This lovely sweet and sour crispy tofu with veggies is paying all the work off. Inside the delicious sauce, the amazing crispy shell with a faint aroma of bean curd is extremely appealing.
Sweet and sour taste has two explanations in Chinese. One is "酸甜", literally means "sweet and sour" and the other one is "糖醋", which means sugar and vinegar. We think the taste is a combined and balanced taste from all kinds of seasonings and condiments. To achieve the authentic sweet and sour sauce, we also have different approaches too. In Chinese cuisine, we name the dishes using vinegar (either black vinegar or rice vinegar) and sugar as the main seasonings "糖醋" . Take sweet and sour ribs for example, vinegar and sugar are mainly for the taste and the red-color is bought by the fried sugar. So they are usually in dark red. However when ketchup is added in the sauce, we love to name this group of dish "酸甜 or 茄汁". Ketchup builds a very basic and solid sweet and sour taste, with only a small a rice vinegar and sugar to highlight or balance the taste. Those dishes usually have bright orange color.
In generally, sweet and sour sauce can be applied on all kinds of meat including pork, chicken, ribs and fish. Tofu is a great substitute for those who are on a vegan or vegetarian diet. And the two match great with each other too.
Cut firm tofu into small cubes. Place around ½ cup of oil in a small pan. Place the tofu cubes in. Start the fire and fry them ( by two batches if necessary). During the process, stir them from time to time so they can be heated evenly.
When they are golden brown, transfer out.
Remove extra oil and leave only around 1 tablespoon in the pan, fry garlic, scallion white and ginger over slow fire until aromatic.
Pour the sweet and sour sauce mix in, heat to boil.
Return the tofu cubes and continue heating over slow fire until the sauce is sticky to the tofu cubes.
My favorite way is to serve it with steamed rice.
Sweet and Sour Tofu
- One box of firm tofu ,around 300g
- ½ cup of cooking oil for frying
- 1 clove garlic ,minced
- 1 tsp. minced ginger
- 1 scallion white ,minced
- 1 scallion green part ,minced for garnishing
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 2 tbsp. ketchup
- 6 tbsp. water
- ½ tbsp. corn starch
- ½ tbsp. sugar
- ½ tbsp. light soy sauce
- ½ tbsp. vinegar
- Firstly, mix all the ingredients for sweet and sour sauce together.
- Cut firm tofu into small cubes. Place around ½ cup of oil in a small pan. Place the tofu cubes in. Start the fire and fry them ( by two batches if necessary). During the process, stir them from time to time so they can be heated evenly. Transfer out when they are all golden brown.
- Remove extra oil and leave only around 1 tablespoon in the pan, fry garlic, scallion white and ginger over slow fire until aromatic. Pour the sweet and sour sauce mix in, heat to boil.
- Return the tofu cubes and continue heating over slow fire until the sauce is well-thickened and sticky to the tofu cubes.
- Garlic some spring onions and serve with steamed rice.
I'd like try this recipe this week. Usually, in chinese cooking, do we use raw sesame oil or toasted sesame oil ?
We are using raw sesame oil.
Is the toasted sesame oil used in chinese cooking ?
I further checked and we are using actually both raw sesame oil and oil from stir-fried sesame seeds depends on the manufacturing technique. However most of the sesame oil on the market is raw sesame oil using squeezing technique.
Thank you for this vegetarian recipe.
I did it today with a bowl of rice and the sauce tastes incredible! Great!
Nice to see you again. And I am really glad to know that you love it too.
This looks SO DELICIOUS! can't wait to make my own
They are quite yummy. I am quite satisfied with the result.
Are the tofu pieces being deep fried or shallow fried?
do we have to use ketchup or can it be replaced with something else?
Yes, you can use only vinegar, soy sauce and sugar to create a similar sweet and sour taste just like this one.
Hi Elaine! I love your website and trying out new dishes from here. What kind of vegetables do you think go best with this kind of tofu?
I believe broccoli and tomato are great partners with tofu.
in this recipe that vinegar use? (white, rice, or Chinese black)
This one was not our favorite actually. I’m guessing it had something to do with ketchup, an ingredient I’m always a little hesitant to use. It’s easy for ketchup to dominate other flavors in my opinion. Ithis dish just wasn’t as flavorful as we were hoping even after adjusting some of the amounts. Maybe it needed more garlic and ginger??
But that being said, we have made a number of recipes from this site, and the others have all been great! I highly recommend this cooking site to friends who are interested in Chinese cooking. Maybe our family just likes the sharper, more aggressive flavors that are normally associated with Sichuan. I generally haven’t had much luck with milder, more Cantonese style stir fry type dishes that we’ve tried from cookbooks and other sources either.
Oh well, can’t win em all
But it sounds like lots of other people loved this recipe. All a matter of preference?I absolutely love chinasichuanfood.com!