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Vegan Broccoli and Tofu with Sweet Sour Sauce and Sesame Seeds

by Adina 11/01/2016 21 comments

Another quite healthy dish, perfect for a January lunch or dinner, very easy and quick to make: broccoli florets and tofu cubes in a sweet and sour sauce, a very tasty vegan dish, which you can make as hot as you want by adding more chilies or chili flakes.

I have a soft spot for dishes made with pantry/freezer ingredients. I like shopping for food but it is often the case that although I only need a few fresh ingredients or one or two missing things, I end up spending way too much on things I don’t immediately need and which usually find their way directly to the pantry/cellar/freezer. All of these places are overcrowded most of the time, so I am always happy to find recipes which allow me to use several of these stacked goods in one go.

tofu broccoli stir fry Vegan Broccoli and Tofu with Sweet Sour Sauce and Sesame Seeds

This recipe was the result of a search after tofu, I had a package which needed to be used in the next couple of days. I found it here – General Tso’s Tofu – Appetite for China – and was glad to, I had everything I needed at home and the meal was absolutely delicious. The list of ingredients might seem long, but they are mostly things that people who enjoy cooking Chinese food from time to time already have at home. In case you have to buy something new, be reassured, all of these things have quite a long shelf life, so you will be able to use them up before they go bad.

tofu broccoli sweet sour Vegan Broccoli and Tofu with Sweet Sour Sauce and Sesame Seeds

Broccoli and Tofu Sweet Sour


Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

tofu broccoli sesame 768x576 Vegan Broccoli and Tofu with Sweet Sour Sauce and Sesame Seeds
  • 450 g/ 1 pound extra-firm tofu
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • dried chilies or dried chili flakes, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • salt
  • rice to serve
  1. Rinse and dry the tofu. Put the tofu blocks between two layers of kitchen paper and press down with the hand to absorb as much liquid as possible. Repeat the procedure a couple of times with fresh kitchen paper. Cut the tofu in 2.5 cm/ 1 inch cubes and set aside.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the broccoli florets for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Let drain very well.
  3. To make the sauce whisk together the tomato paste, ketchup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil and sugar.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil in a wok or a large, deeper pan. Add the tofu and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring until golden brown all over. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Finely mince the dried chilies, the garlic cloves and the ginger. Slice the scallions into thin rings, keeping the white and the green parts separated.
  6. Heat the remaining tablespoon of peanut oil. Give the chilies, garlic, ginger and the white scallion parts to the wok and stir fry for half a minute. Add the sauce and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Add the tofu and stir to coat. Add some salt to taste.
  7. Dry the broccoli very well using kitchen paper again. This step is not entirely necessary but it is better to do it if you intend to give the broccoli to the wok as well. Too much water would thin down the sauce. Otherwise you can serve the broccoli on the side.
  8. Sprinkle the dish with the sesame seeds and the scallion greens and serve with rice.

tofu broccoli 768x1024 Vegan Broccoli and Tofu with Sweet Sour Sauce and Sesame Seeds

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Chris Scheuer 11/01/2016 - 21:44

All I would need is the tofu. It sounds wonderful! And so pretty!

Adina 12/01/2016 - 12:00

Thank you, Chris. 🙂

Thao @ In Good Flavor 12/01/2016 - 03:07

I am so guilty of stocking up on things I don’t need. What is sad about it is I often times have to throw them out because they have long passed their expiration date. This dish looks delicious! I would be perfectly content with a platter of this and bowl of white rice. So good!!

Adina 12/01/2016 - 11:59

Thank you, Thao. I have to throw away things as well sometimes, no matter how much I try not to forget them somewhere on a shelf, it really makes me angry with myself.

Denise [email protected] Brazil To You 12/01/2016 - 15:09

What a great meatless dish, Adina! It is also a complete meal packed with soy protein and yummy Asian flavors.

Adina 12/01/2016 - 18:40

Thank you, Denise, it is great when something so healthy tastes sooo good, isn’t it?

Monica 12/01/2016 - 15:22

This looks so, so good, Adina! I’m getting ready to cook dinner with some tofu tonight too. Love this sweet/sour combo and I can imagine the tofu soaking up all that flavor.

Adina 12/01/2016 - 18:41

It is a good combination indeed, I have made it a few times lately, using other vegetables…

sue|theviewfromgreatisland 12/01/2016 - 19:10

I LOVE spicy tofu recipes, this looks so pretty, too!

Adina 13/01/2016 - 12:21

Thanks, Sue!

[email protected]'s Recipes 12/01/2016 - 19:26

A fantastic tofu recipe, Adina. I love the sweet sour flavour.

[email protected] 12/01/2016 - 19:38

Oh I love these kind of dishes! I just happen to have some tofu in my fridge, might make this for dinner tonight. 🙂

Jess @ Sweetest Menu 12/01/2016 - 21:12

This looks lovely! The perfect week night meal and so much better for you than take out! Great photos!

Kathryn @ Family Food on the Table 12/01/2016 - 21:34

I really love tofu but my family is so-so… I think this recipe might help change their minds! I’ll definitely spice it up for the adults and keep it a little more mild for the kiddos. Can’t wait to try this! Pinning!

Marsha | Marsha's Baking Addiction 12/01/2016 - 22:30

I’ve haven’t tried tofu yet, but I’ve been meaning to! This meal looks absolutely delicious, and healthy!

allie @ Through Her Looking Glass 13/01/2016 - 00:46

What a delicious and beautiful dish, Adina! I have everything on hand except the hoisin and tofu. You have a real winner here and I wish this was on my dinner plate stat! Well done.

marcela 13/01/2016 - 02:23

YUM! It looks scrumptious! Love your dish, Adina!

Meghan | Fox and Briar 13/01/2016 - 03:47

I love recipes that use ingredients that I have on hand! No matter how hard I try, I often forget to plan dinner ahead of time, so this is perfect. Also I am a huge fan of asian meals, and the fact that it is vegetarian makes it even better!

Evi @ greenevi 13/01/2016 - 18:17

This is the type of food I absolutely love! So many flavours and colours, beautiful!
Definitely gonna have to make soonish, pinned 🙂

Tessa | Natural Comfort Kitchen 16/01/2016 - 19:00

I LOVE tofu! Cannot say the same for my husband, but he travels often for work which is when I get my tofu fix. Will be pinning this for next time he’s away!

Adina 16/01/2016 - 19:41

Thank you, Tessa. It would be great if you tried it and I hope you like it if you do.


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