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 Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
4.7 from 15 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

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. 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

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

4.7 from 15 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
Keyword: cookbook, gluten-free, instant pot, nut-free
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 small 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.

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

  1. Krista

    5 stars
    I followed your recipe using my instapot for the first time and it worked out so well! Thank you for the thorough instructions! It was super yummy.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Krista. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  2. Shannon McNeely

    4 stars
    I just made this dish and it was delicious. However, I had trouble with the tofu. I drained/pressed it thoroughly in a tofu press but the instructions do not say to press out liquid AFTER marinating. The tofu was so wet it wouldn’t brown at all in the oil. The tofu needs to be pressed again to remove the marinade so that it is dry and will brown properly or cook it on a sheet pan in the oven. The tofu fell apart and ended up with a consistency of scrambled eggs. Next time I’ll cook the tofu and broccoli separately. However, the dish was delicious and had just the right amount of spice.

  3. Kim

    3 stars
    I was excited to try this recipe but a little disappointed in how it turned out – I was careful to follow the instructions, but the broccoli got overcooked and turned out mushy. Quite tasty, though! I think next time I will cook the tofu & broccoli separately and just combine them in the end, so I can better control the cooking time. Thanks Nisha!

  4. Nancy Jaramillo

    4 stars
    Hello from Massachusetts! This was my first recipe to make using the instant pot, and it came out great, although I overshot how spicy I like it by a bit. My tofu became pretty crumbled up by the end–wondering if maybe I could have pressed it better or cooked it longer during the initial tofu sauté? I ordered your cook book today, I’m excited to try more recipes! And I wanted to say thank you–your videos and recipes have been really supportive for me lately!

  5. Susan

    5 stars
    I have made this recipe a number of times. It is delicious, one of my favs. Together with the Maple Carrot.

    The most used book on my vegan bookshelf.

  6. Jill

    5 stars
    Yummy! I used the air fryer for
    my tofu and cooked ramen/broccoli on the stove. My non -vegetarian family loved it. Now in rotation for meatless Monday. Thanks!

  7. Jackie

    Is it possible to make this with frozen florets instead of fresh broccoli? Would the cooking time differ? Thanks!

  8. Sarah Lingley

    5 stars
    Nisha,

    Love the new website. I love so many of your recipes it will take a while to star them all!!

    I got an instant pot for Christmas and made this recipe last night and it was DIVINE!! 5 star. My only complaint is I ate it all and want more!! Haha 😂😂.

    Love your work.

    Sarah

  9. Shuvya

    5 stars
    I reference the sauce from this recipe for many recipes because it’s just that darn amazing! I make the tofu on a pan so it’s crispy and then combine it with the broccoli and sauce in the instant pot. An easy but delicious staple for me!

  10. David

    5 stars
    Just amazing and not nearly as intimidating as it seemed. This recipe was delicious and made the IP much more approachable for me. I bought one but quickly felt overwhelmed.

    1. David

      5 stars
      I should say: “before this recipe, I felt overwhelmed by the IP”

  11. Sharon

    This looks delicious, Nora! Thank you for your gazillion recipes! I’ve been making tofu in my air fryer, but going to try this tonight.
    What do you think about using apple cider vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar and also subbing Bragg’s liquid aminos instead of tamari/soy sauce.

  12. Patty

    Hello! Loved this recipe – easy and delicious!

  13. Turi

    Hello from Norway!I bought my first instant pot today, and this recipe was the first I tried to make. It came out perfectly. I love your youtube videos. Thinking about bying your instant pot book. But i dont know witch stores ships to Norway?

  14. Eva Gonzalez-Macfie

    This is what I’m cooking tonight. Can’t wait to taste it. Looks and smells so good!!! 😋😋😋

  15. Helena

    I had this for dinner tonight and cannot wait to enjoy the leftovers tomorrow! Great recipe!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Helena, so happy to hear that you loved this recipe. Thanks for your feedback!

  16. Jennie

    My husband is not a vegan, so I was looking for a recipe to use up a piece of beef we had (we get it from a local organic farmer, so it is as "clean" as possible). I followed the recipe except I substituted the beef for the tofu and cooked it 8 minutes to make sure it was tender before adding broccoli. He LOVED it!!! I’ve also made the chilli and substituted a pound of ground beef for some of the beans.

  17. Melissa

    What are the skillet intructions to make this dish if you don’t have an Instant Pot?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Melissa, my friend has adapted this recipe to the skillet – you can find her version here:
      https://www.instagram.com/p/B2BwmSapO6W/

  18. Lynn

    I am anxious about trying this recipe ‘Chinese takeout broccoli and tofu’. What is an easy way to grate or mince ginger? I find it stringy and hard to do either! Can I use the ground ginger and if so, how much?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Lynn! I use a spoon to peel the ginger and then a microplane or zester to grate it. Below is the microplane I use and have found it the best way to grate ginger. I also find that if the ginger is very fresh, it makes it much easier to mince up with a knife (when it’s a bit older, it’s stringy and hard to chop with a knife).
      I haven’t tried it with ground ginger, but I think you can use 1/3 of the amount of fresh ginger in dried form and it will still be really tasty!
      https://amzn.to/2IBsfCw

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