Eggplant and Crispy Tofu with Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe

Eggplant and Crispy Tofu with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

Stir-fried eggplant and tofu is a delicious meatless dinner loaded with lots of flavors and quickly put together. Tofu’s crispiness is an important step when assembling this dish. It should not be overlooked, even if you are in a hurry. Start by pressing tofu down first, according to instructions. Every bit helps and splattering of oil will be greatly reduced when stir-frying. Serve with Jasmin rice.


  • 14 oz (400 g) extra firm tofu
  • 1 lb (450 g) eggplant, unpeeled cut into 1 1/2 inch (3,8 cm) cubes
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil, or more if needed
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek, or to taste
  • 2 tsp cornstarch, mixed with 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 lb (225 g) snow peas, both ends snipped off
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) roasted cashews
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp cilantro (coriander leaves) for garnish


Sambal Oelek is an Indonesian chile paste consisting of crushed raw red chiles, red and green peppers, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, vinegar and a pinch each of sugar and salt. A flavorful condiment and ingredient in cooked foods. It tastes like you are cooking with fresh chiles – only better. Sambal Oelek is available in the Asian food section of supermarkets or Asian food stores. One tablespoon is roughly the equivalent of a chopped, small jalapeño. Sambal Oelek aficionados prepare their own of course.

Press tofu between 2 cutting boards as follows: Line the 1st cutting board with paper towels. Place tofu block on it and cover it with paper towels. Top it with the 2nd cutting board. Weigh it down with tomato cans or a pot filled with water. Drain for at least 15 minutes, changing paper towels at mid-term.

While the tofu is draining, prepare the sauce. Place soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sambal oelek and cornstarch in a bowl. Stir it well until sugar is dissolved. Set aside until ready to use.

Cut tofu into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes and place it in a bowl. Drizzle it with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and season it with salt and pepper. Toss it gently and set aside.

Heat wok or deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry tofu on all sides until golden around the edges, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside on paper towels. Wipe wok off clean with paper towels and add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to the wok. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant cubes and stir-fry them until eggplant is beginning to get soft and light golden, about 4 minutes. Add more oil by the tablespoon to the wok if you fry eggplant in batches or if oil is all absorbed. Set eggplant cubes aside on paper towels. Season it lightly with salt and pepper.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Add snow peas and garlic and stir-fry it until peas are just just barely limp about 1-2 minutes. Return tofu and eggplant to the wok and add sweet and sour sauce mixture and roasted cashews. Cook it for about 2-3 minutes until all ingredients have warmed up and sauce has thickened to your liking. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and scallions.

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