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Chinese Lemon Tofu

Chinese Lemon Tofu features crispy, golden tofu nuggets drenched in a bright, sticky, and tart lemon sauce. Serve with rice and lemon slices for an irresistible takeout-style meal! Ready in 30 minutes. Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Option.
Course Main
Cuisine Chinese
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Method Oven, Stovetop
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 219kcal
Author Caitlin Shoemaker


For the Tofu:

For the Lemon Sauce:

Serving Suggestions: Lemon slices, cooked rice, steamed veggies, etc.


    • Prep: Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Tear the tofu into bite-sized chunks for a more meat-like texture, or cut into small cubes.
    • Tofu: Add the tofu to a medium bowl and add in the oil and tamari. Toss with a spatula until evenly coated, then sprinkle the cornstarch on top and toss again. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread out the tofu pieces so they aren’t touching. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through.
    • Make the Sauce: In the meantime, zest the lemon and set aside. In a medium bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk the vegetable broth, lemon juice, tamari, sugar, and cornstarch together until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
    • Sauté Aromatics: Warm the oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the white parts of the green onion, garlic, ginger, and optional pepper. Sauté for 60 seconds, then add in the lemon sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon zest to the sauce and sauté for one more minute.
    • Final Touches: Remove the tofu from the oven and add it to the pan, coating all sides of the tofu in the glossy lemon sauce. Stir in the sesame seeds and mix well.
    • Serve & Store: Serve warm over rice and topped with green onions and lemon slices, or as desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.


    • Gluten-Free: This recipe is gluten-free as written as long as you use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.
    • Oil-Free: Make my Crispy Tofu instead and sauté the aromatics in step 4 in 2 tablespoons of additional water or vegetable broth instead of oil.


    Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 824mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg