This simple vegan tofu stir fry is so easy to customize and one of the simplest and easiest recipes to prepare. It’s a quick last-minute meal for busy days in which you can cook anything you have on hand. I made this recipe with a seasonal vegetable I found in hand, and it turned out really delicious!
Even if you don’t like tofu, you can still try out the stir-fry version of it. This stir-fry version of tofu becomes crispy and firm, and the flavors are savory and satisfying.
The simple vegan stir fry sauce has only four ingredients soy sauce, sweetener, cornstarch, and water. Toss them with the prepared tofu, and you will fall in love with flavorful, crispy, fried juiciness. Everything comes together in the wok or skillet within 20 minutes, and you can get the dinner table ready as quickly as possible.
Tofu Stir Fry Key Ingredients
- Extra-firm tofu: It’s the best kind of tofu when it comes to cooking savory dishes like stir-fry. It contains very little moisture, and the texture is chewy and meaty when fried. If you have firm tofu, no problem; you can press out all the moisture within 10 to 20 minutes.
- Sesame oil: It’s often used to saute meat and vegetables in Asian cooking. The fragrance and flavors of it are used as a seasoning oil rather than cooking oil.
- Onion: Use a small number of onions to make the stir-fry dish alive with aromatic flavors.
- Bell pepper: It’s a crunchy and crispy texture with a mild spicy bite.
- Broccoli: You can also use other leafy greens like spinach or kale.
- Garlic: It’s a common aromatic spice used in a stir-fry to make the dish more savory and flavorful.
- Ginger: Use freshly grated ginger to get the best flavors.
- Soy sauce: It’s the base element of every stir-frying recipe, which also pairs well with tofu. You can also replace this with gluten-free tamari.
- Sweetener: The sweet element of maple syrup or honey will balance the savoriness of the sauce.
- Cornstarch: It helps to thicken the sauce of the stir fry. You can also substitute this with arrowroot starch or tapioca instead.
- Water: To prepare the sauce base of the dish.
- Green onions: They will increase the flavors with their crunchy texture and give a green-like presentation.
- Sesame seeds: Garnish with some sesame seeds, in the end, to make it look good, and it adds a crunchy and nutty texture to the stir fry.
How to Make Tofu Stir Fry?
This healthy tofu stir fry is a fast and efficient vegan dinner or lunch. You can prepare the sauce base with simple ingredients and saute the prepared tofu stir-fry and vegetables together.
Star by pressing the extra firm tofu for at least 15 minutes to remove excess moisture and cut them into cubes. Heat the sesame oil over high heat in a large skillet or wok. Add the tofu and cook for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, flipping occasionally. Take out the tofu from the wok or skillet and set it aside.
Add the onion, red bell pepper, broccoli, garlic, and ginger in the same skillet. Cook for about 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
To prepare the delicious sauce base, take a small bowl and mix together the soy sauce, sweetener, cornstarch, and water.
Pour the mixture into the wok or skillet with the vegetables and stir to combine. Add the cooked tofu back into the skillet and toss everything together. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. If desired, garnish with some toasted green onions and sesame seeds. Serve this amazing dish with fragrant steamed rice or noodles, and enjoy!
Substitution and Add-ons of Tofu Stir Fry
- You can use other vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, snap peas, bean sprouts, baby corn, cabbage, green beans, shiitake mushroom, or bok choy.
- Add sriracha, chili paste, or red pepper flakes with the sauce to make a spicy stir-fry dish.
- Serve the stir fry tofu with fragrant rice and brown rice, or you can stir-fry some rice noodles with it.
- Make the stir fry sauce with coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce to get the gluten-free.
- To get extra crispy tofu, you can use cornstarch to coat the exterior of the tofu and fry it until golden brown.
- Instead of tofu, you can use soy curls or only use a variety of chopped vegetables to prepare the dish.
What Types of Tofu is Ideal For Stir Frying?
Extra-firm tofu has the least amount of liquid, and you can get rid of extra moisture by pressing it for only 5 to 10 minutes. After pressing the tofu, it will absorb extra moisture from the seasonings, sauce, and veggies, making it even more delicious and meaty.
If you find these types of tofu dry, you can use firm tofu because it has the proper amount of liquid and softness. You can get rid of the extra moisture within 10 to 15 minutes with the pressing method.
But avoid using soft and silken tofu as it may fall apart, and it’s mostly suitable for preparing desserts.
Can I Make Tofu Stir Fry in Advance?
Yes! You can pre-make this recipe and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for at least 5 to 7 days. However, it’s best to make it fresh, and it only takes 20 minutes to prepare; I would cook it just before serving it to enjoy extra crispy vegetables.
You can buy pre-chopped veggies from any local grocery store, or you can simply chop the fresh veggies you have in hand. Make sure to store them in a separate air-tight container in the refrigerator. Press the tofu and remove the excess water, chop it, and store it in a separate container.
Cook the stir fry tofu when you want; it will be prepared in just 5 to 10 minutes, and the dish will turn super fresh, tender, and crispy.
How to Store Leftover Tofu, Stir Fry?
- Use an airtight container, it will stay good in the refrigerator for at least 5 to 7 days.
- If you want to keep it in the freezer, make sure to cool down the stir fry completely. It will stay good for 3 months, but the veggies might so soft and soggy after thawing.
- To thaw it properly, place it in the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight.
- Use the microwave to reheat or on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed thoroughly. Add a little oil, water, or vegetable stock and some seasonings to lit up the stir-fry if needed.
Chef’s Tips and Tricks
- Tofu has the tendency to stick to the pan, so you need to use a wok or high-quality non-stick pan with oil. Also, avoid moving tofu cubes in the first 4 minutes of cooking; let them go little brown, which will make them easier to move.
- You can also prepare the tofu in the air fryer, and cook the cubes for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- If you want to reduce the amount of sodium, use vegetable stock and water.
- You can also buy pre-chopped vegetables from local grocery stores. Don’t worry, they are nutritious like fresh ones, and you can easily save time.
- Press out as much tofu as possible to make it even crispier and tender. Wrap the tofu with a heavy layer of the dish towel. Put a plate on top of it with a heavy object like a pan. Keep an eye on tofu as you don’t want to break it, do it for 5 to 10 minutes.
- You can save a little time by air frying or baking tofu instead of pan frying them.
- If you are using a regular pan, preheat the pan on the stove for 1-2 minutes before adding the oil, and make sure to use a generous amount of oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
Other Tofu Recipes To Prepare
Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.
Fortunately, because of the Ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.
- Energy: 160 kcal / 669 kJ
- Fat: 8.3 g
- Protein: 11 g
- Carbs: 132 g
- Preparation: 10 min
- Cooking: 25 min
- Ready in: 35 min
- For: 4 servings
- 1 (14-16 ounces block ) extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed (or super-firm tofu needs not pressing)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or Bragg's Liquid Aminos
- 2 teaspoons sweetener of choice, ( I used maple syrup)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 green onion, thinly sliced
- sesame seeds, for garnish
- Star by pressing the extra firm tofu for at least 15 minutes to remove excess moisture and cut them into cubes.
- Heat the sesame oil over medium heat in a large skillet or wok.
- Add the tofu and cook for about 6 minutes or until golden brown, flipping occasionally. Take out the tofu from the wok or skillet and set it aside. You can prepare the tofu in the air fryer, and cook the cubes for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- Add the onion, red bell pepper, broccoli, garlic, and ginger in the same skillet. Cook for about 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
- Mix the soy sauce, sweetener, cornstarch, and water in a small bowl.
- Pour the mixture into the skillet with the vegetables and stir to combine.
- Add the cooked tofu back into the skillet and toss everything together.
- Cook for an additional 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- Garnish with some toasted green onions and sesame seeds. Serve this amazing dish with steamed rice, quinoa or noodles, and enjoy!