer veggies will generally need to simmer longer, while softer veggies will cook in less time.
  • Water. Make sure it’s chilled.
  • Cornstarch.
  • Peanut oil. Or another high-heat oil.
  • Tofu. Extra firm or super firm works best!
  • Toasted sesame seeds. Or substitute chopped roasted cashews or peanuts.
  • Scallions. Also known as green onions.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

Make the Sauce

  • Mix up your broth, vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, sriracha (if using), and garlic in a saucepan.
  • Stir in the pineapple chunks and diced bell pepper, place the pot over heat, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Now stir the cornstarch and cold water together in a small container, then stir it into the mixture on the stove.
  • Bring the mixture back up to a simmer and wait for it to thicken up a bit before removing the pot from heat.

Tip: You’ll probably end up with some leftover pineapple. Put it in a batch of fried rice, stuff it in a sandwich, or make a vegan pineapple upside down cake!

Two Images Showing Steps for Preparing Sweet & Sour Tofu Sauce: Simmer and Add Cornstarch Slurry

Fry the Tofu

  • While the sauce simmers, place some cornstarch in a small bowl. Add some diced tofu and gently stir it around to coat it in cornstarch.
  • Heat some oil in a nonstick pan — it should be at least ⅛ inch deep.
  • Add the cornstarch-coated tofu cubes and fry them for a few minutes on each side, until they’re golden and crispy.
  • When the tofu has finished frying remove the cubes from the skillet and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Four Images Showing Stages of Cooking Crispy Tofu

Tip: For a lighter version of this dish, skip the cornstarch and cook your tofu using this method, which uses less oil.

  • Now mix up the tofu and the sauce! I like to return the tofu to the skillet after removing the oil, then pour the sauce over it.
Skillet of Sweet & Sour Tofu with a wooden spoon.
  • Serve your sweet and sour tofu with a sprinkle of scallions and sesame seeds, and a side of rice — I really like it with coconut rice.
Plate of Sweet & Sour Tofu with skillet in the background.

Leftovers & Storage

Sweet and sour tofu is best served right away. The tofu won’t stay crispy for long! If you do have leftovers though, they’ll keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days. The breading on the tofu will probably get soggy, but it will still taste good!

More Asian-Inspired Tofu Recipes

Like this recipe? If so, please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this one!

Plate of Sweet & Sour Tofu and rice.

Pineapple Sweet and Sour Tofu

Better than takeout and almost as easy! This sweet and sour tofu is made with crispy tofu and red bell pepper chunks in a tangy pineapple sauce.


  • ½
    vegetable broth
  • ¼
    apple cider vinegar
  • ¼
    maple syrup
  • 2
    soy sauce or tamari
  • 1
    Sriracha sauce
  • 2
    garlic cloves,
  • 1
    diced fresh pineapple
  • 1
    diced red bell pepper
  • 2
    cold water
  • 5
    (or as needed), divided
  • 1
    (14 ounce or 400 gram) package
    extra firm tofu,
    drained, pressed at least 15 minutes and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ¼
    peanut oil
    (or high-heat oil of choice)
  • 2
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Cooked rice,
    for serving


  1. Stir the vegetable broth, cider vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, sriracha, garlic, pineapple, and bell pepper together in small saucepan and place it over medium heat. 

  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Lower the heat and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. While sauce simmers, whisk the cold water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch together in a small bowl. Set it aside.

  4. Begin preparing the tofu. Heat about ¼ cup of oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. The oil should be about ⅛ to ¼ inch deep.

  5. Place the remaining 4 tablespoons of cornstarch in a small bowl. Add a few tofu cubes and gently stir to coat them in cornstarch.

  6. When the oil is hot, arrange the tofu cubes in the skillet. Continue dredging tofu cubes in the cornstarch and adding them to the skillet in an even layer, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet. You can cook the tofu in two batches if you don’t have enough room.

  7. Cook the tofu cubes for about 10 minutes, turning them about halfway through cooking.

  8. When the tofu cubes are golden and crispy on both sides, remove them from the skillet and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

  9. Once the simmer time for the sauce is up, stir in the water and cornstarch mixture. Bring the sauce back up to a simmer and allow it to cook for another minute or two, until it thickens up. Remove the pot from heat. Taste-test the sauce and adjust any seasonings to your liking.

  10. Pour the sauce and pineapple mixture over the tofu. Stir to coat the tofu and remove the skillet from heat.

  11. Combine the tofu with the sauce and pineapple/pepper mixture, either by adding it directly to the pot, or mixing everything in a separate container. Stir gently to distribute the ingredients and evenly coat the tofu with sauce.

  12. Divide the sweet and sour tofu onto plates and serve with rice. Top with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information does not include rice.

Nutrition Facts

Pineapple Sweet and Sour Tofu

Amount Per Serving

Calories 332
Calories from Fat 167

% Daily Value*

Fat 18.6g29%

Saturated Fat 3.3g17%

Sodium 543mg23%

Potassium 350mg10%

Carbohydrates 33.8g11%

Fiber 2.5g10%

Sugar 18.8g21%

Protein 9.7g19%

Calcium 346mg35%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Lower Inflammation Fast with our Tumeric 100

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