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Sweet and Sour Fried Tofu


Sweet and Sour Fried Tofu

1 piece tofu, about 350 g
120 g chicken breast (or chicken thigh fillet)
1/2 onion, cut into cubes
1/4 green capsicum, cut into smaller pieces
1/4 red capsicum, cut into smaller pieces
1/4 yellow capsicum, cut into smaller pieces
1 tsp garlic, crushed
1 tsp minced shallot
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying


1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp cornflour (corn starch)
1 tsp Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
1/2 tsp sugar
A pinch of pepper

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

3 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp tomato sauce (ketchup)
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt


2 tsp cornflour
2 Tbsp water


1. Rinse chicken and drain well. Roughly cut into chunks in bite size. Mix with marinade for 15 minutes.
2. Cut tofu into 3cm (1 1/4inch) cubes. Drain and absorb excess water with paper towels thoroughly. Generously season with salt. Fill a wok or deep saucepan one-third full of oil that should cover tofu. Heat oil to 180C (350F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds. Carefully place tofu in batches and deep-fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
3. Clean out the wok, reserving 2 tablespoons of the oil. Or you might like to use a frypan. Add the onion and stir-fry over medium heat until translucent and fragrant. Push onion to sides of wok (or frypan). Add marinated chicken in the middle and stir-fry until cooked through. Set aside.
4. Add more oil in wok (or frypan), saute garlic and shallot until aromatic. Add the green, red and yellow capsicum. Stir-fry until softened. Toss in the onion and chicken. Quickly combine well. Pour in the sweet and sour sauce. Bring it to a boil. You might like to adjust the taste by adding more sugar or water bit by bit to your liking. Season with salt. Add thickening and cook to your preferred consistency. Remove from heat.
5. Place fried tofu on a platter, served with sweet and sour sauce.

Cook’s Notes:

1. Keep the cooked sweet and sour sauce in a separate bowl. Spoon the sauce over fried tofu in the last minute in order to make sure you can enjoy the crispy texture outside.
2. Take extreme care when placing down the tofu in hot oil. Mare sure the surface of tofu is wiped really dry. At the first time, I was too scared of getting burnt by hot oil. So I wore glove to lower down the tofu into the hot oil. (Too sheepish? Haha..) Then I thought a slotted spoon might be better than a glove. Carefully place tofu on a slotted spoon, then lower into hot oil, no hazards nor any mess at all. (Yay! Behave more like a professional cook, hehe… still a long way to go though.)
3. If you use firm tofu, it’s much easier to keep them intact while turning and deep-frying. Yet I used the silken, soft ones as I just grabbed whatever in my fridge to use. Both firm and silken tofu don’t have much difference in taste, but a slight difference in texture. Silken tofu needs more care when turning and cooking of course.
4. Yellow capsicums are not easily found. Simply omit it if you can’t find some. The taste won’t be changed at all. Or replace it with a few sliced pineapples, canned or fresh.
5. The sweet and sour taste can be adjusted by adding or reducing vinegar and sugar to your preference.

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29 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Suresh

    I am a vegetarian so this recipe will work for me. I just need to take out the chicken in the recipe. Thank you for posting. I love sweet and sour sauce, too, it’s very popular in Chinese restaurants in India.

  2. If one was hypothetically *ahem* terrified of deep-frying (sometimes I’m even worried by dropping pasta into boiling water…), could one just stir-fry the tofu instead? I’ve never been big on sweet and sour dishes because the restaurant versions I’ve had are too strong on the sweet, not enough on the sour, but this looks much more balanced…. and therefore mighty enticing :)

  3. Cool recipe! Maybe this would entice my hubby to eat tofu, since he loves sweet and sour sauce but really doesn´t like tofu! May I ask if there´s a difference in taste between silken tofu and the firm ones when you fry them? I usually buy those from Singapore. Are there any brands you´d recommend?

    • Hi Priscilla ,
      My hometown was Hong Kong, now I’m living in Australia. So I think I’m not the right person to suggest any brands of tofu in US or any other places. The tofu I choose to buy is produced locally (I guess it won’t take too long to transport to my nearby stores), so it has to be very fresh, with rich soy flavour. To cook this dish, it doesn’t matter whether you use silken tofu or the firm ones as I have tried both. It’s no difference in taste at all. The texture of fried silken tofu inside would be more delicate, yet it’s a bit hard to handle while deep-frying as silken tofu would be easily broken into pieces. Normally, I suggest you might use the firm or semi-firm ones at the first attempt.

      • Hi Christine!
        I´m originally from Singapore but am residing in Germany now. THANKS for your reply! Its the first time that I received such a detailed reply to one of my food questions! Your website is awesome! Did you learn how to cook in Australia? Or were you already cooking in Hong Kong??? Most girls from Singapore don´t cook until they move overseas…. like myself, haha.

        • Hi Priscilla,
          Thanks for your nice comment of my blog.
          I had to help my mom to cook when I was a little girl in Hong Kong because my mom had a full-time work. Then I had been cooking for years until a few years before moving to Australia. I hired a domestic helper, so I didn’t need to cook at all for those several years. After moving to Australia, I need to cook again and enjoy cooking even more. When you said, most girls in Singapore don’t cook until they move overseas, I also found it’s the same to HK. For me, I don’t really cook western dishes until I move to Australia.

  4. David

    Hi Christine by way of RasaMalaysia
    There is heaven in every bite of tofu and I really appreciate the sweet and sour sauce to accompany these little morsels. I couldn’t agree more about sharing the same interest that RasaMalaysia is one of probably everyones favorite websites to view. Bee is such a lovely person, well thanks for sharing,I will definitely be making real soon.

  5. rick

    For this recipe, I am very curious how you make the sweet and sour sauce. Well, the focused on the tofu but the sauce wasn’t elaborated. Can you explain the procedure? Thank you and much appreciated.

  6. lilacz


    Do you think i can replace white vinegar with Apple cider vinegar or Rice vinegar? Cuz these are sitting in my cabinet but i seldom get to use it…thank you!

  7. SparklingRachel

    Thank you for this great recipe, I actually never thought of sweet and sour tofu before. My husband and I haven’t been eating to much, so I was looking for something meatless and tasty. This really opened up our appetite! It is so delicious, he wanted second round! ^_^ yum…

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