With the synergy of gently sweet and salty flavors, stir-fried tofu becomes a tasty treat once it turns crisp and golden.
When you want a basic tofu dish to boost the protein content of a meal, this might just become your go-to recipe.
Use as a protein-boosting side or in a veggie stir-fry. In addition to or instead of the optional scallions and carrots suggested in the recipe, you can add some quick-cooking greens to the stir fry pan — bok choy is great with this — and call it a meal. Or, set the sautéed tofu aside while stir-frying a batch of whatever veggies happen to be in the fridge, then add them back in at the last minute.
Serve over noodle or grains. This is a perfect pairing with Asian-style noodle or rice dishes, or simply serve on a bed of your favorite grain.
How to choose the right kind of tofu for recipes
If you’re a tofu novice, you might like to know more about what type to use for what kinds of dishes. Tofu varieties aren’t created equal!
You need not keep all varieties of tofu in your refrigerator at all times — get what you need for the week ahead. The tub variety comes in 14- to 16-ounce containers. In addition to a few 12.3-ounce aseptic packages of firm and extra-firm silken tofu in your pantry, here are the varieties you may want to choose from:
Soft and firm tofu: These varieties are good for crumbling to use in scrambles or for eggless “egg salad.” Well crumbled, both make a good substitute for ricotta cheese. Like silken tofu, these can be pureed for use as a soup or sauce base, though they don’t turn out as smooth as silken tofu.
Extra-firm tofu: Available in the usual tubs and also fresh in chunks or cakes. There are use this when you want the tofu to hold its shape. Extra-firm tofu is ideal for use in stir-fries, stews, and for making cutlets.
Baked tofu: Most often, baked tofu comes in 8-ounce packages, and isn’t water-packed like tub varieties — so it need not be drained and blotted. Ready-to-use baked tofu can be sliced, diced, or crumbled for use in stir-fries, sandwiches, salads, and the tortilla specialties. It’s a handy, compassionate alternative to chicken and tuna.
- 14- to 16-ounce tub extra-firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (reduced sodium if desired), or to taste
- Sriracha or dried hot red pepper flakes to taste
- 2 to 3 scallions, sliced
- 1 cup pre-grated carrots, optional
- Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch-thick slices crosswise to get 6 slabs. Blot well between clean tea-towels or several layers of paper towel (or use a tofu press ahead of time). Cut each slab into dice.
- Slowly heat the oil, syrup, and soy sauce together in a skillet or stir-fry pan, stirring together as they heat up.
- Add the tofu and stir quickly to coat. Sauté over medium-high heat until golden-brown and crisp on most sides, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Taste and add more syrup and/or soy sauce if you’d like, along with the optional sriracha or dried hot red pepper flakes for some heat.
- If using, add scallions and or carrots, stir-fry for another minute or two, then serve at once.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 220Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 508mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 17g
Nutrition data is always an estimate depending on program used to calculate and exact products used.
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