This is a dish that will satisfy carnivores and vegans alike. It is just soo delicious – I am not just saying that either!
The fact that the tofu is baked and not fried means it is also way healthier than the traditional method. MY family has a love/hate relationship with tofu – half of us love and the others…. you get my drift!
So this method of crumbing the tofu, and adding texture is another advantage. Tofu absorbs the flavour of whatever to put with it. So by tailoring the sweet and sour sauce to your fancy, you can really eat it the exact way you want it.
I like to add a tonne of vegetables to my sweet and sour sauces so that the kids can get their quota of vitamins and minerals but feel free to omit whichever vegetables you want to, or indeed swap or add extra!
The jury is also out on whether it is acceptable to add pineapples to a sweet and sour dish, and if you do, then what about tinned pineapple?! You know, I’m not a 5 star chef by any means – I just go by what tickles my taste buds, and I don’t mind adding pineapple – I also really like adding the tinned syrup to the sauce. But again, it’s optional so if you can’t stand the stuff, leave it out and make up the sugar content with the palm/brown sugar element.
Ok, enough talking, let’s just get on with this, shall we?!
Sweet and Sour, Crispy Baked Tofu
For the crispy tofu
- 1 block firm tofu already pressed to squeeze excess water out
- 2 tbsps cornflour
- 5 tbsp plain flour
- 1-2 eggs beaten
- 1-2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce vegan option, if not using egg
- 1/2 bag panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 thumbnail ginger grated
- 1 red pepper chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 yellow pepper chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup broccoli chopped up and blanched
- 3-4 shiitake mushrooms sliced or diced
- 1/2 courgette bite size chunks
- 1-2 red chillies/ chilli flakes finely chopped
- 1 tin pineapple in syrup chopped into bite sized chunks – optional
- 1-2 tbsps cornflour make into a slurry with cold water
Ingredients for sauce
- 3-4 tbsp vinegar I used malt vinegar and a little rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown/palm sugar
- 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 100 ml water
- salt to taste
- Cut the pressed tofu into 2cm cubes.
- Dip the cubes into the cornflour/plain flour mix, then the beaten egg or sweet chilli sauce, and finally the panko breadcrumbs
- Once all the cubes are ready, transfer to foil (that has been sprayed with a film of oil) and then put into an oven at 180°C (fan) for 15-20 minutes. Set aside
- While the tofu is baking, you can get on with the sauce. Put all the contents for the sauce into one bowl and stir until everything is dissolved.
- In a wok, add the rapeseed oil followed by the red onion, garlic and ginger. After a minute add the peppers, courgettes, mushrooms and broccoli.
- Once the vegetables have been sautéing for 5 minutes, add the sweet and sour sauce and stir in. It is important to taste the sauce after a few minutes because it may need more or less vinegar or sugar. If more sugar is needed, you can either add the syrup from the pineapple tin (if using) OR palm/brown sugar. Season with salt if needed.
- Add the cornflour slurry to the mix and keep stirring – the sauce will now thicken slightly. If using pineapple, add it now. Also add the chilli/chilli flakes.
- After 10 minutes, your sauce should be done. You can now choose to add the tofu to the sauce and mix in, OR serve the vegetables and sauce over some rice/noodles, with the tofu chunks placed on top so that they retain their crunch.