Easy sweet and sour tofu recipe with pineapple and vegetables. A one pot meal cooked together with our copycat Panda Express sweet and sour sauce too. Like a tofu stir fry with bell peppers, onions and anything you love it will surely be a hit.
I bet you’ve tried this sauce with chicken but have you tried sweet and sour tofu yet? It’s super yummy and a great vegetarian option with the same great taste. Add lots of bell pepper vegetables and some pineapple and OH MY how even my kids love this one for dinner. (affiliate links present)
Sweet and Sour Tofu Recipe
I grew up in Hawaii, so tofu recipes were kinda’ a thing there. Guess I never thought anything of it until we came to the states and realized it wasn’t eaten as frequently as it was over there. Also that rice wasn’t served with every single meal either.
Guess those years shaped the way I ate and now I cook both of them regularly. Even my kids love them both and couldn’t imagine not loving the way they taste. We aren’t a vegetarian family but this sure is a hearty one pot meal that fills us up just as much as many meat dish.
When I got my Ninja Foodi I made a batch of air fryer tofu with a teriyaki like marinade and those were out of this world. In all cases I will say that the firm variety is better than any of the others. You can use regular or silken tofu but the softer it is the more it will break apart.
We had some left over and my middle daughter fried it up in a pan with some bottled sweet and sour the next day. Thus, the idea for this tofu stir fry of sorts was created.
If you have never really worked with this soy protein at home it is easy once you understand the steps you should follow. There is a wide variety of firmesses (yes that is my word) for this main ingredient. Choose firm so it remains in tact. Let me explain how I made it here but there’s a printable recipe card at the bottom too.
How to Cook Firm Tofu
- The most important thing to remember, and do first, is to reduce the moisture. You can do this with a cheesecloth, muslin cloth or a few paper towels.
- Set your towel of choice over a plate
- Put your piece in the center
- Fold up the sides and gently press down
- You could set a book on the top and leave it there for 10-15 minutes so the water gets absorbed
- Preheat your pan with a bit of olive oil inside
- Fry and brown on both sides to get a crispy layer on the outside
- Serve with a drizzle of teriyaki sauce or this is how to make sriracha mayo with sesame seeds sprinkled on top
For this one we wanted the tofu nuggets to be cut in bite size squares like you see here. Slice them this way before adding into the pan so you can get crispy tofu on all 4 sides. You can serve as is, over rice or as tofu lettuce wraps.
Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe with Pineapple
You’ll want to cook your veggies in one pot and this in another. That way you can really get it crispy on the edges before folding it in in with your sauce and softened bell peppers + onions.
Feel free to add as many different types as you wish. When cooking mixed vegetables though you need to choose those that cook at the same rate.
- You’ll want 1 pound of firm tofu
- if you want to make a smaller batch you could easily cut everything in half
- Olive oil and garlic
- Bell peppers cut into bite size pieces or sliced
- Pineapple tidbits
- Red onion diced or sliced
- Diced green onion
- Then you’re going to use make our sweet and sour sauce recipe here in a small bowl heated over medium heat
- add a splash of soy sauce if you think it’s a tad bit too sweet
If you didn’t want much sweetness you could leave out the fruit. Want to make this spicy, just add 1 or more Tbsp of Sriracha or red pepper flakes.
Have a pan ready and a larger dutch oven style pot like you see here to combine it all together at the end. I have a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here is a quick step by step to peek at here.
Tofu Stir Fry
- First prep by chopping the onion and bell peppers into bite size pieces. Saute in a pan with your olive oil until slightly softened, for about 8-10 minutes.
- Then add green onion and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
- Cut into bite size tofu cubes. Lay in a single layer on a cheese cloth or paper towels. Very gently press down to remove as much liquid out as you can without breaking down the pieces.
- Add olive oil into a pan over medium heat and “fry” until all sides are crispy and golden brown
- In a separate sauce pan add all ingredients for the sauce EXCEPT for the cornstarch water mix.
- Heat on medium high heat until it bubbles, stirring constantly.
- To thicken the sauce: in a small dish whisk together cornstarch and water until smooth. Add in and stir until it is as thick as you’d like. Remove from heat.
- Add tofu in with veggies and pour warm sweet and sour sauce over the top of everything. Gently fold together to warm all ingredients.
Typically this plant based recipe is best served on a bed of Jasmine rice or rice noodles are fun too. That part is totally up to you. It is great eaten as is without a side dish as well.
Easy Sweet and Sour Tofu Recipe
This is a great recipe if you want to broaden your kids horizons when it comes to new foods. Mine love this recipe because of the sweetness the canned fruit brings. You could leave that out and just drizzle in a bit of maple syrup instead too.
If you are in need of a gluten free variety, plant tofu is just that. You should not choose a flavored variety though or you may lose that trait. For the sauce you can thicken it with arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch. You can find rice vinegar that is gluten free too.
Let’s talk about another way you could make this. I shared how to cook tofu in air fryer above, after that you could cook air fryer peppers separately and make the sauce on the stovetop. Then fold it all together and serve it up that way.
How to save leftover tofu
If it was all alone without any sort of sauce it would tend to dry out and reheating would be kinda’ a no go BUT this works well. Wait until it is cool and then spoon into an airtight container or freezer bag. Make sure you save as much sauce as possible in the container, this will help keep it moist.
It needs to be reheated within 1-2 days or the texture will get weird. Best way to reheat leftover tofu is in a pan on the stove. Yes I use my microwave almost always but not for this food. You do want to get an even heat across the whole pan and allow it to crisp up just a bit on the outside.
Just spoon the food into the pan with the sauce left in the container. Once you get a crisp on and everything is warmed, then pour in the sauce and gently fold together until warmed well to your liking. It works better that way for texture purposes.
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Sweet and Sour Tofu
- 1 pot
- 1 cheesecloth or a few paper towels to reduce moisture in tofu
- 1 lb tofu extra firm
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 bell peppers any colors
- 1/2 c pineapple tidbits
- 1 red onion sliced
- 1 green onion diced
- sweet and sour sauce recipe
- 1/2 c ketchup
- 1/3 c sugar
- 1/4 c white vinegar
- 1/4 c soy sauce
- 3 tbsp cornstarch + 3 tbsp water to thicken sauce
- Chop onion and bell peppers into bite size pieces. Saute in a pan with your olive oil until slightly softened for about 8-10 minutes. Then add green onion and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
- Cut tofu into bite size pieces. Lay in a single layer on a cheese cloth or paper towels. Very gently press down to remove as much water out of the tofu as you can without breaking down the pieces.
- In a separate sauce pan add all ingredients for the sauce EXCEPT for the cornstarch water mix. Heat on medium high heat until it bubbles, stirring constantly. In a small dish whisk together cornstarch and water until smooth, add in and stir until it is as thick as you'd like. Remove from heat.
- Add tofu in with veggies and pour warm sweet and sour sauce over the top of everything. Gently fold together to warm all ingredients. Serve with rice topped with sesame seeds and diced green onions.