Tofu two ways

I'll admit it: sometimes a big, greasy bowl of lo mein sounds really good. I don't however, love the heartattack on a plate that Occidentals like to turn everything into. Here are two super easy versions of take-out classics that rely on fresh ingredients for plenty of flavor. No disgustingly sweet sauces or fluorescent coloring here!


Lemon tofu with pea sprouts


Lemon Tofu
12 oz. super firm tofu
2 1/2 tbs. cornstarch
canola oil
1 small yellow onion, sliced (about 3/4 c.)
2 tsp. minced ginger
3/4 c. sliced bell pepper (any color will do)
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
2 tbs. agave nectar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. mirin
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp sriracha
salt, to taste
zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp.)


Chop the tofu into bite-sized pieces and toss in the cornstarch until evenly coated. Fry (in batches, if necessary) in a lightly oiled pan until golden brown. Drain and set aside.

Heat about 1 tbs. of oil in a large pan, then add the onion, ginger, and bell pepper. Saute over medium heat until just soft, but not caramelized. Meanwhile, combine the water through sriracha in a small bowl and stir well.

Add the tofu back into the pan and stir for a couple minutes to reheat. Pour the sauce mixture in and gently stir until it begins to thicken. Add a pinch of salt, if needed. Turn off the heat, toss in the lemon zest, and serve immediately.


Sweet and sour tofu with brown rice


Sweet and sour tofu
12 oz. super firm tofu
2 1/2 tbs. cornstarch
canola oil
1/2 c. sliced yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 c. chopped tomato
3/4 c. pineapple chunks
1/2 c. sliced bell pepper
3 tbs. water
2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
2 tbs. agave nectar
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. sriracha
salt, to taste

Prepare the tofu as in the previous recipe.

Heat about 1 tbs. of oil in a large pan, then add the onion and garlic and sweat over medium-low heat until softened. Turn the heat to medium-high, then add the tomato, pineapple, and pepper. Saute for a few minutes until they begin to caramelize. Meanwhile, combine the water through sriracha in a small bowl and stir well.

Add the tofu back into the pan and stir for a couple minutes to reheat. Pour the sauce mixture in and gently stir until it begins to thicken. Add a pinch of salt, if needed, and serve immediately.

9 comments:

Sarah C. said...

These look lovely. I can't wait to try the lemon tofu - I actually have lemons for once, so this sounds like a perfect use for them. I would like to also know what is the green side dish in the top picture. Thanks!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, Ryan would love both of these!

Liz² said...

thank you so much for posting these! so many take-out style tofu recipes look like oil & sugar fests, but these look sooo good.

mel said...

Sarah - They are snow pea sprouts, wilted in a bit of oil that was infused with garlic.

Sarah C said...

Yummmm....snow pea sprouts sounds certainly like something I need to try! Did you purchase them or sprout them yourself? I'm glad I asked - they looked intriguing, and now I know that I"m intrigued!

mel said...

I bought them at an Asian market. I wish I could grown them myself, but apartments aren't too snow pea-friendly!

Shaudi said...

Anyone who reads this should make the sweet and sour tofu. It was so good and fast- I was finished making it before my rice was even cooked!Thanks Mel!

VeganCowGirl said...

I just found your blog and I LOVE IT!!!
Great writing, great recipes, great blog!

Thank you.

Tammy said...

I just found your blog and made the sweet & sour version for camping - did some of the prep ahead of time and then put it together fireside and it was REALLY good!! Thank you!