If you love sweet and savory, this recipe is for you! Crispy pan-fried tofu tossed in a sweet chili sauce mixed with soy sauce, sriracha, green onion, and sesame seeds served over rice. Perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Crispy pan-fried tofu served with a sweet chili sauce mixture that is sweet but has a bit of heat and so much flavor!
This Vegan Sweet Chili Tofu is perfect when you want a delicious meal but don't have much time to spend in the kitchen. Add veggies and rice to bulk it up and make it even more satisfying!
This Sweet Chili Tofu is my comfort meal. It has been a while so I thought it was time to post it here. It's very simple. It almost doesn't even feel like a recipe to be honest, it's THAT easy.
But since I make it so much and it's so dang good, I just have to share! If you have friends and family who think they hate tofu, make this for them. It's so hard not to love something that's covered in the most delicious sweet and spicy sauce.
This sweet chili tofu is incredibly simple and doesn’t require any special equipment. I do recommend pressing the water out of the tofu and a tofu press is helpful but not required.
- Extra Firm Tofu
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- Extra Firm Tofu: Chicken-Style Seitan would also be delicious paired with this sauce as well as tempeh or soy curls.
- Sweet Chili Sauce: I opted to use store-bought sweet chili sauce (make sure it's vegan!) but you could easily make your own.
- Sriracha: Can be substituted with Sambal Oelek or Original Tabasco.
How to Make Sweet Chili Tofu:
Tips & Tricks
I prefer the texture and taste of tofu that has been pressed. I'm pretty lazy when it comes to pressing tofu so I like to use my tofu press and add a block of tofu the night before I plan to use it and let it press all night in the fridge. That way when I'm ready to use it, I don't have to wait!
Coating the tofu in cornstarch is key to getting the best crispy tofu. When combined with a little moisture it creates a coating that gets perfectly crisp and golden brown every time.
Be patient when pan-frying tofu. If it doesn't easily flip over when in the frying pan, leave it longer. It should easily flip once the side is golden brown.
Be sure not to overcrowd the pan when frying. Overcrowding will cause the tofu to steam and it will never get crispy.
I recommend frying in batches with lots of room in between each piece and removing the crispy pieces to a wire rack while you continue to fry the rest. Placing them on a paper towel or a plate will cause one side to become soggy.
Frequently Asked Questions
A lot of store-bought sweet chili sauces are vegan. I use Thai Kitchen which has a certified vegan label.
Some store-bought sriracha brands are vegan but some aren't. Do some research on brands near you to find a vegan-friendly one. It shouldn't be too hard but if you struggle to find a vegan-friendly sriracha you can replace it in this recipe with Sambal Oelek or Original Tabasco.
You don't always have to press tofu but for this particular recipe, I recommend it to ensure crispy tofu!
Press your tofu, toss in cornstarch, don't overcrowd the pan (always fry in batches!), and don't flip too early! That is my four most important steps to ensure you get crispy tofu every time. Read more all about tofu in my Ultimate Guide to Cooking Tofu.
Of course! Toss in soy sauce, cornstarch, and seasonings as written, and then bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes.
More Easy Tofu Recipes
- Baked Sesame Garlic Tofu
- Crispy Tofu Rice Bowl with Peanut Sauce
- Vegan Orange Tofu
- Sticky Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry
Sweet Chili Tofu
- 1 Block Extra-Firm Tofu pressed
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Pinch of Salt & Black Pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil for pan-frying
Sweet Chili Sauce:
- ¼ cup Vegan Friendly Sweet Chili Sauce
- 2 tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- ½-1 teaspoon Vegan Friendly Sriracha
- 2 teaspoons Rice Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Green Onions finely chopped
- 1 teaspoons Sesame Seeds
- Press the block of tofu for at least 20 minutes to remove excess water. See above for the importance of pressing tofu.
- Cut the tofu in to 16 large cubes or rectangles.
- Toss the tofu in soy sauce until coated and then add the cornstarch, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Toss carefully to coat.
- Heat a large pan on medium-high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil or enough to coat the base of the pan and pan fry each side until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes each side.
- Whisk together the sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, and rice vinegar in a small bowl.
- Thinly chop green onions and add to the sauce along with sesame seeds.
- Toss the tofu in to the sauce and serve with jasmine rice, vegetables of choice and top with extra green onions and more sesame seeds. Enjoy!
I absolutely love your recipes and website. It is so inspiring! If you had a restaurant I would definitely eat there and often! Thank you for the time and effort you put into everything you do!
That's so sweet! Thank you so much 🙂
The extra firm tofu was a game changer for me 😊 And the cornstarch really made a nice crispy coating. I ended up substituting the sauce with one that came with an Asian veggie mix I use and it was delicious paired with buckwheat soba noodles 💕
That's great! Thank you for this comment! That veggie mix with soba noodles sounds so good. 🙂
Sydney A. says
Rice and tofu is my families go to meal so I had to make this one. Every time I make tofu it’s always different and not as crispy but this time using your tips my tofu turned out perfectly! Pressing the tofu helped tremendously and the use of cornstarch. Thanks for another great recipe!
So glad you found the tips helpful! Happy you enjoyed 🙂
Braxton Greer says
Made this last night - easy and delicious. Served over jasmine rice with some sautéed broccoli and mushrooms.
Love the addition of broccoli and mushrooms. Yum! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
Delicious! Love this recipe as a frequent go-to.
It's one of my favorites as well. Glad you enjoyed 🙂
Hi! Q for #2: Toss in soy sauce first, then in cornstarch, garlic, onion, salt and pepper? Or mix to make a paste? Tried to mix first but I got dry lumps, not a paste.
Sorry that wasn't entirely clear! I've updated the instructions. Toss the tofu in soy sauce first to coat and then toss in the dry ingredients.
Amy Hunt says
Oh, how I love this recipe. No notes. One time, I added some roasted cauliflower and it was a nice addition. If you make it, be sure to print out and/or bookmark the recipe, because you WILL want to send the link to your friends.
Thank you so much for this amazing comment! I appreciate it! I'm glad you enjoyed 🙂