Sweet And Sour Tofu With Eggplant (Vegan & Refined Sugar-Free)

This sweet and sour tofu and eggplant recipe is tangy and flavorful with just the right amount of spice. It can be served as either a vegan main course or side dish. Tofu is a good source of plant-based protein so it’s a popular choice among vegans and vegetarians. This is a filling meal in and of itself, but can be served over rice or noodles to make it even more substantial.

Main Ingredients

Store bought sweet and sour sauce is loaded with refined sugar, so my goal was to create a sauce that tasted very similar, but was refined sugar-free. I suspected date paste would work particularly well in this recipe because it seemed to be the ideal consistency for this sort of sauce. It definitely worked.

I like using apple cider vinegar as the sour component in this vegan sweet and sour sauce, but you can substitute any other vinegar of your choosing. Rice vinegar would be a good alternative.

I love eggplant and it works well in this tofu recipe, but you can substitute broccoli, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, or any other vegetables you prefer. Sweet bell peppers would be delicious too.

Some additions that work well in this recipe are canned baby corn (they’re just so cute and I love adding them to this recipe once in a while), water chestnuts, or bamboo shoots. All of the above add some nice crunch and work well in this sweet and sour tofu recipe.

I opted to garnish this dish with green onions and sesame seeds, but you can substitute chopped peanuts or cashews and some thinly sliced red onion if you prefer. Fresh chopped chilli peppers are another nice garnish option if you like thinks on the spicier side.

If you’re looking for vegan meal prep ideas, I recommend making a double batch of this tofu when you have time and then reheating the leftovers for lunch or dinner on busy weekdays.

A white bowl filled with tofu.

More Vegan Dinner Recipes

Sweet And Sour Tofu With Eggplant

This sweet and sour tofu is filling, delicious, and full of tangy, spicy flavor.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 6 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 129kcal


  • 1 1/2 cups extra firm tofu (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cups eggplant (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup date paste
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (or your preferred vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried chili peppers
  • Optional: garnish with green onions and sesame seeds


  • Add the date paste, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, salt, and chili peppers to a bowl and stir until combined.
  • Add oil to the wok or frying pan on medium heat.
  • When the pan is hot, add the tofu and fry on both sides until cooked and a little crispy (approximately 5 minutes per side).
  • Remove tofu from the pan and reserve.
  • Add the eggplant and fry until soft and a little caramelized (approximately 5 minutes per side).
  • Add the tofu back to the pan.
  • Add the sauce to the pan and stir to combine and heat the ingredients for a few minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.
  • Makes 4-6 portions of sweet and sour tofu.


Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 348mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 166IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg