Tofu Veggie Stir Fry

Tofu!  Can I get a what-what?

Perhaps you cook tofu at home all the time, and your don’t need to be sold on it.  Perhaps you have made cooked tofu at home with less than exciting results.  Maybe you’ll have it at a restaurant, possibly part of a stir fry, and thought a) eh, this little bland soft cubes are kind of boring, or b) gee, these crispy on the outside tender on the inside tofu cubes are awesome, and how can I make those at home?

Simple Stir Fried Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

Crispy Tofu in Stir Fries

Tofu is sold packed in water, so it’s a challenge to get it to really brown in a skillet.  There are a couple of things that can help.

Tofu Cooking Tips:

Pressing Tofu:

Pressing it to drain out excess moisture will allow it to brown and crisp up more, yielding a texture some people find more appealing (even extra firm tofu is pretty soft).  

Simple Stir Fried Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

Place the block of tofu on a large flat plate, place a second plate on top, with the bottom against the tofu (use plates flat enough to lie cleanly against the top and bottom of the tofu).  Place a heavy book or a big can of beans or tomatoes or such on top of the top plate and let drain for about 45 minutes.  

Drain off the liquid that has seeped out onto the bottom plate, and cut up the tofu according to the recipe.  You can leave the tofu for longer, but not much more liquid will be released.

Simple Stir Fried Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

Let the Tofu Sit in the Pan:

Make sure the water has been pressed out of the tofu, then cut it into the desired shapes (in this stir fry it’s 1-iunch cubes, but the pertains to crispy tofu cut into slices or other sized pieces as well).  

Heat a wok or a large skillet  over high heat.  Add some vegetable oil, not a ton, but enough to coat the bottom of the pan.  When the oil is hot, add the tofu and let it sit, undisturbed for a couple of minutes.  Flip the tofu around so that the crispy side is on top.  

You can keep going until all of the sides are browned and crisp, or just make sure a few of the sides have browned — either is fine.  The important part is not to stir too often.  Let the tofu sit against the hot pan undisturbed  is what will allow it to caramelize.  Don’t fiddle with your food!

Simple Stir Fried Crispy Tofu and Vegetables: Nuggets of tender but chewy tofu and a slew of vegetables become a perfect vegetarian stir fry.

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Simple Stir Fried Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

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Simple Stir Fried Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

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Simple Stir Fried Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

Nuggets of tender but chewy tofu and a slew of vegetables become a perfect vegetarian stir fry.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
tofu pressing time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound extra-firm tofu
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil , divided
  • 8 ounces sliced shiitake (or other) mushrooms
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 red pepper , cored, seeded and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini or summer squash
  • 4 scallions , trimmed and sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon finely minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce , preferably less sodium, or to taste

Directions

  • Place the block of tofu on a large flat plate, place a second plate on top, with the bottom against the tofu (use plates flat enough to lie cleanly against the top and bottom of the tofu). Place a heavy book or a big can of beans or tomatoes or such on top of the top plate and let drain for about 45 minutes.
  • Drain off the liquid that has escaped out onto the bottom plate, and cut up the tofu according to the recipe. You can leave the tofu for longer, but not much more liquid will be released. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes.
  • Heat a wok or a large skillet with a lid over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. When hot, add the tofu and sauté, stirring every two minutes or until the tofu is lightly browned , about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining two tablespoons of the oil in the same wok or skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes until they start to turn tender and golden. Add the broccoli, bell pepper, zucchini and stir-fry for 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the scallions, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 2 more minutes until everything is almost tender, then add ¼ cup water, and cover the pan. Allow to steam for another 2 minutes until the vegetables are crisp tender.
  • Remove the lid, add the hoisin sauce and soy sauce and stir to combine everything well. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 485mg | Potassium: 766mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1539IU | Vitamin C: 107mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 3mg

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