Sweet and Spicy Tofu Bowl

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Try this easy and flavorful high protein meal featuring umami-rich sweet and spicy tofu, roasted broccoli, and steamed rice.

Anyone who thinks tofu is bland and boring needs to try this sweet and spicy tofu! Tofu is a great vehicle for all your favorite sauces and flavors. This tofu has all the flavors: sweet, spicy, sour, salty, and umami. The saucy tofu is perfectly balanced by some simple roasted broccoli and steamed rice. This nourishing bowl is ready in under an hour for an easy and delicious lunch or dinner.

Key Ingredients

  • Tofu ⟶ Super firm, extra firm, or frozen tofu (see “Tips for Success” for more details).
  • Gochujang* ⟶ This is a Korean chili paste and is what makes the sauce spicy. Some contain wheat, so be sure to buy a gluten-free one if necessary.
  • Tomato Paste ⟶ Adds umami and thickens the sauce. Tomato and gochujang are a perfect pair!
  • Sugar ⟶ I prefer brown sugar but granulated sugar, coconut sugar, or maple syrup will work.
  • Vinegar ⟶ The acidity helps balance the sweet and spicy flavors. Apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar work.

Tips for Success

Switch up the veg ⟶ Swap the broccoli for another roasted veggie like cauliflower, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, green beans (adjust cooking time as needed).

Use super firm or extra firm tofu ⟶ Super firm tofu does not need to be pressed so it’s very convenient for stir fries and other recipes where you would need to press the tofu first. However, it’s not as common so if you can’t find super firm tofu, extra firm is your next best option. Extra firm tofu should still be pressed for 15-30 minutes. If you can only find firm tofu, press for 30-60 minutes.

OR use frozen and thawed tofu ⟶ Frozen tofu has a spongier, chewier texture. Definitely try it if you haven’t yet! It’s also a convenient option since you can quickly squeeze the water out with your hands. You can do this with any type of tofu – silken tofu will be softer with more layers (even better if you double freeze) whereas firm tofu is more chewy and less delicate.

Sweet and Spicy Tofu FAQ

Is this gluten-free?
The recipe as written is not gluten-free, but it can easily be made gluten-free by using tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and using a gluten-free gochujang*.

Is this good for meal-prep?
The tofu is best fresh since the coating will get soggier as it sits, but it will still be tasty. Alternatively, you can store the baked tofu and the sauce separately, then proceed from step 7 when you’re ready to serve.

Can I make this without gochujang?
Gochujang makes the sauce spicy and also adds a bit of umami and sweetness. You can try substituting with another chili paste, or if you’re sensitive to spice you can try ketchup. You can also make my sweet and sour tofu instead.

More Easy Tofu Mains

If you make this sweet and spicy tofu bowl, don’t forget to leave a comment/rating down below and tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking. I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Sweet and Spicy Tofu Bowl

Try this easy and flavorful high protein meal featuring umami-rich sweet and spicy tofu, roasted broccoli, and steamed rice.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Vegan
Servings 2



  • 1 lb extra firm tofu**1, pressed or frozen and thawed
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp potato starch
  • 1 tbsp oil


  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper


  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp gochujang*
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced

To Serve

  • 2 servings of steamed rice
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion, sliced


  • Preheat oven to 425°F/215°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Cut or tear tofu into chunks, then pat dry with a towel.
  • Place tofu in a mixing bowl and sprinkle some salt and pepper over. Sift potato starch on top and toss gently to coat the tofu.
  • Drizzle oil over the tofu and toss to coat. Add tofu to one half of the baking sheet – try to space them out so the pieces aren't touching.
  • Toss broccoli with salt, pepper, and oil. Spread out on the other half of the baking sheet.
  • Bake the tofu and broccoli for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway, until tofu is golden and crisp and broccoli is tender. Remove broccoli if it starts to burn.
  • Combine all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.
  • Add baked tofu and stir until well coated in sauce. Turn off heat.
  • To serve, add rice to a bowl and top with tofu and broccoli. Sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds and green onions.


1) You can use super firm tofu and skip the pressing. For extra firm tofu, press for 15-30 minutes. When I’m short on time, I will skip pressing extra firm tofu and it’s still tasty, but the tofu is softer. For frozen tofu, you can thaw it in the fridge overnight, then squeeze out excess water.

*Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but the price remains the same to you. Thank you for supporting Ellie Likes Cooking!

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