Tofu stir fry sounds delicious, right? Not only is it delicious, but this tofu stir fry recipe has many health benefits and nutritional value. For anyone looking for a plant-based alternative for meat, then tofu is an excellent alternative.
This article looks into making tofu stir fry, which type of tofu to use, and the nutrition serving and benefits of tofu stir fry.
What is Tofu and How to make Tofu?
Tofu is a protein-rich food made from soy milk from liquid to solid or semi-solid into the block. The tofu was first invented in China around 2000 years ago; it was created by accident when fresh soy milk was mixed with nigari salt ( extracted from seawater).
The way tofu is made is similar to that of cottage cheese and paneer. It is made because soybean is soaked in water, boiled and then strained to make soy milk and then add calcium or magnesium salt to make it solid. Tofu has a different texture that is soft, firm and extra-firm tofu.
Is Tofu Healthy?
Tofu is a nutritive-rich protein that can be readily consumed several times each week. Harvard TH Chen School of Nutrition: Soy provides health advantages, especially if it is a red or processed meat choice. If you are a vegan, then tofu is a plant-based alternative for you and here are ten tofu stir fry recipes to look forward to.
But do keep in mind that soy products and tofu contains a lot of oxalates. If you have a history of kidney stones containing oxalate should avoid consuming too many soy products.
How To Cook Tofu?
When cooking tofu, it does not have a flavor, so you make it sweet, salty, or eat it raw. But the main hurdle is that tofu has different textures, soft/silken tofu, firm tofu, extra firm tofu, and each of these has various cooking applications.
Soft or Silken Tofu: Like its name, silken tofu is smooth and an alternative to dairy, giving a protein boost. Soft or silken tofu can be used to make smoothies, soups, puddings and can be used as salads. Just mix tofu with olive oil, herbs like thyme, oregano to make a ranch dressing.
Another way to eat silken tofu is raw with soy sauce with sesame seeds.
Firm Tofu: Tofu is a good alternative for anyone who wants a plant-based alternative for meat. To make sure the tofu is firm, first squeeze out the water by pressing tofu in a paper towel and then place a heaving pan on top of it for a few minutes.
Tofu can be used in curry, tofu stir fry, or baked tofu, and it can even be used as an alternative for eggs and meat.
Extra Firm Tofu: Extra firm means it’s hard, so it is better when it is baked, used in curry or to make tofu stir fry and extra-firm tofu is a good alternative for meat. You can cook it in a pan or wok for the crust and then toss it with vegetables, sauce then you will get tofu stir fry.
Also, if you want a healthier option, then bake it or air fry it once it is seasoned.
Tofu Stir Fry Recipes For You
If you are looking for healthy tofu stir fry recipes, then you have come to the right place. Here we will look into eight different healthy tofu stir fry recipes. Here you can also read about the nutritional serving of tofu, health benefits.
1. Pan Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu
- For this tofu stir fry recipe, first, use 14 ounces(1person) of tofu, then you need to drain the water inside the box ( make sure to do it in the sink and place your hand, so the tofu stays safe). Then place the tofu on a paper towel and place a pan on top of it to squeeze out the rest of the liquid for 30 minutes. ( the pan should not be too heavy, or else it will crush the tofu)
- Once the tofu is completely drained, cut it half, then cut it into cubes. Then place it into a medium bowl, sprinkle two tablespoons of cornstarch and make sure to toss it with your so that it is evenly coated.
- Now take a pan (large skillet), add ½ teaspoon sesame oil and one teaspoon vegetable oil in medium heat. Once it is heated up, add the tofu cubes and make it golden brown on all sides.
- Mix rice wine vinegar, honey, sesame oil, Sambal oelek, or chili paste to make the soy sauce mix. Add the tofu and sauce ( it should be a bit thick by then) and mix it well. You can top it off with sesame seeds, green onions and serve the tofu stir fry with brown rice or cauliflower rice, noodles.
2. Garlic and Ginger Tofu Stir Fry Recipe
- For this tofu stir fry recipe, we will be using extra-firm tofu. First, drain the tofu, place the tofu block on a paper towel with a pan on top for 30 mins. Then cut it in half then into cubes. ( 2 packages of tofu).
- In a pan (large skillet), add a tablespoon of canola oil to medium heat. Once it is hot, add the tofu cubes and pour one teaspoon of soy sauce. Stir fry it every few minutes for 8 to 10 minutes until it is crispy tofu on all sides. Once it’s brown on all sides, add three cloves of garlic and ginger minced (1 teaspoon), ⅔ of onion, two teaspoons of chili paste, two teaspoons of soy sauce, and cook it all together.
- Now add a handful of spinach, and as you stir fry it along, it will wilt and then a little more spinach. It seems like a lot, but it will cook down considerably. Add sesame oil, turn off the heat and top it off with green onion, sesame seeds.
- You can serve the tofu stir fry while it is hot with brown rice or rice noodles and if you want it to be spicy tofu stir fry, add chili flakes.
3. Tofu Stir Fry Recipe With Savory Peanut Sauce
- Home-made peanut sauce transforms tofu and vegetable stir-fries into an enjoyable vegetarian lunch.
- For this tofu stir fry recipe, you need to use extra-firm tofu. Take one block of tofu, make sure to drain the water, place it on a paper towel, then put a pan on top for 30 minutes. Then cut it in half and then into cubes.
- For the peanut sauce recipe, you will need peanut butter, black vinegar, soy sauce, fresh ginger and garlic, sriracha or chili paste, toasted sesame oil, put it all into a blender or a food processor, and you will get a smooth, creamy sauce.
- In a large skillet, pour one tablespoon of canola oil on medium-high heat. Once it is hot, add tofu cubes and let it fry for 10-12 minutes until all sides are brown, you will get crispy tofu. Set it aside. Add two cups of thinly sliced cabbage and a small head of broccoli and sauté or stir fry vegetables for 8 minutes.
- Now add the tofu to the vegetable and mix it with the peanut sauce. Cook it for 1-2 minutes and top it off with sesame seeds, green onions. Serve it while it’s hot with brown rice or cauliflower rice, noodles.
4. Tofu Stir Fry Recipe With Soy Sauce
- The basic Tofu Veggie Stir Fry is loaded with fresh vegetables and plant protein. The sauce is made up of only three ingredients, including broth and honey.
- To make this tofu, stir fry first, in a bowl, mix ¼ cup of low sodium soy sauce, ¼ vegetable broth, one tablespoon honey, or brown sugar. Now take the (2 packets) tofu block, drain it and place it in a paper cloth with a pan on top of it. Then cut it in half then into cubes and season it with one teaspoon of soy sauce.
- In a large skillet, add 1 teaspoon of oil and heat it on medium-high heat. Now add the tofu without flipping it for 3-4 minutes and repeat it on all sides till you get crispy tofu. Then take it off the gas. Sprinkle the tofu cubes with two tablespoons of corn starch and toss it with your hands so that it is evenly coated.
- In a large nonstick skillet, add 1 small broccoli diced, 1 red bell pepper half diced, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, and cook it on medium-high heat for 5 minutes till it is softened. Then add 4 cloves garlic minced and 1 teaspoon of grated ginger and cook for 1 min.
- Add the tofu and sauce and cook it for another 1-2 minutes or until the sauce is warm. Now the tofu stir is done. You can add sesame seeds, green onion and serve them immediately with brown rice or rice noodles.
5. Honey Ginger Stir Fry Tofu Recipe
- First, to make the sauce add three cloves of garlic, two tablespoons of honey,½ cup of low sodium soy sauce, two tablespoons of fresh ginger, ¼ cup of rice wine vinegar, ¼ cup of water, ¼ cup of canola oil. Put it all into a food processor or blender until it is smooth.
- Take the block tofu ( 2 packets of tofu), place it in a paper towel, and put a pan on top of it for 30 minutes. Then cut it in half and then into cubes. Take a large skillet and pour two teaspoons of canola oil on medium-high heat.
- Once the pan is hot, add the tofu and ¼ cup of the stir fry sauce and cook it till the tofu is golden brown.
- Now take a skillet, add ¼ cup of asparagus, stir fry with the sauce until it is crispy, and add the carrots. Serve it while it is hot with brown rice or rice noodles. Sprinkle it with sesame seeds or green onions.
6. Tofu Stir Fry Recipe
- To make the sauce add ¼ cup of soy sauce, ¾ cup of vegetable broth, ¼ cup of soy sauce, two tablespoons of cornstarch, two tablespoons of brown sugar, and this optional add ⅛ cayenne flakes. Put it all into a food processor or blender till it is smooth.
- For this stir fry recipe, we will use extra-firm tofu. Take (2packets of tofu) the tofu block, place it on a paper towel, and put a pan on top for 20-30 minutes. Then cut it in half and into cubes.
- Now take a skillet, add two tablespoons of canola oil in medium-high heat and then add tofu cubes stirring occasionally. Then set it aside.
- Add 1 cup of chopped broccoli, ½ red bell pepper thinly sliced, one thinly sliced medium carrot, and sauté it in high-heat for 2-3 minutes. Mix the tofu and sauce, stir fry it for 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- You can top it off with sesame seeds, green onions and enjoy the tofu stir fry with cauliflower rice, brown rice, or noodles.
- Note: You can keep the tofu stir fry in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days.
7. Simple Tofu Stir Fry
- If you are vegan, this recipe is for you as extra-firm tofu is a good alternative for meat.
- This recipe is different because we will use an oven for baking the tofu and then mixing it with the sauce. First, preheat the oven at 400 F (204 C). Now drain the tofu and place it on a paper towel with a pan on top for 30 minutes.
- This will help make it extra-firm tofu and, you change the towels if it gets too wet. Then cut it in half and then into cubes.
- Now place the tofu on a lightly greased baking sheet; this helps to prevent it from sticking. Then bake it for 25-35 minutes, then flip it halfway through for even cooking. Also, if you want a hard texture, cook it for 30-35 minutes, and if you want a more tender texture, then put it for 20-25 minutes.
- Once it’s golden brown and a bit tough and firm, remove it from the oven and set it out to dry a bit more while you prep your vegetables. You can set it out for another 45 minutes or even longer.
- Take the same skillet and add sesame oil in medium-high heat. Then add the veggies and stir fry or cook it for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables have softened, add the sauce, and once the sauce is thickened, add the tofu cubes.
- Make sure to cook the mixture for 3-5 minutes. Top it off with sesame seeds or green onions, green beans.
- Serve it with rice or noodles for a more filling meal. It is best when eaten fresh, though you can keep it in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
8. Tofu Stir Fry With Sweet Chili Sauce
- To make the sweet chili sauce mixture add six cloves, garlic minced, two tablespoons brown sugar or honey, 1/2 cup water, one tablespoon maple syrup,1-2 tablespoons Chili sauce, one tablespoon of sesame oil, two tablespoons of soy sauce, one tablespoon of corn starch.
- To make the tofu stir-fry first, drain the tofu, and then place it on a paper towel with a pan on top for 30 minutes. Then cut it half and into cubes.
- Now sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt and then evenly coat with two tablespoons of corn starch. In a pan heat, some sesame oil in medium-high heat and then stir fry tofu until it is crispy, golden brown on all sides.
- Set the tofu aside and in the same skillet, add two tablespoons of sesame oil and pan-fry two green onions and 1/2 cup of red bell pepper chopped. Once the vegetables are soft, add the sauce, and let it cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add the tofu and stir fry it all together for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Serve the tofu stir fry with green onions or cilantro, green beans and brown rice or noodles.
9. Tofu Stir Fry With Chili Garlic Sauce
- To make the tofu stir fry, drain the tofu and then place it on a paper towel with a pan on top. Then cut the tofu in half and then into cubes. Put the tofu in a bowl and evenly coat it with one tablespoon of corn starch.
- In a large skillet, pour sesame oil in medium-high heat add the tofu. Cook it for 3-4 minutes on both sides until it is lightly browned. Now set aside the tofu.
- Take the same skillet, pour sesame oil in medium heat, add 2-3 chopped garlic, 1/2 ginger finely chopped, and add 1 teaspoon of chili flakes. Now cook it for 2-3 minutes until fragrance comes out.
- Now add 1 sliced shallot and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until it is translucent. Then add 1 1/2 tablespoon ketchup, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and cook it for 2-3 minutes.
- Add 2-3 teaspoons of corn starch mixed with water to thicken the sauce and cook it for 2-3 minutes.
- Added chili garlic sauce and tofu. Garnish it with green onion or sesame seeds. Serve the tofu stir fry with cauliflower rice or rice noodles.
10. Thai Tofu Stir Fry
- To make Thai tofu, stir fry first, drain the tofu and place it on a paper towel with a pan on top for 30 minutes. Then cut the tofu half and then into the cube.
- To make the tofu sauce add 2 teaspoons of dark soy sauce, 3 teaspoons of lime juice, sriracha or chili sauce ( according to taste), 1 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil.
- Now evenly coat the tofu with 1 1/2 teaspoon of corn starch, 1/4 salt, 1/4 white pepper powder. In a large skillet, pour some sesame oil in medium-high heat and add the tofu ahead. Cook the tofu on both sides for 3-4 minutes until it is brown and crispy tofu.
- Add 5-6 cloves of garlic minced, 1 inch of finely chopped fresh ginger, 1 large red pepper. Cook it till fragrance come out or color change. Now add the sauce and cook it for 30 sec till the tofu is completely coated in the sauce.
- Serve the Thai tofu stir fry with rice or noodle.
Nutrition Serving of Tofu
Before you cook tofu stir fry, here are some of the nutritional servings. Tofu is a source of protein, and it has all nine amino acids. Tofu is also a great source of iron, calcium, phosphorous. Also, in addition to this, tofu contains magnesium, zinc and vitamin B1.
- 73 kcal
- 4.2g fat
- 0.5g sat fat
- 0.7g carbohydrate
- 8.1g protein
Health Benefits Of Tofu
Whether you eat tofu raw, have it in curry, salads, tofu stir fry, you need to understand the health benefits of adding tofu to your daily diet. Having a healthy tofu stir fry or salad can bring good changes to your health.
1. Tofu has no saturated fat
The thing about tofu is that it contains no saturated fat. What saturated fat does is that it contributes to heart disease, hypertension.
2. Helps with weight loss and obesity
Tofu has deficient levels of cholesterol and fat, and this is great for effective weight loss. If you have fermented tofu, that is good because it is rich in peptides that burn fat, also prevents the fatty acids from blending into the cells. So, if you are looking for ways to manage your obesity, you should add tofu to your daily diet.
3. Anti-Cancer Properties
Tofu has a good amount of isoflavones which are known to be beneficial in reducing cancer. Researches show that consumption of product like tofu minimizes the risk of endometrial cancer in post-menopausal women. Also, it is known to reduce breast, lung and prostate cancer.
4. Boost Heart Health
Having tofu daily is an easy way to take care of your heart. The U.S. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that having 25 grams of soy protein a day helps to lower heart disease risk.
How tofu helps with heart health is because tofu is a source of polyunsaturated fats and fiber. May also replace the saturated fat in red or processed meats, which improves overall diet quality. Several studies have found that eating soy protein may help lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels in your blood, lowering your heart disease risk.
5. Improves Immunity System
Right now, we need to take care of our immune system, especially now because of covid-19. Tofu is rich in proteins, nutrients, minerals and antioxidants aids in improving the functioning of the immune system.
6. Prevents types 2 Diabetes
Tofu has high levels of proteins and other nutrients, which aids in controlling blood sugar levels in those who have type-2 diabetes.
If you are diabetic, you know how important it is for you to be on a low-fat and low-calorie diet. Tofu is perfect for the, and if you do not have diabetes, tofu is said to reduce insulin resistance, reducing the risk of you getting type 2 diabetes significantly.
7. Prevents Hair Loss
Tofu is an excellent source of protein and has minerals like selenium which is great for your hair. It makes you healthy, lusters and has good volume.
8. Maintains Blood Pressure
How does tofu help to maintain Blood Pressure? Tofu is full of bioactive peptides, and their compounds help the food act like anti-inflammatory agents. When the inflammation reduces, the damage caused to the blood vessels reduces. This keeps blood pressure under control.
9. Prevents anemia
We know that anemia develops because of severe iron deficiency in the body that causes red blood cells to drop. Tofu is a good source of iron that can help prevent anemia. Also, some studies show that tofu helps lower the risk of anemia in adults.
10. Keeps Wrinkles Away
Tofu is good for your skin as well and what it does is the protein in tofu increases the elasticity of the skin. It also gives you a youthful look and tones facial muscles. So having tofu daily helps with fine lines and premature aging.
11. Kidney Diseases
Tofu has a great source of minerals present, and it is essential to consume food rich in protein, phosphorus, and sodium for any treatment plan for chronic kidney diseases. As tofu is rich in nutrients and is excellent for your health.
How To Store Tofu Stir Fry
To properly store tofu stir fry, you need to make it in an airtight container. Also, the tofu stir fry can be kept for up to 5-7 days and heat it in the microwave or reheat in a pan with some sesame oil. Also, add a little soy sauce for more flavor.
Here are healthy tofu stir fry recipes that you can enjoy eating with rice or noodles. Also, all the ingredients mentioned are vegan and plant-based. Do note that one of the tofu stir fry recipes uses peanut butter to make the sauce. If you are allergic to it, then check out other recipes mentioned.
Also, everything should be consumed in moderation, even tofu. Tofu does have a lot of health benefits, but it should be eaten in moderation.
Tofu contains many nutrients and, too much can be harmful same as not having enough nutrients. Many health experts suggest that you should have 4 ounces of tofu per day in your diet.