Easy & Delicious Vegan Char Siu Tofu Recipe (2024)

Easy & Delicious Vegan Char Siu Tofu Recipe (1)


5 from 2 votes


Easy & Delicious Vegan Char Siu Tofu Recipe (2)

This Vegan Char Siu Tofu recipe is an exclusive from Jeeca Uy’s new cookbook Vegan Asian: A Cookbook. Click here to find out where you can order the book.

Disclaimer: the cookbooks we feature are independently selected by our Best of Vegan editors and are in no way sponsored by the author and/or the publisher. All content is used with permission.

Jeeca Uy is an avid home cook and the creator of the popular vegan food blog The Foodie Takes Flight. Her recipes have been featured in Plant Based News, Best of Vegan, One Green Planet, and others. She was born and raised in the Philippines and lives in Metro Manila.

Vegan Char Siu Tofu from Jeeca Uy’s Vegan Asian

5 from 2 votes

These are slices of tofu cooked down in a rich, sweet and savory sauce. This dish is delicious as is, but is best enjoyed with a bowl of steamed rice or with freshly cooked noodles. The slices are also delicious placed in steamed buns to make Char Siu Tofu Gua Baos. The sauce is deliciously savory with a perfect balance of sweetness and a hint of spice.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes minutes

Author: Jeeca Uy | The Foodie Takes Flight

Servings: 2 servings


  • TOFU
  • 1 lb 450 g extra-firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp 45 ml neutral oil
  • 2 tbsp 30 ml hoisin sauce
  • 5 to 6 tbsp 70 to 85 g dark brown sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp 15 ml soy sauce
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp 30 ml Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 tsp 10 ml sriracha (adjust according to desired heat)
  • Toasted sesame seeds optional
  • Chopped scallions optional
  • Blanched vegetables steamed rice and/or buns


  • Prepare the tofu: Press the tofu for at least 10 minutes to drain any excess liquid (see page 11 for more details). Turn the block of tofu on its side and slice it through the middle to make 1-inch (2.5-cm)- thick slabs. You will have 2 to 3 slabs depending on the size and thickness of your tofu.

  • Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients. Set aside.

  • Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil. Once hot, add the tofu slabs. Pan-fry the tofu until lightly browned on each side, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the tofu from the pan and then let it cool for 5 minutes before slicing each slab into 1-inch (2.5-cm)-thick strips.

  • In the same pan, over medium heat, add the sauce and stir well until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium. Stir the sauce to prevent the sugar from sticking to the pan and burning. Taste the sauce and feel free to add more sugar, if desired. Afterward, add the sliced tofu to the pan, then scoop the sauce to pour over the top of the tofu pieces. Continue to cook and baste the tofu until it has absorbed some of the sauce, 7 to 8 minutes. Increase the heat to high; once the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes, turn off the heat.

  • Garnish your tofu with sesame seeds and scallions, if desired. Enjoy your Char Siu Tofu as is, with blanched veggies, with rice or as filling for buns to make gua baos.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Easy & Delicious Vegan Char Siu Tofu Recipe (4)

Reprinted with permission from Vegan Asian: A Cookbook by Jeeca Uy, Page Street Publishing Co. 2021. Photo credit: Jeeca Uy

Easy & Delicious Vegan Char Siu Tofu Recipe (5)

Click here or on the photo above to get your copy.

About the Book

For those craving vegan-friendly versions of classic Asian dishes, Vegan Asian: A Cookbook (August 31, 2021; $21.99; Page Street Publishing) is sure to fit the bill! Jeeca Uy, of the hit Instagram account TheFoodieTakesFlight, transforms traditional Southeast and East Asian cuisine into spectacular vegan renditions that are bursting with flavor. From iconic Thai dishes to piping-hot Japanese fare and everything in between, Jeeca’s recipes will take readers’ palates on a delicious food trip across Asia that will keep them coming back for more. So, why order takeout when it’s easy to whip up a vegan version that is not only healthier but can taste even better?

From traditional favorites to discovering new favorites readers will find recipes for: Pad Thai, Char Siu Tofu, Vietnamese Mushroom Pho, Singaporean Chili Tofu, Chinese Lettuce Wraps, Yang Chow Fried Rice, Japanese Yakisoba, Spicy Dan Dan Noodles, Satay Tofu Sticks with Peanut Sauce, and Korean Bulgogi Mushrooms.

Along with vibrant photographs, Jeeca has packed this book with tips and tricks to guide any cook, vegan or not, on how best to work with tofu, how to fold dumplings, how to make vegan versions of essential sauces and so much more. This cookbook will quickly become a go-to guide for simple yet delicious vegan Asian recipes.

If you loved this vegan char siu tofu recipe, you might like more exclusive recipes from Vegan Asian:

Vegan Pad Thai
Stuffed Chinese Eggplants

Browse our cookbook section for more exclusive recipes.


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Easy & Delicious Vegan Char Siu Tofu Recipe (2024)


What can I add to tofu to make it taste better? ›

Then season with turmeric, black pepper, garlic powder, black salt (for an “eggy” flavor, or use sea salt or Tamari instead), and add in your favorite cooked veggies. Add a little salad dressing, dijon, lemon juice, or whatever you'd typically make a marinade or sauce with.

Why is my tofu not getting crispy? ›

If your crispy tofu isn't getting crispy, it could be because there is too much moisture in the tofu. Another issue could be the oil isn't hot enough to fry the tofu.

How do you cook tofu so it's not rubbery? ›

For the best texture, press the tofu using a tofu press or cast-iron skillet for 20 to 30 minutes. If you're short on time, just drain the tofu and gently press it in a kitchen towel or paper towels over the sink.

How do you keep tofu crispy? ›

Arrowroot powder or cornstarch: This does two things for the tofu--it helps soak up any extra moisture and it also helps create a “skin” that will get crispy while cooking.

What not to mix with tofu? ›

What to not serve with tofu? According to studies, a high volume consumption of tofu and spinach together can increase your risk of kidney stones. Tofu and spinach contain calcium and oxalic acid respectively and the combined can form kidney stones.

What should I marinate tofu in? ›

In a mixing bowl or measuring cup with a spout, whisk together the marinade: soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, garlic powder, smoked paprika, ginger, and Sriracha. Drizzle over the tofu. If any pieces look bare, turn them over in the marinade a few times so all of the sides are coated.


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