Vegan Sticky Lemon Tofu

Better than take out!

I will admit, after a long day, sometimes I will order some Chinese take out. However, this vegan sticky lemon tofu just made it a lot easier to skip the take out. This sticky lemon tofu is not only pretty much as easy and as fast as ordering take out. It is much healthier and of course then you know it is totally plant based! Baked, crispy tofu cubes, tossed in a sticky, sweet and tangy Asian lemon sauce.

Serve this tofu with rice and/or veggies. It is so amazing, so addictive, I can’t stop eating it. It is also great for lunch the next day! This lemon sauce is nice and sweet, but refined sugar free. It is also not overly sweet as it is well balanced with lemon juice and soy sauce. 

If you want your tofu to be even crispier, you can definitely toss the cubes in corn starch and fry them. However, I thought I would go a more oil free direction with this one and bake it until brown and crispy. If you bake the tofu long enough at a high temperature, it actually gets super crisp, brown and puffy! It is so good!

Then all you have to do it whip up the sauce in a wok or sauce pan, then toss with the tofu. Add some sides, and you have one totally amazing meal. With very little effort, and it is much cheaper than take out too! My whole family loves vegan sticky lemon tofu night! 

5 from 1 vote
Vegan Sticky Lemon Tofu
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Crispy, baked tofu. Tossed in a sticky, sweet, salty and tangy Asian lemon sauce. So much better than take out!

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Author: Lauren Hartmann
  • 15 oz.( 1 block) Extra firm tofu
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • A few pinches of Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Agave syrup
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn starch
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • Steamed rice or veggies for serving
  1. Press the tofu before hand. I like to press it for a few hours, but press it for at least 15 minutes. When ready, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  2. Cut the block of tofu into cubes, and toss in the olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Then place each tofu cube in a single layer on a sheet pan. 

  3. Bake the tofu at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes, flipping half way through baking, until the tofu is nice and brown and crispy. 

  4. While the tofu is baking, make the lemon sauce. You can wait about 10 minutes or so, because the sauce will only take a few minutes. I like to use a wok, so I can toss the tofu in the sauce. 

  5. Heat a wok or sauce pan on medium high, then add the soy sauce, agave, lemon juice, and veggie broth. Whisk to combine. 

  6. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium low. Then whisk the corn starch and water together in a small bowl. Then, add it to the sauce. Whisk to combine.

  7. Simmer on low for a minute or 2, continuing to whisk, until the sauce is nice and thick. Stir in the lemon zest. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add a splash more soy sauce if it needs salt, or a bit more agave for sweetness, or a squeeze more lemon if needed. Keep hot on low until the tofu is done. 

  8. Once the tofu is brown and crisp, add the tofu to the pan, and toss in the sauce, coating all the tofu. 

  9. Serve immediately with rice and/or veggies. 

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  • Reply
    November 6, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    I’m making it tonight, will let you know how it goes!

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      November 6, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      I love it! So easy and yummy! I hope you love it too!

  • Reply
    November 7, 2018 at 5:51 am

    Made this tonight. YUMMY!!

  • Reply
    Kathleen M Henry
    November 7, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Lauren, you are unquestionably the Queen of Tofu. Seriously. All your tofu recipes look absolutely incredible. I don’t know how you do it!!

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      November 8, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      Thank you so much! I love tofu, and I want everyone to know how awesome it is!!

  • Reply
    November 10, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Hey! I just made this and absolutely loved it – will definitely be making it again! I just have two things to add:
    Even though I already cut down on the agave syrup to about half the mentioned amount, it was still super sweet and even a tiny bit too sweet for me. Mixed with the rice it was perfect, but for the tofu on its own I’ll cut back even more next time. Are you American? Maybe it’s that infamous difference in perception of sweetness between Americans and everyone else haha πŸ™‚ Still giving this recipe five stars as that is entirely subjective. I just wanted to point it out πŸ™‚
    And the other thing is that I had so much sauce, I was able to save more than half of it for the next time I make this (which is a good thing, but just thought I’d mention it).
    So again, totally loved this and I’ll definitely be trying some of your other recipes out as well!

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      November 11, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      Haha..I am American. I actually cut down the amount of sweetness by half from a bunch of old Americanized Chinese recipes I checked out. We definitely like our food sweet. Thank you for the note! It is great to know what others think! I do also like a lot of sauce with Chinese food, to add to rice. I’m so glad you loved it! Thank you so much for the feedback!!

  • Reply
    November 17, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    This looks fantastic! I’ve never had sticky lemon anything but, wow, it sells itself!

    Just one questions before I try it. I never have agave around and have no issues with refined sugar. Is there a substitute that would work best for this?

    Thanks in advance.


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