Vegan Sweet and Sour Tofu

Sweet and sour sauce makes my inner child so happy! It makes me remember the wonderful parts of my childhood. My dad used to rent some movies on Fridays and order bad/delicious Chinese food. I very frequently ordered sweet and sour chicken. That flavor is something I have definitely been missing lately. I had the idea to test a sweet and sour tofu, and I am overwhelmed by joy right now. This sweet and sour tofu is the bee’s knees! Totally fulfills all my cravings for that sweet and tangy, crunchy goodness. Served with some rice, forget about it!

Looking through old recipes for sweet and sour sauce made me cringe a little. They are all incredibly unhealthy, so I did my best to update this and make it way healthier than the original. I managed to make this gluten free and refined sugar free as well! While of course being totally vegan, but I guess that is a given. 


This is super simple, and quick. If you serve rice with it, that takes the most time. The sauce takes about 5 minutes, and the tofu only takes about 10-15. You can just get the rice started, and then make the rest. The sauce is super easy, and you just need to heat it on the stove to get it to thicken up for you! The tofu takes a dip in some cornstarch and almond milk, and it is just that easy! 


Sweet and Sour Tofu will make you forget all about take out, and frankly you can make this in just as much time as it would take to get delivery. You can feel good about knowing what you are getting, and also, I have never seen sweet and sour tofu on any menu. So, you are going to be one uping all the Chinese restaurants around! You can also definitely use this recipe and try different proteins and veggies. There are so many things that would work! Food is so exciting, the possibilities are endless!


Special Things You May Want:
Beet Root Powder-4oz – Natural Food Coloring
India Tree Natural Decorating Colors, 3 bottles(red,yellow,blue)
JapanBargain Brand 5 Piece Japanese Bamboo Chopsticks Gift Set Multi Color Design (MNT)

Vegan Sweet and Sour Tofu
Serves 4
Crunchy tofu with a delicious sweet and sour sauce. A healthier take on the classic!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Sweet and Sour Sauce
  1. 1/4 C. Water
  2. 1/4 C. Pineapple juice
  3. 1/3 C. Coconut sugar or white sugar
  4. 2 Tbsp. Ketchup
  5. 3 Tbsp. Rice wine vinegar
  6. 1 Tbsp. Soy sauce or Tamari, I used Tamari to make it Gluten free
  7. 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch+1 Tbsp. Cold water
  8. A pinch of Beet powder, or natural red food dye(optional), to make the sauce brighter red
Crispy Tofu
  1. 1 C. Cornstarch
  2. 1 C. Almond milk
  3. 1 tsp. Apple cider vinegar
  4. 1 Block extra firm tofu
  5. 2 tsp. Salt
  6. Oil for frying
For serving
  1. 1 C. Jasmine rice
  2. Green onions(optional)
  3. sesame seeds(optional)
  1. If you are making rice, get that started first. Boil your water, add the rice and cook accroding to the package.
  2. Cut the tofu into small cubes, and press between two paper towels for a few minutes to drain some of the liquid
  3. While the tofu is being pressed,in a medium sauce pan, combine all the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch and water mixture and beet powder or food coloring if you are using.
  4. Bring to a simmer, whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and add to the sauce pan. Along with the beet powder or coloring if using. Whisk everything together, and continue to simmer for 3-5 minutes until nice and thick. Turn off the heat and let sit on the stove while you prepare the rest.
  5. Mix the almond milk with the apple cider vinegar, and let sit for a few minutes to thicken.
  6. Add the cornstarch and salt to a deep bowl.
  7. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a frying pan, on medium high.
  8. Once the oil is hot, take the tofu cubes and dip into cornstarch, then almond milk, then back into cornstarch. Drop into the oil. Fry on all sides until golden brown. Should just take a few minutes. Repeat with all the tofu.
  9. Serve immediately with the sauce and rice.
Adapted from Various Copycat Cookbooks
Adapted from Various Copycat Cookbooks
Rabbit and Wolves https://www.rabbitandwolves.com/

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  • Reply
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  • Reply
    February 18, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    This is the first recipe I’ve tried from your site, and it was quick, easy, and delicious. I’ve been vegetarian / mostly-vegan for about 20 years and I still miss those addictive sweet and sour chicken balls! Not anymore, though, thanks to this recipe.

    I look forward to trying more recipes from the site. It’s a treasure trove of tasty looking goodies.

    Kudos, and thanks! Cheers.

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      February 19, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      This is so wonderful to hear! You are so welcome!❤

  • Reply
    April 8, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    This is THE most authentic Sweet and Sour Recipe I have ever made and tasted. Wow, I cannot even put into words how amazing it is. Absolutely droolworthy, and will be a regular staple for sure. Your blog is dynamite.

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      April 9, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      Yesssss! Wonderful to hear! Thank you so much!

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