CrockPot Sweet and Sour Tofu

Sweet and Sour Tofu. This is a slow cooker recipe, but there's a tip inside on how to keep it firm and not falling apart! I actually use this tip now even if I DON'T use the crockpot!

Day 187.

I was so excited to see that our grocery store has started carrying La Choy brand sweet and sour sauce.

So I bought a bunch.

La Choy uses soy instead of wheat starch to make it's soy sauce, and the sweet and sour sauce is labeled the same way. So there's no gluten!

We hadn't had tofu in a while, and after the french dip sandwiches, needed some lighter fare.

The Ingredients.
1 pound extra firm tofu, drained
4 cups fresh vegetables (I used 2 bell peppers, carrots, and broccoli)

1/2 white onion, chopped

1 tablespoon corn starch
10 ounce jar of sweet and sour sauce

1/2 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon butter

The Directions.

This is the way to make crispy edges on your tofu each and every time. Great TIP!

You know how in Chinese restaurants the tofu is always really crispy on the outside and has a nice texture? 

 I learned a trick last week to help create that at home without deep-frying. Cube your tofu, and put it in a zipper bag with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. 

 Shake the tofu until it's coated completely in cornstarch.

Then fry on the stove on medium heat in a tablespoon of butter.
Resist the urge to flip the tofu often. Let it get a nice crusty coat before turning.

While that's cooking, wash and trim your vegetables and add to the crockpot.
When the tofu is done, put it in also. Pour the entire bottle of sweet and sour sauce on top of the tofu and vegetables.

Add a
1/2 tablespoon of water to the "empty" jar, and shake. Pour the contents on top. Toss gingerly.

Cover and cook on low for about 3 hours.

This is finished when the vegetables have reached desired consistency.
We like the veggies to have a crunch, so I didn't let it cook very long. The broccoli was not very crisp, but the onion, bell pepper, and carrot still were al dente.

The Verdict.

My kids each ate 2 helpings. They didn't eat the onion or bell pepper, but happily ate the tofu, carrots, and broccoli.

The sauce is a good flavor; it tastes like take-out. I might add red pepper flakes to the adult servings next time.

We ate this over white rice, outside. It was a really nice night.

Here are MORE Take Out, Fake Out recipes for the crockpot!! 

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at July 05, 2008

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What they say about this article

  1. Is there a nice way to print these daily articles? Or do you suggest copying and pasting?

    How exciting about Rachel a crockpot book for a year. Sign me up for that one!

    Love your site

  2. i'm scared of cooking tofu! but this, i might try!

  3. Anonymous7/05/2008

    I love you site and check it almost daily! Your sense of humor is great!! I try to use my crockpot often also but not as much as you!! I give you alot of credit.
    Also, can we offer our crockpot recipes?? as I have a few that you would probably like and also your kids.
    And congrats on the Rachel Ray show! I love this show and she is originally from near where I live in New York
    Jill G

  4. Yum! also, congrats on the Rachel Ray segment! I am SO gonna watch that.

  5. Hi Gaileee, if you click just on the the post title, you will get just that one day's post. You will, though also get all of the comments. I usually highlight what I want from a blog post and then select the "print selection" feature in the File menu. I'm sorry it's not easier---I am trying to find a "print just this recipe" button that is designed for people who don't know anything about HTML (me!)

    Kelly, lol. Browning one the stove is definitely the way to go. It makes it not squishy or slimy.

    Jill, I'd LOVE any and all tried and true recipes! I have a whole-half year left and am having mini-panic attacks that I bit off more than I can chew.

    moobeema, thank you! Don't blink too long... ;-)


  6. I can't wait to try this one. It sounds so good. I have had tofu in restaurants, but always have been nervous to cook it at home. Congrats on Rachel Ray - I am jealous. :)

  7. Anonymous7/05/2008

    I am scared of trying tofu...I might try this since your kids ate it!!!!!!

  8. Anonymous7/05/2008

    PS... I can't wait to watch Rachel Ray next week!!!

  9. Anonymous7/05/2008

    oh my gosh! I can't wait to try the cornstarch trick! I've cooked a lot of tofu in a myriad of ways in my time, but never quite matched the yummy restaurant version. I just discovered your blog the other day and I love it. thank you. (=

  10. Just stopping in to say I'm hooked on your blog! I make the barbecue (Q!) ribs today only I put in a brisket instead. Soooo tender and made great sandwiches!


  11. Anonymous7/07/2008

    We love to order Tofu at our local Chinese restaurant.

    I'm definitely trying this recipe when dd returns from summer camp!

  12. Thanks for the cornstarch idea. We LOOOOVE tofu at our house but I refuse to deep fry it simply for the golden crunchiness (though it's magically delicious, I admit). I'm pumped to try the S&S tofu since hubby found the orange a bit too citrus-y.

    BTW, I tell all my newlywed girlfriends about your blog - it's such a blessing to those of us just learning how to balance a career, home, and husband!

  13. Sweetness. My daughter is a vegetrarian and I am always looking for new ways to use tofu.

    I am not afraid of tofu, or have a phobia about it either.

    What I have learned(In my old age and by watching the Food Network) is that the main thing people do wrong when trying to get a nice browning/glazing on their turn it too quickly.

    You have to let it carmelize, which means let the natural sugars do their thing.

    Cant wait to try this one!!

  14. I just found your blog and am so thrilled! This recipe looks really great. We have been looking for more interesting vegetarian crockpot recipes to try and this one just may make it into the kids.

    Congrats on being on Rachel Ray :) I am off to subscribe to your feed in my Google Reader.

  15. Anonymous7/10/2008

    I saw you on Rachael Ray and am now enjoying your blog. My family likes the LaChoy brand sweet and sour sauce best too. We actually buy it by the gallon at a restaurant supply store. It stays in the fridge a long time and even if we don't use it all, it still ends up being cheaper than buying lots of little bottles.

  16. This was great! Your tip about using cornstarch and frying the tofu made it perfect. I chose to make my own sauce (adapted from Betty Crocker) because I wanted to not use white sugar. I used agave nectar instead and it turned out really good. I have to say that the homemade sauce really made this recipe extra yummy. Thank you for this site!

  17. Met you at BlogHer and am glad to see you have lots of Light and Healthy recipes (searched by category). This one looks tasty!

  18. Anonymous7/23/2008

    I agree, the cornstarch and frying step is a must! I made this with chicken, and just threw everything in at once, including the rice. I increased the liquid by a cup or so and it was perfect!

  19. Anonymous7/30/2008

    Contadina Sweet & Sour Sauce is also gluten free. It comes in a can. I had to call and ask, because they listed "Modified Food Starch" in the ingredients. It is made from corn! Contadina said that only two of their products contain gluten: Bread crumbs, and tomato sauce with Italian seasonings.

  20. I made this yesterday and my friends loved the crispy tofu. But I felt the sauce came out too watery, I would have preferred it thicker, anything I can do to thicken it up?

  21. Hi SaraK---

    I think it's the veggies that give off the extra moisture. You can try taking the lid off of the crockpot for the last 30 minutes to an hour to get rid of the condensation, or you can try propping the lid up with a chopstick or toothpick.


  22. Anonymous11/19/2008

    I hadn't thought of frying the tofu that way but i am going to try it TODAY! I have tried shrimp that way and it is wonderful too! It looks great!

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. OMG - yet another thing to add to my list of MUST TRY THIS!!!!

    I have been annoying people in my fav AOL chat about your book and blog

    I have to remember not to turn things too soon - it is one my my most common cooking mistakes

  25. Another great recipe from your site. I will modify it just a little bit and will skip the butter to make vegan version of this fantastic looking tofu meal.

  26. Jennifer9/24/2011

    I used a half of bottle of sweet chili sauce from Trader Joes and a half bottle of Sweet and Sour Sauce. I love this website.

  27. I just made this! Loved the tofu trick! Next time I'll add some Thai garlic and chilli paste for a bit more flavor. :)

  28. A good way to improve tofu's texture is to freeze it and then let it defrost on the counter of in the fridge before frying it. It makes it less spongy feeling in your mouth, more like "chicken" We eat a lot of tofu, lol.