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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.

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
  • How It’s Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • More Asian-Inspired Tofu Recipes
  • Pineapple Sweet and Sour Tofu

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 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!

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.

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.
  • 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.

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!

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