Sweet and Sour Tofu

sweet and sour tofu with pepper and onion slices and white rice in wok

No-fuss pineapple sweet and sour sauce with crispy, oil-free tofu and quick-stirred peppers and onions make a decadent, healthier, better-than takeout meal.



Crispy tofu

  • 1 - 8 oz. (250 gm.) block of firm tofu
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce or Tamari
  • 2 tsp. arrowroot powder

Sweet & Sour Sauce

  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar (you can also use apple cider vinegar)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (low sodium is best here)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 -3 Tbsp. date paste or another sweetener
  • 2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
  • ½ cup cold water (for dissolving the arrowroot in)

Finishing the dish

  • 3 bell peppers of your choice (green, red, orange, yellow), sliced into strips
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced
  • Rice for 4 (1 cup dry, but check package recommendations)


Timing tip: Check the rice or other grain (if using) to plan when you want to start it in the cooking process)

Crispy tofu

  1. Rinse and cut the tofu lengthwise into quarters. Place the tofu on a plate and place another plate or chopping board on top. Weigh the top down with a few cans or something heavy. Press the tofu to release the moisture for 20 minutes.
  2. Once the tofu is pressed, pre-heat the oven to 4000 F (2000C) and cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces. ¼ - ½ inch thick works best.
  3. Toss the tofu pieces in a bowl with the lemon juice and soy sauce. Then sprinkle the arrowroot on top and stir to coat the pieces.
  4. Place the tofu pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (if you have it). Be sure to separate the pieces so they don’t stick together.
  5. Bake the tofu for 15 minutes or when they start to brown and crisp on top, then flip them and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

Sauce and finishing dish

  1. In a small glass or bowl, whisk together ½ cup cold water and 2 Tbsp. arrowroot. Set this aside.
  2. In a small to a medium saucepan, whisk together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and date paste over medium heat. Whisk for about a minute until everything is mixed in and the sauce starts to simmer.
  3. Add the arrowroot and water to the saucepan and whisk for another minute or 2 until the sauce starts to thicken. Allow it to simmer on low heat for another minute, then remove it from the heat.
  4. When the tofu is done, remove it from the oven. The veggies will take about 2 minutes, so don’t worry about it getting cold.
  5. Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat and add the pepper and onion slices. Keep them moving in the wok for 2 minutes until they just start to soften but are still crisp. Mix in the sauce and then add the tofu.
  6. Serve with rice.


  • If you do not have pineapple juice available, you can use canned pineapple by reserving the juice and pureeing the pineapple chunks. Use unsweetened pineapple for this. I’ve tried this a few times and it makes a great sauce.
  • The time for the tofu depends on how thick your pieces are. Try not to overcook them or they can get hard and quite chewy.
  • We love sweet and sour with peppers and onions, but other veggies, such as carrots or broccoli are fine additions and can help to bulk this dish up a bit.

Keywords: sweet and sour tofu

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