Takeaway (Takeout) Style Sweet & Sour Tofu

This dish consists of peppers, onion and tofu, in a homemade sweet and sour sauce. This would be perfect served with rice or noodles, along with vegetable spring rolls for a  vegan fakeaway feast

Most people associate sweet and sour flavours with east Asian cooking, however the combination of sweet and sour was very popular in Britain during the Middle Ages (between the 5th and 15th century), and is still enjoyed today. History lesson aside, let’s move on to the recipe!

Yield; Three servings (330kcal per serving) Cook time; 15 minutes

You’ll need;

  1. 250ml pineapple juice
  2. Three tablespoons of malt vinegar
  3. Two tablespoons of demerara sugar
  4. Two tablespoons of tomato puree
  5. Two tablespoons of light soy sauce
  6. One tablespoon of cornflour aka cornstarch dissolved into 50ml water
  7. Two tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
  8. One small brown onion, roughly chopped
  9. Two peppers, roughly chopped
  10. 150g/5oz deep fried tofu, slice each piece in half diagonally

Many takeaway restaurants will use deep fried tofu as opposed to firm tofu in their tofu dishes, it’s also referred to as “bean curd” on menus. You can buy deep fried tofu/bean curd in your local Asian supermarket, it will be in the chilled section. Tofu that has been deep fried becomes spongy in texture, and soaks up sauce excellently, giving it a fantastic flavour. If you don’t have an Asian supermarket near you, you can use firm tofu instead, just make sure to drain and press it beforehand

Method;

DSC_0238-picsay.JPG

  • Add all the sauce ingredients (the first five listed) into a small saucepan over a medium high heat, cover with a lid and leave it to come to a simmer. Once simmering, stir the cornstarch slurry through and allow it to thicken. Once thickened remove from the heat and set aside
  • Next, add the sesame oil into a large frying pan or wok over a medium high heat. Add the onion, peppers and tofu and stir fry for five minutes. To cut the cook time down to 15 minutes, do this while making the sauce
  • Then add in the sauce, stir well to ensure everything is evenly coated in sauce. Stir fry for a further 5-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked. Season to taste with salt and black pepper
  • Remove from the heat and season with sliced onion and sesame seeds. Then serve along with rice or noodlesDSC_0254-picsay.JPG

A couple of notes;

  • My sweet and sour sauce isn’t as vibrant in colour as sweet and sour sauce used in takeaway foods. The reason for this is because my sauce contains no added food colouring (which is often why takeaway sauce is so bright red). So you can add some if preferred, I simply chose not to
  • Thickening the sauce with cornflour as opposed to flour, will ensure you have a thick, glossy sauce. Thickening sauces with flour results in a matt look, which is why cornflour is preferred, as this gives the sauce a glossy, shiny appearance, which is exactly what we’re looking for

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