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Sponsored/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Baked Sweet and Sour Tofu

Baked Sweet and Sour Tofu Recipe

Baked Sweet and Sour TofuSponsored RecipePhotos by Emily Caruso

I love remaking restaurant dishes at home, but usually they don’t quite measure up to the original. This Sweet and Sour Baked Tofu? It’s not going to be mistaken for the takeout version. That’s because, in my humble opinion, it’s even better. Yes, I said it! It’s better.

Sweet and Sour Tofu is a dish I frequently order, and then as soon as I take a bite, I instantly regret it. Either the sweet is so sweet that my teeth itch or the sour is so sour that it verges on unpleasantly acidic. The key to a good Sweet and Sour dish is nailing that balance between the two flavors so the end result is neither too cloying nor too sharp.

When I’ve made Sweet and Sour dishes at home in the past, I always used pineapple juice. This time, I selected orange juice instead. Why orange juice? Well, pineapple juice contains an enzyme that breaks down proteins; this is fine in a quick stir fry, but since this tofu is baked, I didn’t want it sitting in the juice for too long and becoming mushy. Orange juice adds sweetness, a hint of citrus flavor, and it lets the tofu keep its satisfying chewy texture.

Baked Sweet and Sour Tofu
Orange juice, brown sugar, and ketchup are the sweet element of this recipe and Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar is the sour. Rice vinegar is one of my favorite vinegars to cook with—I’m not a fan of strong vinegars and I find rice vinegar adds just the right amount of acid to a recipe without dominating the other flavors. I love Nakano Rice Vinegar because it’s contains no artificial ingredients, no preservatives, and no high-fructose corn syrup. A little soy sauce, garlic, and fresh ginger result in a perfectly balanced sauce for this dish.

The sauce and the cooking method might be a little unexpected, but I kept things traditional with the rest of the ingredients: in addition to extra-firm tofu, bell peppers and pineapple are baked in the sauce. Serve this dish over a bed of rice or quinoa and finish it with a garnish of sliced green onions.

Baked Sweet and Sour Tofu

This oven-baked version of Sweet and Sour Tofu has a gingery sauce that's neither too sweet nor too sour.
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1 15-ounce package extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 small green bell pepper diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup diced fresh or frozen pineapple
  • Cooked rice or quinoa for serving
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions


  • Preheat oven to 400ºF and grease an 8x8-inch baking dish with coconut oil or coat with cooking spray.
  • Whisk together the orange juice, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, gently toss the tofu with the cornstarch, being careful not to break the tofu. Once the tofu is coated with the cornstarch, transfer it to the prepared baking dish. Add the bell peppers and pineapple, then pour in the sauce and gently stir to coat.
  • Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve over rice or quinoa and garnish with green onions.
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This recipe was created in connection with my appointment as a contributor to the Nakano Natural and Seasoned Rice Vinegar.

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  • Reply
    June 14, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Add some carrots and you will have a perfect sweet/sour dish. IMO. I also love rice vinegar, for its flavor and mildness. I’m intrigued by the use of orange juice, because I’ve always done stir fries (with meat) and used the pineapple juice (I think – it’s been a lot of years since I’ve done sweet and sour). This is definitely a dish I want to try.

  • Reply
    Emma {Emma's Little Kitchen}
    June 15, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    One of my childhood favourites! I’m seriously craving this now 🙂

  • Reply
    June 16, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    I made this for dinner last night and served it over rice. Let me tell you –this dish is the bomb!! It’s super easy to make, tastes great and doesn’t take forever to put together. My wife and daughter had second helpings which is always a sign that it tastes great to them too.
    I added sliced carrots ( per other reviewers idea) and used only red sweet peppers since we are not real big green pepper fans. I’ll be keeping this recipe and making it over and over!

    • Reply
      June 20, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment – I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! I’ve thought about trying different vegetables in this too. I think cauliflower could be good. 🙂

  • Reply
    June 20, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    I made this recipe tonight. It was delicious. I was worried since I usually like my tofu marinated and crispy. I was happily surprised with the result. I loved the mix of flavors and the balance between the sweet and the sour. It was perfect.

    • Reply
      June 20, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Reply
    Mette Jensen
    August 3, 2016 at 4:41 am

    Hello from Denmark :-)….

    I made your dish yesterday and it was a huge succes!!! Even my skeptical teenage daughter loved it. There where så many flavours going on, and I am definately going to make this dish over and over again. It was so easy… you I often find, that sweet and sour sauces completely lack that balance between acidity and sweetness, but this dish certainly doesn’t…..så thank you so much for sharing this….

    • Reply
      August 19, 2016 at 8:37 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 25, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Helloo! i just did this recipe its soooooooooo delicious !! I will keep it in my favorite i will do it again for sure !!!

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