Sweet-and-Sour Tofu with Bok Choy

Continuing on in my journey to celebrate four years of blogging by posting fantastic old Big Girls, Small Kitchen recipes that have less-than-awesome photos, we come to this incredibly easy, immensely satisfying Sweet and Sour Tofu, formerly known simply as New Favorite Tofu. Yes, along with an understanding of light and dSLR lenses, I have become acquainted with search engine optimization and the art of choosing at least mildly descriptive names for the food I cook.

Am I allowed to call myself adorable? Because if so, then I’d like to admit that the post that originally accompanied this recipe is really cute. In my introduction to New Favorite Tofu, I detail the email exchanges between my friend Marc’s Aunt Sara and me. Sara sent me this recipe with notes of praise so actionable that I made the tofu within a few days of getting her email. I couldn’t believe how good the tofu was, but I was also awed at the power of the internet to connect two people who liked to cook vegetarian food and let them share good recipes.

“I know this is going to make me sound like a naive 86 year-old,” I wrote, “but I think the Internet is really amazing.”

It is, isn’t it?

But the internet runs at high speed, and in the whirl of creating and posting new recipes, I haven’t returned to this sweet-and-sour tofu as often as I’ve craved it–just like the Creamy Squash Rigatoni I posted on Monday.

When I finally made this tofu again, I added some chopped bok choy so that the meal could be served as one dish, over rice. The other update is that since 2009, I’ve basically stopped eating brown rice. I finally admitted don’t really like it, and I absolutely hate cooking it. So I paired Old Favorite Tofu with white basmati rice. Except for frying the tofu, this recipe is super easy and comes together really fast.


Sweet-and-Sour Tofu with Bok Choy
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Don’t be put off by the sort of peculiar ingredient list. And I promise, you do need to use that much honey. I’ve tried it with less and it’s not the same.
  • 1 block firm tofu (14 ounces)
  • about 1/4 cup flour
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons safflower, grapeseed, or other neutral oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 bunches baby bok choy, rinsed, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts chopped and separated
  1. Cut the tofu into slices about 1 inch thick. Press the water out of the slices, then cut them into 1-inch square cubes. In a baggie or on a wide plate, toss the tofu with the flour and salt until all the pieces have a thin coating.
  2. Mix the lemon juice, honey, soy sauce, as much sriracha as you’d like, garlic and ginger in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water.
  3. In a frying pan, warm the oil. In one layer, brown the tofu (in two batches if your pan is small), about 4 minutes per side.
  4. Return all the tofu to the pan if you browned it in two batches. Put in the white and light green parts of the scallions and the crunchy part of the bok choy and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the green leaves and cook 1 more minute, then add the sauce.
  5. Bring the tofu to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer until the sauce has reduced and coats the tofu thickly, about 10 minutes. Garnish with the green parts of the scallions.
To make this vegan, sub in the sweetener of your choice.




  1. Oh my goodness! This looks so delicious! I always individually dip my tofu into egg wash and then into flour….skipping the egg and using a bag seems SOOO much simpler! Cannot wait to try

  2. Hey man, no judgment over the brown rice – I personally can take it or leave it, but basmati is never a bad option 🙂 And I saw your older photos, they are so pretty too! You don’t give yourself enough credit – I would’ve eaten it then and I definitely want to eat it now 😀

  3. We just had this yesterday, except instead of lemons (which don’t come cheap where I live) we used coconut vinegar. I also added some Asian mushrooms (no idea what they’re called, but I see them in Asian cooking) in there.

  4. Made this with broccoli for the bok choy … so delicious! I’ve been wondering how to get that chewy tofu texture. This worked perfectly. I used peanut oil and had no problems at all. YUM.

  5. I made this for Easter dinner and LOVED it! I’m missing Chinese food favorites because of my gluten allergy (I used a GF flour to coat the tofu), and this just filled in the void in the best way! Thank you so much!

  6. I just started cooking with tofu (I always find that a way to start liking a food more is to cook it myself!) I tried 2 baked recipes this week and SO excited to try this pan-fried method; especially sweet & sour flavored! Thanks for [re-] posting this 🙂

  7. Super yummi! I didn’t have any lemon on hand so I used oranges and lime instead. It still turned out delicious…

  8. My husband made this tonight and it was SO GOOD! He subbed tempeh for the tofu and zucchini for the bok choy. The results were better than any Chinese take out by far!

  9. could i use ground ginger instead of fresh? Its all i have on hand but not sure if it would totally ruin the recipe.

  10. Cooked this recipe today for lunch and my family loved it. We are not vegetarian, so I tossed some cut up chicken in with the tofu in the flour and it worked out wonderfully. Thanks!

  11. This was amazing! I made this last night for the meat-eater in my life and myself. I am new to the vegetarian lifestyle and I was scared at first to make this…honestly better than most Chinese food I have had, with or without meat. The man also loved this. Adding it to the recipe book! The only addition was red bell pepper, which added a nice element. And I used Calrose rice, simply because it is delicious. 🙂

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