Vegan Sweet and Sour Tofu

This vegan sweet and sour tofu with eggplant is tangy and flavorful with just the right amount of sweetness and spice. It can be served as either a vegan main course or side dish. 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 and substitutions

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 used date paste in this recipe but other liquid sweeteners such as maple syrup or agave work too.

Extra firm tofu works best in this recipe, but you can substitute firm tofu if you prefer.

I used 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 particularly well in this recipe, but you can substitute broccoli, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, or any other vegetables you prefer.

A white bowl filled with tofu.

How to make this vegan sweet and sour tofu

Start by adding the oil to the wok or frying pan and place on the stove set to medium heat, then allow the pan to heat up for 1-2 minutes. While the pan is heating up, add the date paste, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, salt, and chili peppers to a bowl and stir until combined.

When the pan is hot, add the tofu to the pan and fry on both sides until cooked and a little crispy (approximately 5 minutes per side). Remove the tofu from the pan and reserve.

Next you’ll add the eggplant to the pan and fry until soft and slightly caramelized (approximately 5 minutes per side). Add the tofu back to the pan, then add the sauce and stir to combine and heat the ingredients for 2-3 minutes.

Optional additions and garnishes

Some additions that work well in this recipe are canned baby corn, water chestnuts, or bamboo shoots are all tasty additions. I opted to garnish this vegan sweet and sour tofu 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 chili peppers are another nice garnish if you like some extra heat.

Storage

Store this vegan sweet and sour tofu in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days, then reheat on the stovetop, in the oven, or microwave to your desired temperature.

Tofu chunks in a white bowl.

More vegan dinner recipes to try

Vegan Sweet and Sour Tofu

This vegan sweet and sour tofu is filling, delicious, and full of tangy, spicy flavor. It's quick and easy to make. Enjoy it on its own or serve over rice or noodles for an even more substantial meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 6 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 129kcal

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • Add the oil to the wok or frying pan and place on the stove set to medium heat, then allow the pan to heat up for 1-2 minutes.
  • While the pan is heating up, add the date paste, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, salt, and chili peppers to a bowl and stir until combined.
  • When the pan is hot, add the tofu to the pan and fry on both sides until cooked and a little crispy (approximately 5 minutes per side).
  • Remove the tofu from the pan and reserve.
  • Add the eggplant to the pan and fry until soft and slightly 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 2-3 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

Notes

  • Store this vegan sweet and sour tofu in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Nutrition

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

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