Sweet & Sour Tofu


Who needs takeout when you can easily whip up recipes like this at home?


We’ve combined two of our favorite and most popular recipes (Easy Crispy Tofu and Sweet & Sour Cauliflower) to bring you this easy, and flavorful dish that your whole family will love.

We tweaked both recipes slightly to create the perfect ratio of tofu to sauce and let us tell you, this recipe does not disappoint (it may even change the mind of a tofu-hater)! Plus, you probably have most, if not all, of the ingredients in your pantry. And if you don’t, no worries, we’ve linked our favorites for you below.

For the sweet & sour sauce, all you need is the following simple ingredients:

Agave or maple syrup (we like this kind)

Soy sauce (here’s our favorite kind)

Rice vinegar (this is the kind we use)

Sesame oil



Chili garlic sauce (optional)

Cornstarch + water

And for the tofu, you only need THREE ingredients (tofu, cornstarch, and oil)– that’s it! Sounds easy enough, right? Yep!

We make this tofu recipe all the time because not only is it easy to make, it makes the crispiest tofu EVER.

Combined with a sticky, flavorful, sweet & sour sauce, this tofu is heaven. Plus, you can use this sauce on anything you like, so get creative and get cooking! If you make this recipe, don’t forget to leave us a review down below and tag us on Instagram!

If you like this recipe, check out some of our other tofu recipes:

BBQ Tofu Bowls

Creamy Thai Peanut Tofu with Veggies

Baked Crispy Tofu Sammy

Crispy Tofu Parm Sandwich

Classic Tofu Scramble

Sweet & Sour Tofu

Calling all tofu haters– this one's for you! This recipe is full of flavor, easy to make, and the perfect addition to your next meal.
4.87 from 23 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course dinner, Main Course
Servings 4 people


For the tofu

  • 1 (16 oz) block firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup oil of choice we like olive or canola

For the sauce

  • 1/3 cup agave or maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger minced
  • 1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce optional, use 2 tsp for more spice
  • 2 tsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds for topping
  • 1 green onion chopped, for topping


Make the crispy tofu:

  • Drain and press the tofu for at least 30 minutes (follow our instructions for how to do this here).
  • Cut the tofu into small cubes.
  • Place the cornstarch in a mixing bowl.
  • Place the tofu pieces into the mixing bowl and shake around so that all the pieces are covered in cornstarch (alternatively you can coat each piece separately).
  • Heat the oil on a non-stick large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Place all of the tofu into the pan.
  • Allow the tofu pieces to get crispy on the bottom side, then flip them around and allow them to crisp on every side.
  • Remove the tofu from the pan and place on a plate or in a bowl. Rinse the pan and begin making the sauce.

Make the sauce:

  • In the saucepan over medium heat, combine the soy sauce with the maple syrup and whisk.
  • Add rice vinegar and sesame oil to the mixture and mix.
  • Next, add the chopped garlic, ginger and chili garlic sauce (if using). Mix.
  • In a separate, small bowl, combine the 2 tsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp water. Mix this until the cornstarch is dissolved.
  • Add the cornstarch/water mixture to the saucepan and mix again.
  • Turn up the heat to medium-high and let the sauce cook until it becomes thick and sticky, continuously stirring while it cooks. Once it has thickened, turn the heat to low.

Combine and serve:

  • Add the crispy tofu to the pan and mix until the tofu is completely coated.
  • Serve as is or over cooked rice. Top with sesame seeds and green onions. Enjoy!
Keyword asian, crispy, delicious, dinner, plantbased, tofu, vegan
    • Thank you!
    • April 1, 2020

    5 stars
    Another delicious recipe!! Made it with my two non-vegan sisters. They didn’t like tofu and now we’re all hooked! A little note though.. the ginger isn’t included in the ingredients list. We chopped up half an inch and added it to the sauce together with the garlic. No regrets.

      • Six Vegan Sisters
      • April 2, 2020

      YAY! Thank you for sharing — we are so happy you and your sisters loved this recipe (it’s a FAVE of ours)! Ahh, sorry about the ginger and thank you for letting us know, we’ve edited the recipe to include it (you guys guessed perfectly on the amount)!! 🙂

    • April 10, 2020

    5 stars
    Made them for dinner for the whole family and everyone loved them! They lived up to their title of sweet, sour, and crispy tofu! This was great during quarantine because we were all craving Chinese food-score! A tip for anyone that doesn’t want to make the tofu in 1/4 cup of oil, but still wants to try the recipe is to use 2tbsp of oil and leave them on for longer on the pan. They come out just as good.

    • AMAZING!
    • April 21, 2020

    5 stars
    This was one of the easiest and most delicious dishes I’ve ever made. I added steamed broccoli instead of rice, and it was great! Thank you so much!

      • Nahida
      • January 17, 2021

      5 stars
      So so so amazing, I make this at least once a month. Every person I have made it for has loved it!!

    • Connie
    • April 27, 2020

    Loved this recipe! And so did my non-vegan husband. I just learned about your blog and this is the first recipe I’ve tried. I’ll be trying many more! So much better than ordering Chinese food and easy and quick enough to make, even the first time. Thanks for sharing so many great recipes!

      • Six Vegan Sisters
      • April 28, 2020

      Thank you so much for sharing, Connie! So glad you found us – we can’t wait for you to try even more recipes!

    • chloé
    • April 28, 2020

    5 stars
    It was really easy to make and that’s a coming from an untalented 14 year old so you can trust me haha. The whole family loved it thank you so much!

      • Six Vegan Sisters
      • April 28, 2020

      Thanks so much for sharing! Aren’t easy recipes just the best?

    • Adele
    • May 30, 2020

    5 stars
    I noticed I had all the ingredients to make this so I thought I would give it a whirl! My dad and I ate it ALL. The crispy tofu came out perfect and the sauce was delicious! I’m definitely adding this to my recipe list to make again in the future!

      • Six Vegan Sisters
      • May 31, 2020

      We love that!! Thanks so much for leaving a comment. So glad you tried it!

    • Cindy
    • June 9, 2020

    5 stars
    Kids approved and loved it!

    • Rayshawn
    • October 12, 2020

    What can I substitute for minced garlic? I’m having trouble finding it.

    • kelsey
    • January 27, 2021

    5 stars
    I’m obsessed with this recipe! I’ve been making it at least twice a month since the summer!
    The flavor is just addictive!
    I’ve been trying to follow a more vegetarian/pescatarian diet and
    had never cooked tofu before but your recipe for crispy tofu is NO FAIL and I’ve probably sent this to 5 friends already and or made for them.
    For anyone who is not vegan, I just recently made the sauce, and instead of making tofu, baked salmon with chopped fresh garlic and salt/pepper and drizzled the sweet and sour sauce on top with the sesame seed

      • Bekka
      • March 27, 2021

      5 stars
      This recipe is bomb. Everyone in my household loves it and I’m usually the only one eating tofu. Well done! I’ve cooked it at least 4 times since discovering and I love it.

    • Meghan
    • February 7, 2021

    Wow. So delicious. And EASY! The name wasn’t lying about being better than take out. Will 10/10 be making this again.

    • Kaia Eikenberry
    • February 17, 2021

    5 stars
    Tastes amazing!! The sauce tastes just like sweet and sour chicken (except, of course, sin chicken) and the tofu is perfectly crisp. Definitely going to make this many more times.

    • Yuval
    • February 23, 2021

    this was super yummy and easy to whip up in a short amount of time !! love this recipe a ton 🥰🥰

    • Nicole
    • March 19, 2021

    5 stars
    I’ve been making this regularly for months and eating way too much of it! So good and so easy! Do you happen to have an estimated calorie count per serving?

    • Brittany Doubroff
    • March 25, 2021

    Loved it!! Added greed cabbage and broccoli

    • Annikah
    • April 5, 2021

    Hey! Do you by chance have the nutrition info for this recipe?

    • Vanessa
    • April 22, 2021

    2 stars
    Sorry to say, but was not a fan of this recipe :(. The taste of the sauce was not appetizing, not sure if it was because of the fact that the soy sauce was not low-sodium like the recipe suggested. Tired adding in honey, garlic powder and hoisin but nothing seemed to add that flavour that seemed to be missing.

    • May
    • April 26, 2021

    I’m going to try this tonight. It looks delicious! I was just wondering if I don’t have maple syrup or agave, could I use simple syrup? Or would it alter the taste too much? And would I use the same amount? Thanks!

    • Noreen
    • May 15, 2021

    5 stars
    So easy to make and a delicious result. We eat it once a week and we can’t get enough of it. Thank you!!

    • Allison
    • May 15, 2021

    5 stars
    This recipe is SO good! Tofu cannot be made any better than this. It’s so easy to make even for this cooking impaired vegan.
    Add this recipe to your arsenal for another great tofu dish to change things up from the sticky orange tofu (which is also FANTASTIC). My non-vegan family and friends love this recipe paired with rice and spring rolls. They don’t even complain that I’m preparing vegan food for them, that’s how good it is. I personally make this recipe for myself once a week. Thank you 6VS!!!

    • Nadine
    • June 19, 2021

    This is one of my favourite recipes ever! The sauce and tofu are ingredients that I always have on hand. I use a little bit less maple syrup than described because it’s a bit too sweet for me. And usually I make a bit more of the marinade, add some Mie noodles and fresh veggies and I have a such an easy two person meal. Can’t recommend it enough!!

    Marinading the tofu overnight makes it even more delicious 🙂

    • Kim
    • July 4, 2021

    5 stars
    This recipe is a game-changer. I last and first cooked tofu about 14 years ago and decided it was useless. I obviously was doing it wrong. I told my husband what was for dinner and he half-jokingly said, “I’ll have leftover chicken”. It exceeded our expectations and we are back on the tofu train. Choo Choo!

    • Faith Alfreda Tyler
    • July 8, 2021

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Made exactly as written, next time I will double the recipe! Thanks so much and no oil needed.
    I air fried the tofu and placed in the pan with the sauce…PERFECT! Thanks so much!

    • Mel
    • July 16, 2021

    5 stars
    Delicious! Used regular vinegar and it turned out amazing. Definitely will be making this again, thank you!

    • Kara
    • December 11, 2021

    5 stars
    Ok so I never reply on recipes but I have tried A LOT of tofu recipes and this is by far the best! Really does taste like takeout! Thank you!

  1. Reply

    5 stars
    I made this for family dinner last night and even my kids loved it (I didn’t tell them it was tofu)! The sauce is so amazing I will definitely be making it again. Any recommendations on how to best preserve the sauce/ how long it stays good in the fridge? Thanks!

    • liz
    • January 5, 2023

    So delicious! I ended up with soft instead of firm tofu but I actually really liked the crumbled pieces and how they crisped up! Careful about the vegan label on this though, the chili garlic sauce can often have fish sauce in it ( but you did mark that as optional, maybe that’s why). All in all can’t wait to make this again

    • Hilary
    • February 19, 2023

    5 stars
    This is the best sweet and sour I’ve ever had. My husband has requested it every week for a month. I don’t do anything different because it literally is perfect. 💚💚

    • Shannon
    • March 21, 2023

    5 stars
    I made it tonight. It was very good. Thanks for sharing.

    • Gina
    • June 3, 2023

    5 stars
    I’ve made this a few times now. We love it. Husband says he’d order it out which is his highest praise. I double the sauce and serve it over riced cauliflower and broccoli. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Steph
    • February 18, 2024

    5 stars
    Love this! I used arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch and added sautéed broccoli & snow peas all over brown rice. SO GOOD!! I’m going to double the sauce next time as well! Thank you for this mouthwatering treat!!

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