Vegan Tofu Stir-Fry Recipe

Over the past few years, there's been a big to-do in the world of vegan cooking over all manner of new meat substitutes, such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Burgers. This doesn't mean, however, that there isn't still a place for the old standby tofu, the star of many a meat-free meal in the pre-Impossible era. Recipe developer Catherine Brookes sings its praises, telling us "Tofu is great because it takes on the flavors of a dish really easily."

Brookes describes this vegan stir-fry as "so fresh and tasty," and explains that "The crispy tofu soaks up all the flavor of the sweet and sour Asian-inspired sauce and it makes a great simple, healthy weeknight dinner." Besides the tofu, there's one other unsung ingredient that plays an important role here: cornstarch. It not only thickens and makes your sauce glossy, but a light dusting over the tofu allows it to fry up and become nice and crispy instead of squishy.

Assemble the ingredients for the vegan tofu stir-fry

For this stir-fry, you'll be using an extra-firm type of tofu. You will also need a number of vegetables — Brookes opts for red bell pepper, broccoli, and carrots in this recipe, but says, "Corn, sugar snap peas, green beans, or bean sprouts would all work great here." The remaining ingredients required to complete this dish are rice vinegar, cornstarch, soy sauce, maple syrup, ginger, garlic, olive oil, sesame oil, salt, and pepper.

Make the sauce and season the tofu

In a small bowl, stir the vinegar with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, then add soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, ginger, and as much salt and pepper as you feel it needs. This is the stir-fry sauce you will add to the pan toward the end of the cooking time.

Take the rest of the cornstarch and toss it with the tofu cubes in a bowl, seasoning them with some salt and pepper to taste.

Fry the tofu and vegetables separately

Pour the olive oil into a wok or pan and heat it over medium-high. When it's hot, fry the tofu for 6 to 8 minutes or until it looks golden in color and has a crispy texture. Take it out of the pan, then add the sesame oil and fry the vegetables. These will take about 5 minutes to cook and should appear wilted and a little bit charred by the end.

Combine all of the stir-fry ingredients

Put the tofu back in the pan and stir in the sauce, then cook the stir-fry for 2 more minutes to make sure everything is warm. If you wish, you can eat it with either rice or noodles. If you want a garnish as well, Brookes suggests using green onions and/or sesame seeds.

You'll need to eat this dish fairly quickly as Brookes notes that "Leftovers can be stored for up to 2 days in the fridge," and adds that she doesn't recommend freezing them. This means that if you don't want to have this stir-fry for dinner two days in a row and can't finish it all in one night, your best bet might be to adjust the portion size.

Vegan Tofu Stir-Fry Recipe
5 from 25 ratings
As the OG vegetarian protein source, tofu is an excellent addition to this delicious vegan stir-fry. This easy recipe will become your new weeknight favorite.
Prep Time
Cook Time
tofu and vegetables on rice
Total time: 23 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch chunk of ginger, grated or minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 ounces extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ head broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
Optional Ingredients
  • green onions, garnish
  • sesame seeds, garnish
  1. Combine the vinegar with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
  2. Stir the soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, and ginger into the vinegar mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Toss the remaining cornstarch over the tofu to coat and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a wok or pan on medium-high.
  5. Fry the tofu for 6 to 8 minutes until it is golden and crisp on the outside.
  6. Remove the tofu from the pan and add the sesame oil.
  7. Fry the red bell pepper, broccoli, and carrot for about 5 minutes until slightly charred and softened.
  8. Add the tofu back into the pan and stir in the sauce.
  9. Cook the stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  10. Serve the stir-fry over rice or noodles if desired, with green onions and/or sesame seeds as a garnish.
Calories per Serving 273
Total Fat 13.7 g
Saturated Fat 2.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 29.5 g
Dietary Fiber 5.5 g
Total Sugars 13.3 g
Sodium 722.7 mg
Protein 12.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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