This Sticky Tofu with Sumac brightens up the dinner plate while delivering the most delicious melody of sweet and sour flavors. The thick sauce permeates the tofu with every cut before melting in your mouth. A truly elevated vegan dish with sensational flavors!
This tofu dish will be a hit at your next dinner party or holiday dinner. It's the perfect sauce if you're looking for a tasty flavor that's sweet, tangy, and sticky! Tofu always inspires me. It's a blank canvas waiting to be painted with stunning flavors.
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Why you'll love this dish
Fast and easy - there are no tricky methods to making this dish. With just five ingredients in the sauce, a block of tofu, and garnish, your entree is prepared!
Perfect for guests - the sticky sauce has a tangy but sweet flavor, similar to a sweet and sour dish but elevated. This dish will bring sensational flavors to your guest's palates and have them asking for the recipe!
Nourishing - only quality ingredients are used in this recipe. The organic tofu adds protein that will satiate you, while the chimichurri-inspired greens pack in nutrients. Pomegranate seeds garnish the dish but also supplement with vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.
Aesthetically pleasing - plating sticky tofu is simple but insanely colorful. Vibrant foods on a plate are mesmerizing. Food typically is the highlight if you're having guests over for the holidays or celebration, so why not make it beautiful, tasty, and refreshing? This dish not only tastes great but looks great too!
Allergy-friendly - this dish is gluten-free and dairy-free, with no nuts or eggs, and it's vegan!
With just 5 ingredients whisked, the sticky sumac sauce comes together, making this dish easy and fast!
For the sumac sauce:
Maple syrup + pomegranate molasses - the thick, sticky sweetness comes from this pair. It brings so much flavor with every cut into the tofu!
Sumac + salt - the tangy sumac spice balances the sweetness by bringing a fruity, sour-like flavor!
Garlic cloves - this recipe calls for pressed garlic which adds texture and balances the sweetness.
For the garnish:
Chimichurri-inspired greens - blending just parsley, oil, lime juice, and salt adds beauty to the plate and a grounding flavor.
Pomegranate seeds - with each bite, the seeds burst open a fresh, light flavor. A must when in season!
Alternatively - top with finely sliced green onion and pomegranate seeds.
Is there a substitution for pomegranate molasses?
Yes, regular molasses can be substituted, although the flavor with pomegranate is highly preferred. If your local grocery store doesn't have pomegranate molasses, check with an Indian or Middle Eastern market if there's one nearby.
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Prep the tofu - Remove the tofu block from its package and press it for 10 minutes removing excess liquid. Here's how to press the tofu.
Cut the tofu - laying the tofu block on its side, slice it lengthwise, decreasing its width. Then cut the two tofu slices in half, giving you 4 rectangular blocks.
Whisk the sauce - combine all five ingredients in a small bowl and mix together.
Marinate - slather the sauce over the tofu in a dish with a sealed lid - shake gently until the sauce covers all sides. Allow the tofu to marinate for 15 minutes.
Bake - on a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the tofu in the oven or air fryer until a crispy outer layer is reached.
Add more sauce + garnish - garnish with greens and pomegranate seeds, and lastly, drizzle with leftover sauce until saturated and juicy.
Hint: make more sauce if you are not left with enough. This is critical! Tofu on its own is a base, it's bland in taste, and the sauce is crucial for flavor.
I have two options for cooking the sticky tofu; an oven or an air fryer. My personal preference is the air fryer. It does something special with tofu leaving it crispy on the edges, and has a much faster cook time by circulating the heat.
Either one works. Go with what you have available 🙂
Store the tofu separately from the sauce in the fridge, and recombine when ready. Good for 2-3 days.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Before serving: DRIZZLE EXTRA SAUCE. Seriously! Make another batch if you are out or low after marinating the sticky tofu. The sumac sauce is key in flavoring tofu; this dish is no exception.
What is sumac?
Sumac is a spice with both sweet and sour flavors, but it leans towards being acidic. It grows on the sumac tree as a berry and is found in warm regions of Africa, North America, and the Middle East. Once harvested, the berries are dried and ground into a powder for use in cooking.
What tofu should I use for this sweet sticky tofu recipe?
I recommend using extra firm tofu (organic).
Can I cut the tofu into cubes?
Yes! This recipe works great with tofu cubes. Cut into cubes or strips! Then bake as the recipe directs.
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Sticky Tofu with Sumac
- 1 air fryer or oven
For the sauce:
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 4 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
- ½ teaspoon ground sumac
- Pinch of salt
For the chimichurri garnish:
- 4 cloves of garlic
- ½ bunch of parsley (about a ½ cup size)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons vinegar rice or apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds optional
- 1 block of extra-firm tofu organic
- Pomegranate seeds for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit or preheat the air fryer to 375° Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the tofu from the package and drain. Place the tofu block in a tofu press or homemade press to drain excess liquid for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, maple syrup, molasses, sumac, and salt.
- Cut the tofu into slices. Cutting first lengthwise, which decreases the width of the tofu. Then cut both pieces in half to leave four pieces of tofu.
- In a bowl with a sealable lid place the tofu inside and cover with ½ the sauce. Shake gently until the sauce covers all sides of the tofu and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Remove from dish and transfer to baking sheet. For the oven: bake for 15 minutes on one side, flip and bake another 15 minutes until edges are crispy. Air fryer: bake for 10 minutes on one side, flip and cook for another 10 minutes until edges are crispy.
- Make the chimichurri garnish by combining the garlic, parsley, oil, vinegar, salt, and pomegranate seeds in a blender or food processor scraping down the sides until well combined. If needed add a tablespoon of water until the blend is well combined and spreads.
- Plate the meal with the tofu first, chimichurri on top, pomegranate seeds and the remaining sumac sauce drizzled over top. It is VERY important there is leftover sauce to drizzle on top, this provides the deep flavors. If there is none leftover, cut the recipe in half to make a half batch.