Perfect sweet and sour tofu that's a breeze to make at home and so much healthier than take-out! Nut-free and leftover-friendly.
This sweet and sour tofu recipe comes to us from Dianne Wenz's new cookbook Eating Vegan: A Plant-Based Cookbook for Beginners. Right off the bat I need to tell you, I'm in LOVE with this cookbook! So before we get to the recipe, I want to share a few things with you about Eating Vegan and why I'm loving it so much.
Dianne is a certified vegan health and lifestyle coach, plant-based chef, and food blogger, and has been vegan for almost twenty years. So to put it plainly, she knows her stuff! As you read through the first two chapters of the book, Dianne's knowledge, experience, and desire to help others with all aspects of a vegan lifestyle is clear. As an experienced vegan coach, Dianne knows exactly what it is that newbies need (and want) to know.
Eating Vegan was written with beginners in mind, but the recipes are anything but basic or boring. Her flavor choices absolutely speak to me. These are recipes you'll return to again and again. I love Dianne's food point of view and the approachable way she writes recipes. In my opinion, this is a cookbook for everyone.
Some of the recipes in Eating Vegan that I can't wait to try:
Apple Cinnamon Granola
Peanut-y Mandarin Salad
Miso-Glazed Maple Sweet Potato Fries
Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches
Kung Pao Seitan
Blueberry Peach Cobbler
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
See what I mean? These dishes have universal appeal. Whether you're an omnivore, new to plant-based eating, or a long-time vegan, these are recipes you want in your arsenal.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Tofu
This recipe perfectly demonstrates what I (not so eloquently) tried to explain above. Sweet and sour is a classic dish everyone knows and loves but may not realize how easy it is to make at home.
The basic process flows like this (scroll down for the full recipe):
- Press and cube the tofu. Chop the onion and red and green bell peppers.
- Season and sear the tofu in a large pan, then transfer it to a plate.
- In the same pan, sauté the onion, peppers and canned pineapple. Return the tofu to the pan.
- Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl (tomato paste, maple syrup, cornstarch, tamari, rice vinegar, and reserved pineapple juice), and add the sauce to the pan. Cook until thickened, and serve.
Options and Substitutions
I had a small amount of broccoli that needed to be used up, so I tossed that in at the end. This is one of those great dishes that can take on pretty much any vegetable you have on hand. Try it with:
If you follow an oil-free diet, this sweet and sour tofu can easily be made oil-free. Simply sauté the tofu and veggies in your favorite non-stick pan, and use a bit of broth or water as needed to prevent sticking.
Keep this recipe refined sugar-free by opting for tomato paste over ketchup, or go with your favorite healthy barbecue sauce.
The digital version of Eating Vegan is currently available, and the paperback version comes out April 14, 2020.
For veteran vegans this is a go-to cookbook filled with 75 slam-dunk, satisfying, easy vegan recipes. And for newbies? It's the cheat sheet you need in your life.
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Sweet and Sour Tofu
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided See Notes section for oil-free tips.
- 3 Tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce, divided
- 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, divided
- 1 (14 ounce) package extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup canned diced pineapple, juice reserved
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste or ketchup I had an open bottle of BBQ sauce in the fridge so I used that instead.
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon corn starch
- 4 cups cooked rice of choice
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, along with 1 tablespoon tamari and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Add the tofu to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan along with the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and the pineapple to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 more minutes. Add the tofu back into the pan.
- Whisk together the tomato paste, maple syrup, cornstarch, remaining 2 tablespoons tamari, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and ½ cup of the reserved pineapple juice in a small bowl. Pour the mixture into the pan and gently stir to coat everything well. Cook for a few more minutes, until the sauce thickens and is heated through.
- Serve over the cooked rice.