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
4.8 from 29 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. 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)

4.8 from 29 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 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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50 comments on Chinese Takeout-Style Tofu and Broccoli (recipe from The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook)

  1. Sal

    Made this for dinner along with some brown rice. Sooooo good. Better than take out. I’ll definitely make this again. Thank you!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Sal, we’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  2. Anne

    2 stars
    I really love the taste, but my broccoli turned to mush and looks nothing like the pictures. So the ingredients are great, but next time I won’t stick to the instructions.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Anne, did you use low pressure when adding the broccoli, as directed in the recipe? Sometimes, people forget to use the low pressure setting when adding the broccoli at the second stage and/or forget to release the pressure as soon as the timer is done. Both of those things would cause the broccoli to turn mushy.

  3. Paula

    5 stars
    I got your Cookbook for my bday last year and this was the first recipe I tried. I loved it so much I made a bid batch for myself and had it on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s, lunch and dinner. I think it’s gonna become a tradition. Rock solid 10/10

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

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

  4. Kevin

    5 stars
    This turned out great!! I made your sauce and tofu with peppers and green beans instead of broccoli – my wife and I were both going back for more. This will be my new go-to recipe for stir fries!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Kevin, So glad to hear you two loved this recipe!

  5. Meredith

    5 stars
    Fantastic! I just got my Instant pot yesterday and chanced upon your site looking for tofu and broccoli. It was easy to follow. I might have made my florets too small or will reduce the time to 0 when I make this again since they were soft. So yummy!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We are so glad you love the recipe, Meredith! We hope it turns out even better next time you try it!

  6. Ellie

    5 stars
    As per usual, Nisha doesn’t disappoint. This is another winning recipe and will become another regular in my rotation as all the ingredients are staples. So far, since becoming plant based and initially being overwhelmed by it all, I have come to rely on Rainbow Plant Life for inspiration at mealtime. Thank you

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Ellie, So glad to hear you’ve been loving the recipes!

  7. Julie

    5 stars
    I hoped this would be tasty, and the finished recipe was even more delicious than I expected! I will be adding this to my list of easy weeknight dinners recipes.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Julie! So happy you loved the recipe!

  8. Dinesh

    Excellent recipe. Had tofu and broccoli and looking to make something with it for dinner that was quick and simple. Loved the flavors of the dish.

    1. Dinesh

      5 stars
      My son loved it even more and he’s quite reserved in his comments about my attempts to make Asian food like these. But this was one he just finished it off even though he had other dinner options.

      1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

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

    2. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      That’s so great to hear, Dinesh! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  9. Brianna

    5 stars
    I made this recipe and it was my first time cooking tofu in my pressure cooker. It turned out delicious! So much flavor and comes together so quickly. I used maple syrup for the sweetener and I don’t think it came out tasting obviously maple-y. I loved it, but I’ll have to see if agave nectar is even better.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Great, Brianna! We love using maple syrup as a sweetener over here in the Rainbow Plant Life kitchen as well! Thanks for trying the dish :)

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