cooking · Dinner

Sweet and Sour Tofu & Veggies with Brown Rice

Sweet and sour sauces are something I am always working on new versions of. ‘Cause I can tell you I haven’t had any of that sketchy neon red sweet and sour sauce in years that comes from “Chinese” restaurants 😉 And I can have a sauce that isn’t so sweet I am thinking I have candy dessert sauce on my tofu…..

Now is this a fast recipe? No. It is worth it if you have a craving and it has to be a lot healthier than me slinking into the local take out place and bringing home an oil slick.

Sweet and Sour Tofu & Veggies


Tofu –

  • 14 to 16 ounce package extra-firm tofu, preferably organic
  • Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
  • Neutral vegetable oil

Vegetables –

  • 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained (reserve juice for sauce)
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 Tbsp neutral vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large purple onion, peeled and chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

Sauce –

  • Reserved pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup ketchup, preferably organic
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed, preferably organic
  • ¼ cup brown rice vinegar, unseasoned
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari (make sure preservative free)
  • 2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce (Thai-style)
  • 1½ Tbsp arrowrooot powder (or corn starch)
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground mustard


Drain the tofu in a fine mesh colander, place a small plate or bowl on top, place a heavy can (such a 28 ounce tomato one) on top, let drain for 30 minutes over a bowl.

Cut into bite size squares, season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high, add about 1 Tablespoon oil, fry the tofu until crispy and golden, shaking the skillet often. Drain the tofu on a paper towel lined plate.

Return the skillet to to the burner, crank up to just below high, add in the oil for the vegetables, then the carrots, celery, onion and bell pepper, stir fry until crisp-tender, add in the water chestnuts. Squeeze the pineapple as dry as you can (reserving any extra pineapple juice for the sauce), add to the veggies and stir fry. Return the tofu, heat through.

Meanwhile, whisk the sauce ingredients smooth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking often. Let cook until thick (it will get thick as soon as it boils). Pour the sauce over the vegetables and tofu, gently fold in, serve immediately over the hot rice.

Serves 4.

Baked Brown Rice


  • 1½ cups long grain brown rice
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2½ cups boiling water


Preheat oven to 375°. Add everything to an 8×8″ glass baking dish, cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour.

Serves 4.


5 thoughts on “Sweet and Sour Tofu & Veggies with Brown Rice

  1. If my daughter could read this, she would give you a BIG kiss. She is a fan of the sketchy red sauce; I, needless to say, am not and am not a fan of HER being a fan. 😉

    1. Back in the day I would drown my fried chicken in that stuff, smother my rice in it, till it was ruby red 😉 Getting banned from food dyes wasn’t a bad thing 😉

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