A bowl of rice topped with crispy tofu coated in a sticky sweet and sour bowl after a long tiring day, yes, please! Just because you can't get it at your local Asian restaurant does not mean you can't make sweet and sour tofu at home. However, before working with tofu, there are a few tips you should know about.
Tips For Working With Tofu
Working with tofu can be a challenging task for some. Tofu is prone to sticking to the pan and can turn into a crumbly mess. For this reason, you need to follow these tips to yield the best results.
Use Extra-Firm Tofu
Extra-firm tofu is the most compact of all the tofu variations. This is because the tofu curds are so tight heavier than soft or medium tofu. Soft tofu or medium tofu will disintegrate into nothing. Therefore, extra-firm tofu is the appropriate ingredient for this hearty recipe.
Press Your Tofu
Although you can cook tofu that has not been pressed, it's not advisable. This is because unpressed tofu has a weird texture and will not absorb the seasoning. Pressing tofu allows it to absorb the seasoning as well as helps it to retain its shape. This is the only guarantee that you will get the sweet and sour nice and crispy. If you do not have tofu, press, wrap it in paper towels, set it on a plate, and place another container or heavy object on top. Let the tofu sit for 2-4 hours.
Season The Tofu
Do not be afraid of seasoning. With tofu, it is ok to be a little heavy-handed. Yes, the sauce is super flavorful, but you should not depend on it to season the tofu. Additionally, seasoning food, whether it is tofu or chicken, every step of the way prevents you from over-seasoning your food.
Allergic To Tofu?
Unfortunately, some people cannot consume tofu because of an allergic reaction. Luckily you can substitute other vegetables such as mushrooms, cauliflower, or tempeh.
Sweet and Sour Tofu Rice Bowl
This sweet and sour tofu bowl is bursting with flavor. Served on a bed of rice, sweet and sour tofu is the perfect weeknight dinner.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
For the crispy tofu:
• 1 16 oz. block extra-firm tofu, pressed, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 21 tablespoon coconut aminos
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/3 cup cornstarch
• 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the sweet and sour sauce:
• 1/4 onion, diced
• 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
• 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
• 2 cloves garlic grated
• 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup ketchup
• 1/4 rice wine cup vinegar
• 1/4 cup water
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
• 1/4 cup pineapple juice
• 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
• 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
For the bowls:
• 2 cups cooked Japanese rice
1. Add the tofu to a bowl, add the soy sauce and coconut aminos and toss to combine.
2. Add the tofu garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, ground black pepper, cornstarch, and toss to combine.
3. Place a nonstick skillet on a medium-high flame, add the vegetable, and heat it for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the tofu to the nonstick skillet and cook it for 2-3 minutes per side until every side is crispy.
5. Drain the crispy tofu on a paper towel-lined plate and set it aside.
6. To make the sweet and sour sauce, place the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and ginger into the same pan and sauté it for 5 minutes until they have softened.
7. Whisk the brown sugar, ketchup, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, coconut aminos, and pineapple juice in a bowl, then add it to the sauteed vegetables.
8. Add the tofu and cook the sweet and sour sauce for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove the sweet and sour tofu from the stove.
9. Divide the rice between four bowls, top with the sweet and sour tofu, then garnish with the sesame seeds and parsley.
10. Serve and enjoy!