Asian-inspired plant-based recipes

Sweet & Spicy Tofu

Watch how to make it here

This tofu recipe is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. Combined with shitake mushrooms and bell peppers for texture, this tofu recipe is irresistible!


  1. Firm or extra firm tofu will work well in this recipe.
  2. If preferred, one regular-sized bell pepper can be used instead of the mini bell peppers.
  3. For an even spicier kick, combine red chili flakes and cayenne pepper. It tastes amazing.
  4. Cornstarch or potato starch will both work well in this recipe.

Sweet & Spicy Tofu

August 22, 2021
: 35 min
: 15 min
: 50 min


  • 1 16oz box of firm or extra firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp sugar or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp red chili flakes or cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauces
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 thumb of ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch (1 tbsp for tofu and 1 tbsp for cornstarch slurry)
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 5-6 mini bell peppers (red, yellow, orange), sliced
  • 1 green onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Step 1 Open the box of tofu and drain the liquid. Press the tofu with a heavy object for at least 30 minutes. Layer a paper towel or lint-free towel between the tofu and the board to absorb the liquid. To save time, you can begin this process a couple hours in advance. Once the tofu is dry, cut into 2 inch cubes.
  • Step 2 Prepare the garlic, ginger, shitake mushrooms, mini bell peppers, and green onions. Save a few pieces of the bell pepper for garnish. In a bowl, combine the hoisin, sugar, water, red chili flakes, apple cider vinegar, and soy sauce.
  • Step 3 Heat up vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet for a minute. Add 1 tbsp of cornstarch and mix it well with the oil. This will help make the tofu crispy. Add the tofu pieces to the skillet and fry for 4 minutes on at least 2 of the sides. If time allows, fry for an additional 2 minutes on the other 2 sides, otherwise the previous step is sufficient. Lay a paper towel on a plate to absorb any excess oil and add the tofu to the plate and set aside.
  • Step 4 In the same skillet (there should be leftover oil), add the garlic and ginger for 1 minute. Next, add the shitake mushrooms and fry for a couple minutes. If the mushrooms begin to stick, add 1-2 tbsp of water to deglaze the skillet. Add the bell peppers and stir fry for 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables have slighty softened. Add the sauce and wait for it to simmer. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1 tbsp of cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water until fully dissolved. When the sauce begins to simmer, add the cornstarch slurry in a circular motion. Use a spatula to mix everything well together until the sauce thickens. At this point, add the tofu pieces and mix until completely covered in the sauce. Garnish with the green onions, serve with white rice, and enjoy! 🙂

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