Hot and Sour Broiled Tofu

Every now and then it’s good for me to eat some protein rather than cookies.

And although I prefer cookies to tofu, as tofu goes, this is a win.

Hot and Sour Broiled Tofu (vegan, gluten-free) - Make restaurant-style tofu at home that's firm, chewy & packed with flavor! (This tofu is anything but mushy or bland!)

I know many people say they don’t like tofu, but I think that has more to do with the preparation than the product.

I wrote a Tofu Tips Post to help demystify preparing it and cooking it, so your tofu turns out right, every time.

Hot and Sour Broiled Tofu (vegan, gluten-free) - Fast & Easy Recipe at

One secret to making restaurant-style tofu at home is to use extra firm tofu that’s been very well pressed to remove the water. Removing the water before marinating it is key to creating dense and chewy tofu. Mushy tofu is not something I ever enjoy.

I use my Tofu Press, but if you don’t have one, wrapping the tofu in layers and layers of paper towels like it’s a little Christmas present, then setting it on a baking tray with another heavy object on top of it will work.

tofu press

Placing a heavy cast iron pan on it so it’ll release at least a cup of water is necessary.

I press overnight, or for up to 3 days in advance. Just like I have cookie dough and bread dough chilling in my fridge, I usually have tofu pressing, too. It’s quite the scene in my fridge.

Hot and Sour Broiled Tofu (vegan, gluten-free) - Fast & Easy Recipe at

For the marinade, hot pepper jelly is a key ingredient. I love it so much and have two recipes for homemade. Either can it or make it on the stove top, in about an hour.

Trader Joe’s version is great or it’s sold in the condiments or ethnic foods aisle of most grocery stores. If your store doesn’t carry hot pepper jelly, using sweet and sour sauce will work. You may wish to add some finely diced red peppers or cayenne to kick it up if you’re using sweet and sour sauce.

Hot and Sour Broiled Tofu (vegan, gluten-free) - Fast & Easy Recipe at

The tofu cooks very fast. After a quick 7 minute stint under the broiler, it’s ready. Make sure when you’re broiling it, to pay very, very close attention so you don’t char it.

Before broiling, blot any major pooling of marinade like you can see on the Silpat. If you don’t blot that, it’ll char into a black, gross mess before the tofu cooks through and your smoke detector will probably go off.

Hot and Sour Broiled Tofu (vegan, gluten-free) - Fast & Easy Recipe at

Your oven, marinade, and the moisture content will determine broiling time and even an extra minute can cause it to go from raw to burnt. Stand in the kitchen in front of the oven and watch it the entire time.

After 5 minutes, I open the oven door and rotate the pan every 30 seconds or so, finding the sweet spot under the broiler until all pieces are evenly golden.

The marinade of hot pepper jelly, honey (or agave to keep vegan), and apple cider vinegar thickens while it cooks, creating a glistening hot slick on the firm, chewy, and dense tofu.

Hot and Sour Broiled Tofu (vegan, gluten-free) - Fast & Easy Recipe at

The ginger, cayenne, and red pepper flavors marry and pack a punch with creeper heat. If you want in-your-face heat, double the cayenne pepper.

I love broiled tofu and could eat the whole block in a sitting. Since it’s vegan, gluten-free, and packed with protein I wouldn’t feel bad.

It’s also great diced and tossed with extra marinade over quinoa, couscous, lentils, or in a brown rice side salad. Leftovers can be served chilled or warm, it’s great either way.

Hot and Sour Broiled Tofu (vegan, gluten-free) - Fast & Easy Recipe at

It’s hot, sweet, sour, tangy. All the elements I go for. It’s firm, dense, extra chewy, and not mushy.

It’ll make believers out of tofu naysayers.

Hot and Sour Broiled Tofu (vegan, gluten-free) - Fast & Easy Recipe at

Hot and Sour Broiled Tofu (vegan, gluten-free) - Make restaurant-style tofu at home that's firm, chewy & packed with flavor! (This tofu is anything but mushy or bland!)

Hot and Sour Broiled Tofu (vegan, gluten-free)

This tofu will make a believer out of even people who say they don’t like tofu. The secret to making it is to start with well-pressed tofu. It’s firm, chewy, and full of intense flavor – sweet from the hot pepper jelly and honey/agave, while the cayenne, ginger, and hot peppers pieces add a kick. It’s addictive in the way spicier foods are – once you start, you want more, which is okay when it’s as healthy as this recipe.

Did you make this recipe?


one 16-ounce block extra-firm tofu; drained, pressed, and sliced
heaping 1/2 cup hot pepper jelly (use homemade hot pepper jelly or storebought; sweet and sour sauce may be substituted)
1/2 cup h0ney (or agave to keep vegan)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste


  1. Open tofu package, drain the water, and place tofu in a tofu press and press it for at least one hour, or overnight; refrigerate it if you’re pressing overnight. If you don’t have a tofu press, wrap the block of tofu in at least 8 paper towels, going round and round, like wrapping a present. Place the wrapped tofu on a rimmed baking sheet. Place another baking sheet on top of the tofu and set a heavy cookbook or cast iron pan on top. The weight from the heavy object will cause the tofu to release water and the paper towels will soak it up, and excess water will be contained in the baking sheet. If you notice the paper towels are drenched, unbundle the tofu, and re-wrap as necessary. The most water will release in the first 30 minutes, but there’s value to pressing for up to 24 hours for extra-extra chewy tofu. If you plan to press it longer than 3 to 4 hours, you may want to refrigerate it.
  2. Meanwhile, make the marinade by whisking together all ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Slice the pressed tofu into 12 to 16 thin slices and place slices in the marinade. Very gently spoon the marinade over the slices and turn them to coat evenly. They are fragile, so do this very tenderly and carefully. Allow slices to marinade for at least 15 minutes, or up to 12 hours. You can let them marinate for the day while you’re at work which makes for an almost work-free dinner that night; cover and refrigerate if you’re marinating for many hours.
  4. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. I use my Siplat although technically you’re not supposed to broil with it. Do not bake on an unlined baking tray unless you love doing really stubborn with blackened and baked-on bits; set aside.
  5. Turn broiler to high and position a rack on the top slot or second slot from the top of the oven. (I use the second slot)
  6. Place marinated slices on the prepared tray and make sure there are no puddles of marinade pooling on the tray. It will burn horribly. Wipe off excess with a paper towel if necessary. Reserve extra marinade in a small bowl for dipping after baking.
  7. Broil for about 7 minutes, or until edges are just beginning to turn golden and darken, with 9 minutes likely being the maximum. Watch your tofu the entire time, stand in front of the oven and do not leave the kitchen. The tofu can and will burn in a matter of one minute so keep a very, very watchful eye on it. I keep the door closed for the first 4-5 minutes. Then I open the door, rotate the tray, and stand in front of the oven with the door ajar, usually for about 2-3 more minutes. I rotate the tray a few times over those 2-3 minutes to find the sweet spot of my broiler’s heat.
  8. Allow tofu to cool on tray for about 5 minutes before serving.
  9. Tofu will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I like this tofu both warm or served chilled. Serving Tip – Dice the tofu and combine with rice or quinoa and other diced vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, snow peas, or corn. Toss with the extra marinade or with a simple balsamic and oil-based dressing; serve warm or chilled.

Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

Only Eats

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Do you make tofu? What flavors, marinades, sauces, spices, or cooking techniques do you use?

71 comments on “Hot and Sour Broiled Tofu”

  1. This actually makes me want to eat tofu…which is something I never thought I’d say!

  2. I have tried a couple of your tofu recipes–peanut and pumpkin (I remember being curious about the texture on that one–very good)! Tofu is such a nice blank slate for whatever flavor you want it to take on and this one looks yummy with hot pepper jelly. I also think this would make a nice marinade for fish and chicken (maybe with a little less agave).

    • It would make a great marinade – maybe with a little less agave, yes. But it’s more of a spicy than a sweet :) And the peanut and pumpkin tofu recipes – oldies but goodies! I love them both!

  3. I love all of your tofu recipes, Averie! The maple ginger mango tofu caught my eye way back when you posted it – same with the BBQ pineapple mango tofu too! I love sweet + sour chicken, so I know I’d love this new version of your tofu! I love all your tofu tips to. I love tofu dense and chewy and it took me SO long to learn how to obtain that! I need a tofu press ASAP.

    • It’s so handy if you make tofu regularly b/c otherwise you go thru like…a half roll of paper towels just blotting up all that water! It’s like chilling your cookie dough – once you start, you’ll be amazed!!! at the difference in results!

  4. I really like baked tofu. I especially like one that uses lemon juice, garlic and miso and a few other things. I have to try this one though!

  5. Nice cookie diversion…must try this tofu!

  6. You know this is right up my alley. I still don’t have a press – but I have my own little set up complete with bricks LOL. We’ve actually been grilling it on a cedar plank lately with a very Asian style bbq sauce. It pains me not to flip it b/c I think it’s not going to get firm on both sides, but it does. It sort of smokes it. So good!

    • I stopped flipping my broiler tofu because you loose all the good stuff by flipping it, i.e. the little pepper chunks or if it’s peanut sauce, it gets lost to the baking sheet. The compromise is not quite as firm on the one side but I hate wasting the good stuff to the baking tray! Your grilling set up sounds so good!

  7. I’m all over this! Broiled tofu is so delicious!

  8. Averie, I just spent like 10 minutes looking through all your tofu recipes. Wow! They look so good. I love the BBQ tofu with pineapple and mango. That sounds right up my alley!! Oh and so does this sweet and sour version!! I love all sweet and sour chicken so why not tofu! YUM!

  9. This looks amazing! Great recipe!

  10. Hot pepper jelly sounds delicious as a marinade! And to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten the texture right for tofu- but I’m going to follow your method to a T next time and hope for the best :)

  11. This sounds delicious. Thanks for the tip on blotting the marinade. I love broiling my tofu because it really does get the best taste and texture, but let’s just say my smoke alarm does not love it! Recently I’ve tried broiling it dry and adding the sauce after, and that actually works surprisingly well. I’ll have to try the blotting method!

    • Your method is at least a guarantee not to wear out the batteries in the smoke detector (been there!!!) – I just worried doing it that way (thought about it) that it wouldnt be as flavorful b/c it wouldn’t absorb the marinate; but the smoke detector situation is nuts so would be worth any minor sacrifice!

  12. I’m so glad you like tofu, Averie. It doesn’t have any flavor on its own, and I don’t know why people give it such a bad reputation. Your hot and sour version looks awesome!

    • I think the same about avocado – neutral and blank slate. But I think it’s a texture issue for people. Which is why I hope people just press the water out – after that, it’s so good!

  13. Yum, this looks like a great tofu recipe! Great addition of spice with sweetness.

  14. Always looking for new ways to prepare tofu… Thank you for these great ideas!

  15. I love to make tofu hacks of Asian traditionally dishes! This is such a classic but so much better for you. I have one for Roasted char sui tofu (simillar to barque but sweeter) and working on hack for kung poa tofu too. Such an lovely post. I like your savoury side!

  16. It looks amazing! I add tofu to salads, but other methods of preparation, I have not tried.

  17. Nope, not a tofu fan, but I am a HUGE fan of ginger, cayenne, and red pepper! I am on a huge Asian kick with food right now, too. Actually I just made some mango-ginger salsa with a very similar sweet-salty-spicey flavor profile this morning. I’m eating it for dinner and trying to not snack on it all afternoon. :D

    I think I just overdid tofu in my vegetarian days. Keep up with the savory posts though! I love the ideas – these start the snowballing process for me!

    • mango-ginger salsa sounds delish – I need to make my own b/c storebought is loaded with sodium or raw red onions, no thanks!

      And the savory posts, well when your freezer is FULL of sugar and you just can’t make one more sugary thing, you make…tofu. These posts never do well statistically but sometimes even I have to lay off the sugary posts for a day :)

  18. Tofu definitely has a bad reputation! I usually press mine, then freeze it, then press it again. Nice and chewy! I love broiling it too, yum yum. Will have to try your marinade, sounds delish!

    • I usually press mine, then freeze it, then press it again <--- I have a recipe where I call for that, that I linked, the Pumpkin Tofu recipe. I truly love what freezing/re-pressing does but people get impatient with all those steps so I don't call for it,'s truly the best method!

  19. Tofu is typically hard to photograph but you nailed it beautifully- no surprise there! ;) I’ve been eating more and more tofu and tempeh recently as I am pescatarian and attempting to eventually go vegan so this is a fantastic recipe! I will be making it for dinner for sure!

    • Thanks Maggie and yes, it’s hard to photography b/c it’s either white or tan and boring looking; or flat and thin, so there’s color and shape issues. How to give it some lift and perkiness off the plate! Good for you for trying to change things up a bit and being willing to give this a try!

  20. I’ve never seen tofu look so good! I am very interested in trying this dish. Great colorful pictures as well!

  21. This recipe looks amazing. Your hot pepper jelly is one of your best recipes. I discovered it in London and have not looked back! I didn’t know tofu presses existed!

  22. I love jumping onto blogs like this one. I know very little about tofu. I was intrigued with this recipe. Sounds really good. I think it would be a healthy fix to my sweet tooth.

  23. What an interesting recipe! I’ll shamefully admit that I have never seen a tofu press, and on first glance thought it was some sort of medieval torture contraption – glad to know it’s not. I love that you broil the tofu here – looks delicious!

  24. Amazing it looks like pan fried halloumi cheese!

  25. I haven’t had tofu in a really long time! I’ve been gravitating towards tempeh lately. But this recipe sounds awesome. I feel the same way about tofu…it can’t be mushy. I think that’s why some people say they hate it so much–they’ve just never had it prepared well. Tofu rocks when it’s done right!

    By the way, I just started my blog not too long ago. I’m looking for good blogs to follow, and I’ll be following yours from now on! :)

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