Chinese Takeout-Style Tofu and Broccoli (recipe from The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook)

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A sticky, spicy and slightly sweet tofu and broccoli dish, this is the best of Chinese takeout food but made at home and in the Instant Pot! It’s a recipe from my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook!
Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 50 mins
4.8 from 46 votes

This Chinese-inspired Takeout-Style Tofu and Broccoli is so flavorful and so easy to make thanks to the Instant Pot! It features sticky tofu and broccoli packed with the sweet, sour and spicy flavors you love from Chinese restaurants!

Watch: How to Make Take-Out Style Tofu and Broccoli

TAKEOUT-STYLE TOFU AND BROCCOLI | vegan Instant Pot recipe
TAKEOUT-STYLE TOFU AND BROCCOLI | vegan Instant Pot recipe

And I made a cute little video showing you exactly how to make this recipe! And if you want more than 90 incredible vegan Instant Pot recipes, be sure to order my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook!

If you’re new to the Instant Pot, the book contains a comprehensive primer to the machine and all its functions, so you can become an instant pot ninja!

Chinese Takeout-Style Tofu and Broccoli (recipe from The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook)

Tips for making this recipe

And just a few notes to help you nail this takeout-style tofu and broccoli recipe.

As with many tofu recipes, it helps to press the tofu. Since we are essentially searing tofu in hot oil, you want to make sure you’ve thoroughly pressed all of the water out of the tofu. I explain how to do this in the instructions. It takes a little time to press the tofu, but you can prep the rest of the ingredients in the mean time.

And please don’t try to skip the oil! The oil is necessary to sauté the tofu. Without oil, the tofu will just stick to the bottom of the inner pot and not only will you ruin the dish, you’ll also have a very difficult time scrubbing your pot.

And finally, if you are sensitive to spicy food, go easy on the amount of Sriracha called for in the recipe! This dish is quite spicy!

tofu and broccoli stir fry with white rice and chopsticks

And if you’re in the mood for more weeknight-friendly, East-Asian inspired dishes, check out these 15-Minute Vegan Noodles with Chili Garlic Sauce.

Chinese Takeout-Style Tofu and Broccoli (recipe from The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook)

4.8 from 46 votes
A sticky, spicy and slightly sweet tofu and broccoli dish, this is the best of Chinese takeout food but made at home and in the Instant Pot! It’s a recipe from my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook!
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Chinese-Inspired
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 4

Ingredients

MARINATED TOFU

  • 1 (14-ounce) block extra-firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha or similar chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar (also known as rice wine vinegar)

GINGER-CHILI SAUCE

  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1⁄4 cup agave nectar or coconut nectar (or maple syrup, but that will have a more robust, less neutral flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons Sriracha or similar chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 1⁄2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated or finely minced

FOR FINISHING

  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral, high-heat cooking oil
  • 2 medium heads broccoli, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • White rice or brown rice (for serving)

Instructions

  • Marinate the tofu: Drain the tofu and cut into 4 slabs. Place the tofu on a cutting board lined with paper towels. Place more paper towels on top of the tofu and weight them down with a few heavy cookbooks or a heavy skillet filled with a few cans of beans. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or ideally 1 hour, changing the paper towels in between to drain all of the moisture. Cut the tofu into 3⁄4-inch cubes.
  • Place the tofu in a gallon-size zip-top bag and add the tamari, Sriracha, sesame oil, and vinegar. Toss to combine and let the tofu rest in the marinade for 5 minutes, massaging occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, make the ginger-chili sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the tamari, agave nectar, water, the Sriracha, sesame oil, vinegar, and ginger until well combined.
  • Finish the dish: Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and let the pot heat up for a few minutes before adding the grapeseed oil. Once the display reads “HOT,” use a slotted spoon or fork to carefully transfer the marinated tofu to the pot. Cook the tofu for 1 1⁄2 minutes undisturbed. Use a spatula to flip and cook the tofu until it starts to brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Add the ginger-chili sauce and stir to combine. Select the Cancel setting.
  • Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 3 minutes.
  • Once the 3-minute timer has completed and beeps, perform a quick pressure release by carefully switching the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting.
  • Open the pot. Add the broccoli florets to the tofu and stir with the sauce to combine. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting to LOW PRESSURE and set the cook time to 1 minute. Once the 1-minute timer has completed and beeps, carefully perform another quick pressure release.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch with 1⁄4 cup water, whisking until combined without any lumps. Select the Sauté setting and press the Sauté button again until you reach Less heat. Add the cornstarch slurry to the Instant Pot and gently stir to combine. Cook, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve the tofu and broccoli over rice.

Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1099mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 578IU | Vitamin C: 86mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 2mg

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79 comments on Chinese Takeout-Style Tofu and Broccoli (recipe from The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook)

  1. Kim

    5 stars
    I just made this. I didn’t have agave so used honey. So tasty!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Kim! :)

  2. Mar

    When doing this on the stove, how long should I cook the tofu?

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Mar, just a couple minutes on 2-3 sides of the tofu should work well!

  3. Jessica

    4 stars
    Nisha, definitely liked this recipe. I think the sauteeing first and then pressure cooking really helped to pull in the flavors in the tofu, because otherwise I’ve always felt the flavors JUST DON’T get into the tofu. I also found it a bit too sweet for us, so perhaps next time we’ll go easy on that agave.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Good to hear you enjoyed it! Sorry you found it too sweet, hopefully next time you prepare the tofu and broccoli you can make it to fit your preferences :)

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