Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu

Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu

I can’t stop fiddlin’ with stuff. This is the new sauce for the Sweet and Sour Seitan, and decided to give it a go with tofu instead. To everyone who was asking about a tofu version, here you go!

The instructions are similar but not quite the same as the seitan. If you’ve made the seitan version, skim though these directions real fast before making the tofu version.

I also think that this sauce is better than the old one, so unless you’re in love with its predecessor, make this sauce instead for both the tofu and the seitan.

Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu
Serves Two

1 Tub Extra Firm Tofu, pressed
2 tsp Ener-g Egg Replacer + 4 tsp water, mixed
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Peanut or Canola Oil
Sesame Seeds for garnish

3 1/2 Tbs Seasoned Rice Vinegar (you can eyeball the 1/2 Tbs)
1/4 Cup Water
2 Tbs + 2 tsp Sugar
1 Tbs Tamari
1 Tbs Ketchup
1 tsp Molasses
1/4 tsp Ginger Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 Tbs Cornstarch + 2 Tbs water

Slice the tofu into triangles or small cubes. Smaller = better for this recipe, since smaller pieces won’t have a tendency to break when you toss them, and they have a bigger surface area to volume ratio (read: they’ll be crispier).

Toss tofu with the egg replacer/water mixture until coated. Then toss in cornstarch until each piece is coated and dry, adding more cornstarch if needed.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok.

While oil is heating, mix sauce ingredients except for the cornstarch/water into a small sauce pan and whisk over medium heat until sugar and salt is dissolved. Add cornstarch mixture and whisk until the sauce thickens. If you leave the sauce unattended now it will thicken and burn, so keep an eye on it. When thick, turn off heat and set aside.

Place tofu in the hot oil, being careful not to burn yourself. You don’t want the tofu to be crowded or the pieces will stick to each other, so fry it in batches if needed. Fry for 3-5 minutes until golden on the bottom, then gently turn and brown the other side.

Drain tofu from oil (in the sink like you’d drain pasta, being very careful), and place tofu in a large bowl. Pour sauce on top and gently toss to completely coat. Sauce should be thick and sticky – it shouldn’t pool at the bottom of the bowl.

Top with sesame seeds and serve immediately.


  1. Sandy

    My sister felt the need to email me and ask where to find tamari in the grocery store after reading this. She’s apparently having a sweet and sour tofu emergency now.

  2. the village vegan

    that looks REALLy good. I’ve been wanting a sweet and sour tofu dish for a while, and I’m too lazy to come up with my own recipe, so I’ll definately be trying this soon.

    Do you think you could use anything instead of ener-G to coat the tofu?

  3. NoWheyKatie

    I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you. The second I saw this I jumped up from my seat and ran to the kitchen to make sure I had everything. And I surely did. I ate this in silent amazement.

  4. Pingback: VeganYumYum » Broccoli Almond Sweet and Sour Tofu
  5. Lolo

    Daphne – I wish you luck!

    Sandy – Your sis is so funny. Find out how her emergency went!

    Celine – I’d love to know if you think the new sauce is better!

    Stephanie – Thanks! You’re too kind!

    Gabrielle – Thank you!

    Jess – Let me know how it goes!

    Briggitte – Thanks, I’ll check out your blog!

    The Village Vegan – Hmm, you could do just cornstarch or even just flour. It might not get AS crispy but it’ll still have a little crunch for sure,

    Katie – I love you too! I’m so happy you liked it! You rock.

  6. Erin

    I made this last night, and I loved it! I used real eggs though, since I’m not vegan. And I put stir fried veggies in the mix. Thanks for the recipe!!

  7. sondra

    Hello! I’ve been reading your blog for a couple weeks now. I made the seitan version of this dish last week and the tofu this week. A question – do you need to mix the egg replacer with water before tossing the tofu with it, or can the wetness of the tofu just soak up the powder? Also, I thought the sauce was pretty good, but had a somewhat strange flavor. I used brown rice vinegar – is that different than seasoned rice vinegar? It takes a lot different than what you get in a Chinese restaurant, but then mine didn’t have any MSG!
    Thanks for the great blogging!

  8. anita khanna

    I am trying your super duper recipes in India. Have to ask you… what is tamari, and energy-g repalcer?? Any replacements

  9. Hilary

    i’ve been wanting to try this recipe, and I finally did for dinner tonight. It was so delicious. The name was exactly what it tasted like. Thanks for posting your recipe for this! I’ll definitely be making it again :)

  10. kate

    how do you make the tofu crispy and not gross? me and tofu are not friends. do you do the freeze-it-before thing? i’ve heard that makes it firmer…

  11. kate

    so i tried this recipe and it was gross. the only alteration i made was the flour instead of ener-g. the tofu was mushy and tasted like tofu (which i don’t like). it wasn’t crispy or chewy or any other improved consistency like i had hoped (i did the drain-and-freeze thing first and everything). i had a hard time getting the sauce to thicken so i added a bit more corn starch until it at least changed a little. it (the sauce) was cooked for about 10 min.

    dissapointing :(
    what did i do wrong???

  12. Lolo

    Hi Kate!

    Sorry it didn’t work out for you. I think there are a few things going on. First, the egg-replacer really does make it crispy. It makes a very sturdy crunchy layer that prevents the sauce from making the tofu soggy. Flour will not make it as crispy, and it will make it even less crisp than cornstarch alone would have. I recommend you use the egg replacer next time.

    Second, the if the sauce isn’t thick it will counteract any crispiness you did manage to get with the four. I think you probably weren’t cooking your sauce at a high enough heat to activate the cornstarch. It should not have taken 10 minutes to cook!

    Hope this helps!

  13. Pingback: » Sweet and Sour Tofu
  14. Crystal

    This is a really great sauce. Tonight we made this.Sauces always stump me. There’s nothing I would change about it. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Lisa Hallman

    I tried this recipe even though I’m not vegan, I’m trying to go that way. It was amazing, I had to make my own adaptation of it, because I didn’t have molasses, or the same egg replacer, it was a different brand. I also mixed the cornstarch mixture into the sauce, I didn’t wait later. I wanted to go around and say to everyone Tofu can taste good. I didn’t have any sesame seeds though.

  16. lisa

    This dish is fabulous. I work in a culinary department, and our Chef – who constantly gives me grief for being a vegetarian said this is the best tofu dish he has ever eaten.

  17. Laura

    this is amazing – I was amazed at how crispy this turns out – it took me a few tries to figure out how to dip and then dredge in corn starch without getting everything including my fingers into huge clumps of goo….the sauce came out perfectly the first time around and had just the right amount of zing to it -I had to sub corn syrup for the molasses but I don’t think it lost anything – I also just drizzled instead of coated and it still carried a ton of flavor – it’s like the perfect recipe.

  18. visitor

    Tried making this and it was very close to the stuff you get from takeout places! I made sweet and sour tofu w/ broccoli. Altered the sauce here and there since I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand. Thanks for the recipe. I will be making this often!

  19. graeme

    is it not too sweet? there is alot of sugar in the ketchup and molasses and then you’re adding 2 tablespoons and teaspoons?

    the photo looks amazing though.

    i think i’ll try it without the sugar and maybe some hot sauce and or tomato paste instead of the ketchup.

  20. Sara Pulis

    I’ve made this recipe twice. I wasn’t too fond of the vinegary taste of the sauce. This time, I reduced the vinegar to 2 1/2 Tbsp and increased the sugar to 2 1/2 Tbsp and the molasses to 1 1/2 tsp. Then, I doubled the whole thing and used a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies. I drained the veggies and kept both in separate bowls. Put 1/2 the sauce on the tofu and 1/2 on the veggies, then serve them both over rice. Everybody loved it.

  21. Manda

    Hello! I’ve been eyeing this recipe ever since I stumbled upon your website. The only modifications I made were to reduce the amount for one person. It turned out almost perfect but I do have a few suggestions: why not combine the ginger powder with some garlic powder in the cornstarch to distribute the flavor throughout? That way the flavor would be in every bite.

    However, my Chinese food cravings are finally satisfied thanks to you!

  22. Melanie

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! My husband LOVED this, and I did too. Next time I’ll double the sauce for the amount of tofu I used, but everything else was spot on.

  23. chgo_liz

    FWIW, a tablespoon equals 3 teaspoons, so a 1/2 tablespoon equals 1 1/2 teaspoons.

    Did anyone explain yet to the couple of posters who asked that tamari is the less-heavy Japanese version of soy sauce?

  24. Allison Fouse

    Seriously, this is the best sweet and sour tofu recipe I have ever tried. I am not vegan, and used eggs instead of the ener-g egg replacer. It worked just as well, and I was truly amazed at how well the cornstarch worked as a “batter” of sorts. So much better than flour that burns quickly at the bottom of the frying pan. The sauce was excellent (I used low-sodium soy sauce because I didn’t have any tamari). I doubled the recipe for my family of 4 and served it with sesame green beans. That was more than enough, and we even have some left overs! I’m stoked. Thanks for such a great recipe!

  25. leyla

    It was great! My husband said that it is his new favorite tofu recipe. He hates tofu usually. So thank you!

  26. Susan

    I made this tonight. I froze the tofu, drained it, and baked it at 350 for 15 min each side instead of frying. It does make it crispy. I added homegrown pineapple, broccoli and red onion. Delicious! Thank you for a great vegan recipe blog!

  27. gangstaface girl

    THESE ARE AMAZING. on a scale of one to ten.
    i added some green onions for some kick and some color

  28. Katy

    These were so easy to make!!
    I have been finding it hard to get vegan recipes and the website is great, next i want to try making my own pasta

  29. Kim Pildner

    I love this when Whole Foods serves this and the recipe looks like it could be very similar. I can’t wait to get to the store and get the tofu. Of course all of my co-workers will wonder what is that delicous “fragrant smell” is when they enter the lunchroom tomorrow! Pass the good word on everyone……vegetarians rule!

  30. Jenn S

    Sweet and sour chicken is the ONLY thing I miss about not being a vegetarian. Of course not for the meat but the tasty sesame sauce! THANK YOU so much!!!! =)

  31. jennifer n.

    great ideas! loved the texture of the tofu (i pressed, triangled into about 20 pieces, dredged, and fried in a soup pot w/ the 1/4 c peanut oil, then left to drain on paper towel). the sauce was a tinge vinegary, so we just added some more sugar. we doubled the sauce, maybe that was the effect, so in the future i might do 1 1/2 batches, or just not double the vinegar. also semi-steamed some red & green peppers and onion. short grain brown rice to accompany! kudos to the recipe idea!!

  32. Bob

    This is super awesome. I saw this at work today and made it for dinner as soon as I got home! I’m eating it now…

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