Instant Pot Hawaiian Tofu – extra-firm tofu tossed in a flavorful sauce made with pineapple juice!
Made in the pressure cooker, this one-pot meal gets done in less than 30 minutes and is vegan.
I love eating this with brown rice.
I have mentioned this many time here that Sarvesh does not care for tofu at all.
So, when I test a tofu recipe for the blog, I usually make something else too for him to eat that day.
However, this time around when I tested and made this Hawaiian tofu, he said that he wanted to try it too.
And to my surprise, he licked the bowl clean! Now, when he does that with tofu, then I know for sure that the recipe is a winner!
This Hawaiian Tofu has extra firm tofu and red pepper cooked in a really flavorful pineapple juice based sauce.
If you enjoy tofu in a sweet sauce, then you are in for a treat.
This Instant Pot Hawaiian Tofu
✔gets done is 30 minutes or less.
✔is vegan and can me made gluten-free.
✔packed with flavors.
✔pairs well with brown rice or jasmine rice.
For this recipe, I marinate the tofu first in some soy sauce, hot chili-garlic sauce (sambal oelek) and pineapple juice and then cook it for a bit before pressure cooking.
I always prefer using extra-firm tofu in these Asian-inspired recipes. Whenever you are using extra-firm tofu, make sure to either use a tofu press or press tofu with a heavy object for 20 minutes at least before cutting it into cubes.
This way the excess moisture from tofu is removed and tofu absorbs more flavor.
Usually, I place a kitchen paper towel on the bottom of a flat surface and then place the block of tofu on top and then place another paper towel on top of the tofu and then place a heavy object on top.
The paper towels get completely wet as the tofu releases moisture so replace them after 15 minutes or so. You can press the tofu for up to 1 hour for even better outcome.
Once the tofu is pressed, I then toss it with the marinade and cook it on saute in the instant pot before pressure cooking it.
The sauce for this Hawaiian Tofu has pineapple juice in abundance! I have used canned pineapple juice here, this recipe should work with sweet fresh pineapple juice too but has been tested with canned juice only.
Other than the juice, the sauce also has soy sauce, brown sugar, hot sauce, garlic and ginger. You can adjust the amount of hot sauce (I have used sambal oelek) to taste.
For me this was perfect, it had a slight kick without being spicy. However, if you prefer spicier sauce, add more of the hot sauce.
I love eating this tofu with brown rice.
It will also go well with white jasmine rice or even noodles.
Method of Instant Pot Hawaiian Tofu
Before you start, press the extra-firm tofu with a heavy object for at least 20 minutes. Then dab with a paper towel and cut the tofu into cubes.
1- To a large add the tofu cubes. Then add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon pineapple juice and 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (or any hot chili sauce). Mix to combine until all tofu is coated with the marinade.
Let rest for 5 minutes.
2- Meanwhile, in a measuring jar or bowl, mix together all ingredients for the sauce- 1 cup pineapple juice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce. 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon sambal oelek, 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger and 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic.
Set it aside.
3- Now, press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot add 2 tablespoons of oil (I used avocado oil) and then add the tofu pieces in a single layer into the pot.
4- Cook undisturbed for around 2 minutes on one side and then flip and cook the other side undisturbed for another 2 minutes.
5- Add in the prepared sauce and also any leftover marinade that might have been left behind from the bowl of tofu. Use a wooden spatula to scrape down the bottom of the pot since some of the tofu might have got stuck while sauteing it.
6- Then add in the bell pepper and close the pot with the lid.
7- Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high heat for 2 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally for 2 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.
8- Meanwhile, whisk together 2 teaspoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water in a bowl until combined.
9- Open the lid and press the saute button. Add in the prepared cornstarch slurry (make sure to whisk it once before adding as cornstarch settles at the bottom).
10- Stir, the sauce will thicken immediately.
11- Add in the green onions.
12- At this point, if you want to thin out the sauce a little, add 1-2 tablespoons extra pineapple juice. This is optional and do it only if the sauce looks too thick.
I added 2 tablespoons of juice at this point.
Serve Hawaiian Tofu with brown rice or white rice! You may sprinkle some white sesame seeds on top.