Meat Free Monday One day a week can make a world of difference

Sweet-and-Sour Marinated Tofu

Áine Carlin
  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation: 75
  • Cooking: 20
  • Ready: 95

With a crispy caramelised coating and firm texture, this Sweet-and-Sour Marinated Tofu is perfect as the centrepiece of a special meal.


  • 400 g firm tofu
  • 4 tablespoons miso paste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 50 ml groundnut, sunflower or rapeseed oil


Drain the tofu and place it in a shallow bowl with a plate on top. Now put two 400 g food cans (or similar) on top of the plate, to weigh it down, and set aside for 15 minutes.

Drain the excess liquid, pat dry and cut lengthways to form two equal halves. Then slice each half into two triangles, to give you four triangles in total. Return the tofu to the shallow bowl.

In a jug, whisk together the miso paste, lime juice, tamari, sesame oil and agave or maple syrup. Pour the marinade over the tofu and turn the tofu several times to ensure it is completely coated. Set aside for at least 1 hour –the longer you leave it, the better.

Heat the oil in a medium, non-stick, heavy-based frying pan and add the tofu. Fry over a medium heat until dark and caramelised on one side (about 10 minutes) before turning over and doing the same on the other side.

Serve the tofu hot or cold with a Green Bean Salad with Lemon, Garlic and Chilli (see page 131 of Keeping it Vegan).

If you’re really short of time, 15 minutes’ marinating will suffice – just!

Additonal notes

Extract taken from Keep It Vegan by Áine Carlin, photographed by Ali Allen, Kyle Books.

“Forget everything you think you know about tofu because this unctuous marinated version is deliciously tasty proof that this much-maligned ingredient can be anything but flavourless and boring. The key here is to drain as much liquid from the block of tofu as possible – after that, it’s a case of allowing the marinade to do its thing.

The crispy caramelised outer and firm texture gives this dish real impact and I doubt anyone will be complaining when you serve it as the main event for dinner. The time to make peace with tofu has officially arrived.”

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