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Vegan Sweet and Sour Tofu (or Tempeh!)

5 from 2 votes
This vegan sweet and sour tofu recipe reminds me so much of of the sweet and sour pork dish I used to eat in Chinese restaurants growing up. This of course is cruelty-free and made with really simple ingredients. You can also make this with tempeh!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 3
Calories 323 kcal


  • 450 g extra firm tofu sliced into 1 inch cubes
  • 450 g tempeh sliced into 1 inch cubes (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp salt for the tofu
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Pan-Frying and Stir-Frying

  • 2 tbsp neutral oil for pan-frying
  • 1 bell pepper sliced into squares
  • 1 onion sliced into squares
  • Salt to taste

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Cornstarch Slurry

To Serve

  • Fresh cilantro or green onions chopped for garnish
  • Sesame seeds to topping
  • Steamed rice or noodles



  • Tofu: Dry the tofu. I wrap the tofu in towels and place a plate on top of it until excess liquid is absorbed by the towels. You can also opt to use a tofu press. Once dry, cut into 1" cubes or your size of choice.
  • Tempeh: If using frozen tempeh, make sure it's thawed well beforehand. Slice into 1" cubes or your size of choice.
  • Sprinkle the salt on the tofu cubes/tempeh then add the cornstarch. Coat the tofu/tempeh well.
    NOTE: You can opt not to coat the tempeh with cornstarch and just pan-fry it as is with the salt.
  • In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the sauce. In another small bowl, mix together cornstarch and water for the slurry. Feel free to adjust the sauce to your taste.
  • In a large non-stick pan over med high heat, add the oil and then fry the tofu/tempeh cubes until crisp and golden, around 2-3 minutes on each side, 10 minutes total. You will need to turn around the tofu/tempeh cubes to get them crisp on all sides.
  • Take out the tofu/tempeh from the pan. Add some more oil then sauté the onion and bell peppers until tender, around 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the sauce mix into the pan. Once it boils, lower the heat and pour in the cornstarch mixture. Mix until the sauce is thick.
  • Add in the cooked tofu/tempeh and mix well to completely coat in the glaze. Leave to cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with some salt, to taste, if needed.
    Turn off then heat then garnish with some cilantro and sesame seeds, if desired. Enjoy while hot with some rice or noodles!



Tempeh: If using frozen tempeh, make sure it's thawed well beforehand.
Ketchup: Note that some ketchup brands may be less sweet/sweeter so feel free to adjust the sweetness from the sugar depending on your desired taste.


Serving: 1serving (tofu) | Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1262mg | Potassium: 448mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 1516IU | Vitamin C: 56mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg
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