Instant Pot Chinese Takeout-Style Tofu and Broccoli

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recipe by Nisha Vora

  • Time icon
    Total Time
    1hr 15mins
  • Serves icon
  • Calories icon

There are three keys to making tofu taste delicious. First, select the right variety. Tofu comes in many forms, but the extra-firm variety—with its spongy, dense texture and low water content—is best for frying, as in this recipe. Second, unless you are using a soft or silken tofu, you’ll almost always want to press out the excess water in tofu. This drastically improves the texture, helps the tofu hold its shape when cooked, and enables more flavor to seep into the tofu. Finally, don’t be stingy with seasonings, whether it’s spices, aromatics, or sauces. Tofu is a blank canvas and easily takes on the flavors it’s given. For the tofu skeptics in my life, I often recommend trying this Chinese takeout-style tofu. It’s a little crispy on the outside, soft and tender in the inside, and saturated with lots of bold flavors like ginger, Sriracha, and toasted sesame. Since broccoli cooks very quickly in the Instant Pot, this recipe calls for pressure-cooking the tofu for a few minutes before adding the broccoli. To make this a complete, balanced meal, serve alongside rice or your favorite grain.

Inspired by:

recipe updated May 7, 2020


  • Ginger icon
    about ½ tbsp (3g)
  • Broccoli icon
    2 (700g)
  • White rice icon
    White rice
    as needed
  • Extra firm tofu icon
    Extra firm tofu
    397g (about 1¾ cups)
  • Low-sodium soy sauce icon
    Low-sodium soy sauce
    3 tbsp (43g)
  • Sriracha sauce icon
    Sriracha sauce
    2 tsp (10ml)
  • Toasted sesame oil icon
    Toasted sesame oil
    1 tsp (4g)
  • Rice vinegar icon
    Rice vinegar
    2 tsp (10ml)
  • Low-sodium soy sauce icon
    Low-sodium soy sauce
    about ¼ cup (58g)
  • Agave syrup icon
    Agave syrup
    about ¼ cup (90g)
  • Water icon
    ¼ cup (60ml)
  • Sriracha sauce icon
    Sriracha sauce
    1.5 tbsp (22ml)
  • Toasted sesame oil icon
    Toasted sesame oil
    1 tbsp (13g)
  • Rice vinegar icon
    Rice vinegar
    1 tbsp (15ml)
  • Grapeseed oil icon
    Grapeseed oil
    1.5 tbsp (22ml)
  • Cornstarch icon
    2 tbsp (16g)
  • Water icon
    2 tbsp (30ml)


  • kCook icon Whisk
  • kCook icon Paper towels
  • kCook icon Instant Pot
  • kCook icon Large resealable plastic bag
  • kCook icon Cutting board
  • kCook icon Small bowl
  • kCook icon Inner pot
  • kCook icon Small bowl
  • kCook icon Medium bowl

Step preview

  1. Cover a clean cutting board with paper towels
  2. Place extra firm tofu on the cutting board
  3. Place more paper towels on top of the tofu
  4. Press - approx 1 hr
  5. Cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  6. Place tofu in large resealable plastic bag
  7. Add low-sodium soy sauce, sriracha sauce, toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar to the large resealable plastic bag
  8. Toss until combined
  9. Let rest - 5 min
  10. Add low-sodium soy sauce, agave syrup, water, sriracha sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar and ginger to a clean medium bowl
  11. Whisk until well combined
  12. Add grapeseed oil to the inner pot
  13. Pre-heat medium bowl until hot - Sauté, Normal
  14. Transfer tofu to inner pot carefully
  15. Cook without stirring - 1 min 30 sec
  16. Cook each side until browned - approx 4 min
  17. Transfer sauce to inner pot
  18. Stir briefly until just combined
  19. Cancel - Sauté
  20. Close and lock the lid and turn the steam release handle to Sealing
  21. Pressure cook - Manual, High, 3 min
  22. Cancel - Keep warm
  23. Quick release
  24. Add broccoli to the inner pot
  25. Stir until just combined
  26. Close and lock the lid and turn the steam release handle to Sealing
  27. Pressure cook - Manual, Low, 1 min
  28. Cancel - Keep warm
  29. Quick release
  30. Add cornstarch and water to a clean small bowl
  31. Whisk until smooth
  32. Pre-heat - Sauté, Less
  33. Transfer slurry to inner pot
  34. Stir gently until combined
  35. Cook gently until thickened while stirring occasionally - approx 3 min
  36. Add white rice to the clean small bowls
  37. Serve tofu and broccoli over rice
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