Authentic Chinese Sticky Tofu
This Authentic Chinese tofu is covered in a delicious and flavorful sticky sauce. It’s packed with Traditional Asian flavors and is easily made in 15 minutes. Served with rice, This Chinese tofu recipe is a perfect healthy weeknight dinner.
This authentic Chinese Sticky Tofu 溜豆腐 is another one of my parents’ easy and delicious recipes.
It was one of my ultimate comfort foods growing up and I have loved making it together with my parents over these past few weeks.
The tofu is soft and tender and covered in an easy stir-fry sauce that’s packed with umami and other traditional Chinese flavors.
It’s super easy to make and it literally takes 5 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook. Serve with rice and you have the best weeknight dinner ever.
Even better? This dish is vegan, low-carb, and can be made gluten-free.
Now, let’s take a look at this delicious Chines tofu recipe.
Why I love this Tofu with sticky Chinese sauce
Besides the fact that this recipe is delicious and brings me right back to my childhood, there are a few other reasons why I love it that are worth mentioning too.
Easy to make
This authentic Chinese tofu recipe is so easy to make.
You simply make the sticky sauce and then cook the tofu in it. And that’s really it.
Made in 15 minutes
Not only is this healthy tofu recipe so easy to make, but it’s also really fast.
Need a quick dinner on a busy weeknight? I promise this recipe is done in 15 minutes – quicker than cooking the side of rice.
This tofu recipe is made with ingredients that are easily accessible in the US (and other countries outside of China). That’s not always the case when trying to recreate recipes from home.
But for this stir-fry sauce, it is! And they are all cheap too.
the Chinese sticky tofu is Vegan
At last, this Authentic Chinese Sticky Tofu recipe is vegan and low-carb.
I love using tofu for my vegan and vegetarian recipes because it is such a great source of protein and it also soaks up flavors really well too.
It can also be made gluten-free by substituting soy sauce with coconut aminos.
What tofu to use Authentic Chinese Sticky tofu
As you might know, there are a lot of different types of tofu. Some of the most common types are:
- Silken tofu
- Regular tofu
- Firm tofu
- Extra-firm tofu.
Tofu is categorized based on its texture, which is determined by the water content of the tofu. The creamier the tofu is, the higher the water content is.
Silken tofu has a lot of water and is therefore creamy, and extra-firm tofu has very little water and is, therefore, dryer and firmer. You can read more about different types of tofu here.
For this sticky tofu recipe, I like using firm tofu. It holds its form better than other types when stir-frying.
The cooking method for this recipe makes the tofu soft and “slippery” from the sticky sauce, even if you are using firmer tofu.
You can also use silken tofu for this recipe. I actually really love the texture.
However, it is really soft so the downside is that it could break apart very easily during cooking.
Ingredients for this authentic Chinese sticky tofu recipe
All that’s needed for this traditional Chinese dish are 9 ingredients, all easily accessible in most regular grocery stores.
A vegan protein source that will soak up all the flavors from the sticky Chinese sauce.
Any neutral-flavored vegetable oil will work to stir-fry in.
Divide the green and white parts since they are added in different stages of the recipe.
For gluten-free and paleo options, use tamari or coconut aminos.
To taste. Remember that the soy sauce is very salty.
For a Paleo option, use coconut sugar, or if you are avoiding sugar you can omit it. However, I’m using regular white sugar for this recipe, just like my parents do.
Oyster sauce (optional)
This sauce is full of umami and adds richness to the dish. Omit if you want the recipe to stay vegan.
Arrowroot starch or corn starch
This is what makes the sauce sticky! I prefer arrowroot starch, but cornstarch works great as well.
To garnish and add extra flavor add chopped cilantro.
How to make Stir-Fried Tofu with Chinese Sticky Sauce
This delicious Chinese recipe is made in 15 minutes or less – 5 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook.
Start with heating the oil in a large pan over high heat.
Then, add the white part of the green onion and sauté until fragrant (30 – 45 seconds). Then turn the heat to medium.
Now, add soy sauce, oyster sauce (optional), sugar (optional), salt, and water to the large pan with sauteed green onions. Bring the sauce to a boil.
Then, cut the tofu into inch-sized cubes and add them to the boiling sauce.
Now, turn the heat to medium-low heat and close the lid.
Cook the tofu in the sticky Chinese sauce for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot/corn starch with water and gently pour into the tofu.
Gently stir to mix the slurry into the tofu.
Then, cook the tofu for 1 – 2 minutes, or until the sauce becomes sticky to the preferred consistency.
Stir in the green part of the green onion and the chopped cilantro.
How to serve the Authentic Chinese Sticky Tofu
There is no right or wrong when it comes to serving this tofu dish. However, this is how it’s usually served.
Rice and sticky tofu
This is my GO-TO when my dad makes this authentic Chinese sticky tofu dish. Make sure you smother the rice with all the savory Chinese sticky sauce. There is nothing better!
To keep this recipe low-carb, serve it with cauliflower rice.
Scallion pancakes are a must for a traditional Chinese meal and it has been amazing to eat my mom’s scallion pancakes again. This blog post has very detailed instructions on how to make it. Give it a try!
To add some vegetables to the dish, serve it with my dad’s cucumber salad. It adds so much freshness to the sticky, savory tofu.
You could also serve with some steamed or fried broccoli.
How to store the Chinese tofu dish
This home-cooked meal is best served when it’s freshly made. However, you can store it for up to 3 days in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer.
FYI – when you freeze tofu the texture is changing because of the high water content. It will still taste delicious but the texture will be different. Keep this in mind before saving the leftovers for later.
This Authentic Chinese Sticky Tofu was my favorite dish growing up. What was your favorite comfort food growing up, and do you still like it? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear about it!
more quick dinner recipes to try as well:
Get the recipe:Authentic Chinese Sticky Tofu
- 1 block of firm Tofu
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 stalk of green onion chopped, white and green part divided
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- ½ tbsp sugar, optional
- ½ tbsp oyster sauce, optional
- 1 cup + 2 tbswater
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch or corn starch
- Cilantro to garnish
- In a large pot, over high heat, heat vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the white parts of the green onion, and saute until fragrant (30 – 45 seconds).
- Turn the heat to medium and add soy sauce, oyster sauce (optional), salt, sugar (optional), and 1 cup of water. Bring it to a boil.
- Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and add to the boiling sauce.
- Lower the heat to medium-low, close the lid, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Mix the arrowroot/corn starch with 2 tbs of water and pour into the tofu.
- Gently stir to mix the starch into the tofu.
- Cook for 1 – 2 min or until the sauce becomes sticky to preferred consistency.
- Stir in the green part of scallion and cilantro and serve.
The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.