Sesame Ginger Dressing

This Sesame Ginger Dressing is probably one of the most addictive homemade dressings I’ve ever made. It’s sweet, salty, tangy, and has a super “zingy” fresh ginger bite. It’s one of those dressings that you’ll just want to keep dipping your spoon into. The type of dressing that will make you want to eat a […]

The post Sesame Ginger Dressing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This Sesame Ginger Dressing is probably one of the most addictive homemade dressings I’ve ever made. It’s sweet, salty, tangy, and has a super “zingy” fresh ginger bite. It’s one of those dressings that you’ll just want to keep dipping your spoon into. The type of dressing that will make you want to eat a salad just to serve as a vehicle for the delicious dressing (that’s not exactly a bad thing). But, if you’re like me, you’ll probably just end up drizzling it over everything!

Originally posted 2-5-2012, updated 7-23-2020.

Sesame ginger dressing in a wooden bowl, garnished with sesame seeds, a spoon in the middle of the bowl.

What is Tahini?

Tahini is a paste made out of ground sesame seeds. Think of it like peanut butter, but made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts! It’s one of the base ingredients for this dressing and can not be substituted in this recipe. The tahini not only adds sesame flavor to the recipe, but it also helps thicken the dressing. You can usually find tahini in the grocery store either near the peanut butter, or near the middle-eastern ingredients in the international aisle. 

Can I Substitute the Rice Vinegar?

I don’t suggest substituting the rice vinegar in this recipe. Rice vinegar has a uniquely mild flavor and acidity compared to other vinegars, which keeps it from overpowering the other flavors. While you might be able to use another type of vinegar, you’d probably also need to adjust the amount or the ratio of other ingredients to compensate for the increased acidity. 

How Long Does This Sesame Ginger Dressing Last?

Because this dressing uses fresh ginger and garlic, I suggest keeping it stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. But it tastes so good that hopefully you’ll finish it off before then!

How to Use Sesame Ginger Dressing

This dressing goes great over crunchy salads, like my Crunchy Cabbage Salad, but it can also be poured over cold noodle salads, used to dip egg rolls or dumplings, or poured over rice bowls. The sky’s the limit and I’m sure once you’ll taste it you’ll want it on everything!

Sesame ginger dressing being poured over crunchy cabbage salad from a mason jar

 
A wooden bowl filled with sesame ginger dressing next to a knob of fresh ginger

Sesame Ginger Dressing

This homemade sesame ginger dressing will drench your favorite salad with a sweet, salty, and nutty flavor, and a fresh gingery bite!
Total Cost $2.03 recipe / $0.20 sesrving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 10 2 Tbsp each
Calories 132.33kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger $0.30
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil* $0.32
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar $0.53
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.12
  • 3 Tbsp honey $0.36
  • 1 Tbsp tahini $0.19
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.05

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and grate the ginger (I use a small-holed cheese grater)
  • Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, tahini, and toasted sesame oil to a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Serve over salad or as a dipping sauce.

Notes

*Any neutral-flavored salad oil, like peanut, canola, safflower, grapeseed, or sesame (untoasted) will work fine for this dressing.
If your dressing is too thick for pouring, simply stir in a tablespoon or two of water to loosen it up.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 132.33kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.98g | Protein: 0.59g | Fat: 12.27g | Sodium: 177.95mg | Fiber: 0.2g

How to Make Sesame Ginger Dressing – Step by Step Photos

garlic press with two cloves of garlic, and fresh ginger with a microplane

Begin by mincing two cloves of garlic and grating about 1 Tbsp of fresh ginger. I like to use my garlic press to easily mince the garlic and a small-holed cheese grater to easily grate the ginger. Ginger grates easier if it’s frozen (the little hairs don’t clog the grater). I don’t even bother peeling it, I just make sure the peel is very clean.

minced garlic and grated ginger

And that’s what it looks like once the garlic is minced and ginger grated (for everyone who is visual, like me).

Rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and tahini

Here are three of the most important ingredients in this dressing: rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and tahini. Toasted sesame oil has a much stronger nutty flavor than regular (or un-toasted) sesame oil. You can usually find it near other Asian ingredients in the international aisle. 

Dressing ingredients in the blender

Add the 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 Tbsp grated ginger, ½ cup neutral salad oil, ¼ cup rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 3 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp tahini, and ½ tsp toasted sesame oil to a blender. Any neutral-flavored salad oil, like peanut, canola, grapeseed, sesame (un-toasted), or safflower will work fine.

Blended dressing on a spoon in the blender

Blend until the dressing is smooth and creamy. If your dressing ends up being really thick and you’d like it a little more pourable, simply stir in a tablespoon or two of water.

A wooden bowl filled with sesame ginger dressing next to a knob of fresh ginger

Enjoy the sesame ginger dressing poured over your favorite salad, or as a dipping sauce!

The post Sesame Ginger Dressing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sesame Cucumber Salad

This salad is one of the very first recipes I ever posted on Budget Bytes. Like, way back when I was still taking photos with my pre-smart-phone era phone. Yikes! Because this Sesame Cucumber Salad is still one of my favorite dishes and my favorite way to use up all those delicious and inexpensive summer […]

The post Sesame Cucumber Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This salad is one of the very first recipes I ever posted on Budget Bytes. Like, way back when I was still taking photos with my pre-smart-phone era phone. Yikes! Because this Sesame Cucumber Salad is still one of my favorite dishes and my favorite way to use up all those delicious and inexpensive summer cucumbers, I had to repost it and give it the proper attention it needs. So, if this Sesame Cucumber recipe is new to you, I hope it becomes one of your go-to fav’s as it has for me. It will serve you well!

Originally posted July 2019, updated 7-9-2020.

A bowl of Sesame Cucumber Salad from above, chopsticks on the side

Do I Have to Use Rice Vinegar?

I strongly urge you not to substitute the rice vinegar in this recipe. Rice vinegar has a uniquely mild flavor and acidity that is just perfect for this recipe. While people have substituted the rice vinegar with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, I find them both a bit too strong for this recipe. Also, be mindful not to use “seasoned” rice vinegar, which has other ingredients added and tastes quite different.

Where Do You Find Rice Vinegar?

Rice vinegar is fairly inexpensive, can be found in the Asian section of most major grocery stores, and will stay good in your pantry for just about forever. If you make Budget Bytes recipes on the regular, I promise it will get used again! In fact, here is a direct link to all the recipes on my website that use Rice Vinegar.

What is Toasted Sesame Oil?

The other key ingredient in this cucumber salad is toasted sesame oil. Unlike regular sesame oil, toasted sesame oil has a very strong nutty flavor and a little bit can really add a LOT of flavor to any dish. You can find toasted sesame oil in the international aisle of most major grocery stores, or Asian grocery stores. It may not say “toasted” on the label, but you’ll know it is toasted by the deep walnut color. Untoasted sesame oil is a light straw color, like canola oil.

How Long Does This Salad Last?

This salad does get kind of limp in the refrigerator fairly quickly, but it’s still insanely good once the cucumbers soften. They’re almost like pickled cucumber slices at that point. They’ve been marinating in the spicy-sweet vinegar solution and are just totally delicious! I enjoy this salad for about 2-3 days after making it (if I don’t eat it all sooner). If you like your cucumbers to stay crunchy, try cutting them into chunks instead of thin slices.

Side view of a bowl of sesame cucumber salad, chopsticks picking up one slice of cucumber

 
Side view of a bowl of sesame cucumber salad, chopsticks picking up one slice of cucumber

Sesame Cucumber Salad

Sesame Cucumber Salad is light, refreshing, and vibrant in flavor. It's the perfect summer side dish or companion to any Southeast Asian inspired meal.
Total Cost $2.44 recipe / $0.41 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 62.82kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

DRESSING

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar $0.70
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.05
  • 1/4 crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 large cucumbers $1.38
  • 3 green onions $0.13
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts $0.12

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, crushed red pepper, and salt. Set the dressing aside.
  • Peel and slice the cucumber using your favorite method (see photos below for my technique). Place the sliced cucumbers in a large bowl.
  • Chop the peanuts into smaller pieces. Slice the green onions.
  • Add the peanuts, green onions, and dressing to the sliced cucumbers. Stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. Give the salad a brief stir before serving to redistribute the dressing and flavors.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 62.82kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.63g | Protein: 1.87g | Fat: 3.1g | Sodium: 199.82mg | Fiber: 1.4g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Overhead view of a bowl full of sesame cucumber salad

How to Make Sesame Cucumber Salad – Step by Step Photos

Spicy vinegar dressing in a bowl

Start by making the dressing. In a small bowl, stir together 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp granulated sugar, 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp salt. Set the dressing aside.

Bottle of toasted sesame oil and a bottle of rice vinegar

Here is the toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar that I used. The sesame oil is from Aldi and the rice vinegar is from Kroger.

Two cucumbers, one half peeled

Peel and slice two large cucumbers however you like. I like to remove strips of the peel to create a cool striped effect once they’re sliced. If you don’t like cucumber seeds, you can slice the cucumber lengthwise before slicing into rounds and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds in the center.

Two cucumbers, one mostly sliced

I prefer thin slices so that there is more surface area to come into contact with the dressing. The thinner slices will become soft and wobbly after storing them in the dressing, but I kind of like that, too. If you prefer them to stay crunchy longer, you’ll want to do thicker slices. 

Sliced green onion and chopped peanuts

Roughly chop 1/4 cup peanuts and slice 3 green onions.

Dressing being poured over cucumbers, green onion, and peanuts

Place the sliced cucumbers in a large bowl, add the sliced green onion and chopped peanuts, then pour the dressing over top.

Finished sesame cucumber salad in the bowl

Finally, stir it all up and you’re ready to eat! Serve it immediately or refrigerate for later.

Side view of a bowl full of sesame cucumber salad, chopsticks on the side

The flavors do get really good as it sits in the fridge, although the cucumbers get softer (some people don’t like that–I kind of do!). Either way, this Thai Cucumber Salad is super refreshing and delicious. It always has been and always will be my favorite!

The post Sesame Cucumber Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Quick Soba Noodles

Need a quick noodle fix? These simple soba noodles are fast and full of flavor: perfect as an Asian style side dish or easy dinner. Need a quick noodle fix? Try these simple soba noodles! Soba are a Japanese buckwheat noodle, and they’re perfect as a component for a fast and easy dinner. Done in about 15 minutes, they’re covered in a zingy sauce of soy, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Throw them in a bowl and top with an egg or sauteed shrimp, and you’ve got dinner! Because they’re so fast, Alex and I have been relying on them as a crutch for quick weeknight meals. They’re also a great side dish for Asian-style meals like Teriyaki Salmon or Shrimp and Broccoli. Here’s what you need to know about soba! Types of soba noodles Soba are a traditional Japanese buckwheat noodle. They’re easy to find at your local grocery, either in the noodles section or near the Japanese ingredients. Because they’re made with buckwheat flour, most soba are naturally gluten-free. However, some brands also have wheat flour in them: so make sure to check the package if you eat gluten free. There […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Need a quick noodle fix? These simple soba noodles are fast and full of flavor: perfect as an Asian style side dish or easy dinner.

Soba noodles

Need a quick noodle fix? Try these simple soba noodles! Soba are a Japanese buckwheat noodle, and they’re perfect as a component for a fast and easy dinner. Done in about 15 minutes, they’re covered in a zingy sauce of soy, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Throw them in a bowl and top with an egg or sauteed shrimp, and you’ve got dinner! Because they’re so fast, Alex and I have been relying on them as a crutch for quick weeknight meals. They’re also a great side dish for Asian-style meals like Teriyaki Salmon or Shrimp and Broccoli. Here’s what you need to know about soba!

Types of soba noodles

Soba are a traditional Japanese buckwheat noodle. They’re easy to find at your local grocery, either in the noodles section or near the Japanese ingredients. Because they’re made with buckwheat flour, most soba are naturally gluten-free. However, some brands also have wheat flour in them: so make sure to check the package if you eat gluten free.

There is a lot of variation in soba noodle brands! Alex and I have tested dozens, and we find that every brand of soba is different. Some are very thin and tend to break, so we try to look for soba that are thicker and hold up better. Make sure to experiment a bit to find the brand of soba that you like best.

Soba noodles

What’s in this soba noodles recipe?

This soba noodles recipe is fast and easy to make, and most of the ingredients are pantry staples! It’s essentially a pantry meal aside from the green onion. So you can leave out the green onions if you don’t have them on hand! Here’s what’s in this soba noodles recipe:

  • Soba noodles
  • Soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • Toasted sesame oil: make sure it is toasted, not regular! Toasted sesame oil is intended for flavoring, whereas regular sesame oil is neutral in flavor
  • Rice vinegar
  • Honey or maple syrup
  • Miso: optional but adds great flavor (see below)
  • Garlic
  • Green onions (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional; if you use them toast them!)
Soba noodles with sesame seeds

Rinse your soba to remove starch!

Here’s an important note about cooking soba noodles: rinse them after they’re done cooking! Rinsing pasta is not required for something like Italian spaghetti or penne. But for soba, rinsing is necessary to remove starch the builds up during cooking.

If you don’t rinse, here’s what happens: the soba becomes very gummy and mushy. It also absorbs the sauce and becomes dry instead of saucy. So please: rinse your soba after cooking! You’ll notice a big difference.

A secret ingredient: miso

This soba noodles recipe contains a little secret ingredient: miso! If you’ve never cooked with it, we highly recommend getting a container for your fridge (and it lasts for months). Miso is a Japanese fermented soybean paste that’s full of nutrients and savory flavor (or, umami). Umami is the so called “fifth flavor” after sour, salty, sweet, and bitter. It adds incredible flavor to any dish!

You can find miso at most major grocery stores near the other Japanese ingredients. There are many different types of miso, all with different flavors: red, yellow, and brown. Alex and I used brown miso here, which contributed to the dark color of these noodles.

Since we cook mostly plant based, Alex and I tend to use it to get a meaty or cheesy flavor in recipes. It’s great in Easy Miso Ramen, and even works to substitute Parmesan flavor in our Vegan Pesto!

Sesame soba noodles

Why to toast sesame seeds

For the best flavor, garnish these soba noodles with toasted sesame seeds! Of course, you can just use straight up sesame seeds. But toasting your sesame seeds in a pan heightens the nutty flavor considerably. It’s almost like using salt on food: it brings out the existing flavor and takes it to new heights! It only takes 3 minutes to toast sesame seeds, and you can store leftovers in a sealed container for months. Go to How to Toast Sesame Seeds.

Make it a meal!

Now for the fun part: how to make these soba noodles into a meal! You can serve them as part of an easy dinner main dish, or a side to an Asian style entree. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Top with an egg. The easiest way to make it dinner! Top with a fried egg or soft boiled egg. Dinner, solved!
  • Top with tofu. This Pan fried tofu is our favorite method for weeknights. Or try Marinaded tofu, which requires little hands on effort and can be stored in the fridge.
  • Top with shrimp. Try this quick and healthy Sauteed shrimp! To stick with Asian flavors, use plain sesame oil for cooking and substitute the lemon for a drizzle of rice vinegar and soy sauce at the end.
  • Add edamame. This quick Asian style side is so simple! Try with Easy Edamame or Spicy Edamame.
  • Serve with a stir fry! Try it with our Easy Stir Fry Vegetables!
  • Serve as a side dish to shrimp or salmon. Try it with Teriyaki Salmon or Shrimp and Broccoli.
Soba noodles recipe

This soba noodles recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Print
Soba noodles

Quick Soba Noodles


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Need a quick noodle fix? These simple soba noodles are fast and full of flavor: perfect as an Asian style side dish or easy dinner.


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 1/4 cup regular soy sauce (or substitute tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon miso (optional; we used dark miso)
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 4 green onions
  • Sriracha, to taste (optional)
  • Toasted sesame seeds*
  • To make it a meal: Fried egg or soft boiled egg, Pan fried tofu or Marinaded tofu, or Sauteed shrimp

Instructions

  1. Cook the noodles: Cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions: it should take about 4 to 5 minutes. Important: when the noodles are done cooking, rinse them under cool running water in a strainer, tossing them to remove the starch. Then shake off excess water. If you’d like the noodles to be warm when serving, run them under warm water for a few seconds; you can also serve room temperature or cold. (If you skip this step, the noodles soak up the sauce and become too dry.)
  2. Whisk the sauce: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey or maple syrup, miso (if using), and grated garlic.
  3. Slice the onions: Thinly slice the green onions on the bias (diagonally), using both white and dark green parts.
  4. Combine and serve: Return the rinsed and shaken dry noodles to the pan or a bowl; stir in the sauce and green onions. Place in serving bowls, top with sesame seeds and serve. 

Notes

*Toasting the sesame seeds really brings out the nutty flavor! It takes only 3 minutes and you can taste the difference. Store toasted sesame seeds for months in a sealed container in the pantry.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Keywords: Soba noodles

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Broccoli Stir Fry

This broccoli stir fry makes this green vegetable taste irresistible! Serve it as a tasty side dish, or add a protein and you’ve got dinner. Want to make broccoli taste irresistible? Try this broccoli stir fry! This healthy green veggie is covered in a sauce that’s so flavorful, you’ll forget that it’s good for you. Really, Alex and I couldn’t stop sneaking bites out of the pan (that’s how tasty it is). The broccoli is accessorized with a few other veggies, garlic and ginger, and an incredibly savory sauce. There’s so much flavor going on, it’s one of the best ways to eat your colorful veggies. You can serve it two ways: as a side dish, or add a protein and serve with rice, and you’ve got dinner! What’s in this broccoli stir fry? This broccoli stir fry stars not only broccoli, but three more of the best vegetables you can eat. It’s whole food plant based (WFPB) and full of all the nutrients those colorful veggies bring. Here’s what you’ll find in this recipe: Broccoli (including broccolini if you can find it: see below!) Orange pepper Red onion Portobello mushrooms Garlic & ginger Stir fry sauce with mirin, rice […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This broccoli stir fry makes this green vegetable taste irresistible! Serve it as a tasty side dish, or add a protein and you’ve got dinner.

Broccoli stir fry

Want to make broccoli taste irresistible? Try this broccoli stir fry! This healthy green veggie is covered in a sauce that’s so flavorful, you’ll forget that it’s good for you. Really, Alex and I couldn’t stop sneaking bites out of the pan (that’s how tasty it is). The broccoli is accessorized with a few other veggies, garlic and ginger, and an incredibly savory sauce. There’s so much flavor going on, it’s one of the best ways to eat your colorful veggies. You can serve it two ways: as a side dish, or add a protein and serve with rice, and you’ve got dinner!

Broccoli stir fry

What’s in this broccoli stir fry?

This broccoli stir fry stars not only broccoli, but three more of the best vegetables you can eat. It’s whole food plant based (WFPB) and full of all the nutrients those colorful veggies bring. Here’s what you’ll find in this recipe:

The most time involved in the recipe is chopping all the vegetables! It will take a few minutes to complete, but don’t worry: all that chopping is worth it. Once you’re done chopping, the cooking is a breeze: you’ll stir fry the veggies for about 6 to 7 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger for 1 minute more. Then remove the heat, add the sauce, and you’re done!

Broccolini

Add broccolini if you can find it!

What’s broccolini? While it looks like baby broccoli, it’s actually not! Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. The cross combines the long stems of Chinese broccoli with the florets of broccoli, and has a milder flavor than broccoli. Fun fact: Did you know broccolini was invented in 1993? And here I was thinking it was an elegant Italian ingredient that had hundreds of years of history. Nope, it’s not even 20 years old.

Broccolini is more of a specialty ingredient, so it’s not carried in all grocery stores. It’s usually by the broccoli, so look for a very small bunch of broccoli with long stems. The bunch will feel small, and that’s ok: you’re using it for a fun texture contrast and its elegant look. What if you can’t find it? Substitute 1 more head standard broccoli into this dish.

Broccoli stir fry

Idea 1: Broccoli stir fry as a side dish

This broccoli stir fry we designed to work in two ways: as a side dish, or as a main dish when served with a protein! What meals would it work with as a side dish? Here are a few ideas:

Idea 2: Make it into a main dish

If you wanted a broccoli stir fry that makes a main dish, this recipe works too! Because it doesn’t have any filling protein in it, you’ll need to add a protein. Here are some ideas:

  • Cashews: Throw 3/4 cup cashews into this stir fry when you add the broccoli. This makes a main dish of about 2 to 3 servings. To make it stretch further, make…
  • Marinaded Tofu: This easy marinaded tofu would be perfect to serve with the stir fry! We’d place each in a bowl separately served over rice (don’t mix together). You also go more free-form and eat it with Scrambled Tofu.
  • Sauteed Shrimp: Make this recipe but omit the Old Bay and cumin. Use sesame oil instead of olive oil to saute, and lime to brighten.
  • Serve with Rice: Serve each of the variations above with rice! We like brown rice because it has more fiber and nutrients. Try our White Rice, Brown Rice (the Fast Way), or Instant Pot Rice.
Broccoli

Broccoli nutrition

Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat! It’s a cruciferous vegetable, part of a veggie family that includes cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale. When you eat this broccoli stir fry, you’re loading yourself with good things. Here’s what’s great about broccoli:

  • It’s a great source of fiber. 1 cup of raw broccoli has 2.3 grams of fiber, or about 5 to 10% of your daily need. (Source)
  • It’s also high in protein for a green vegetable. 1 cup also has 3 grams protein. (Source) That’s a similar level to asparagus and potatoes.
  • It’s very high in Vitamin C. 1/2 cup has 70% your daily value of Vitamin C! Wow. (Source)
Broccoli stir fry

Other broccoli recipes

Finally: do you love broccoli? Outside of this broccoli stir fry, here are some of our favorite ways to eat it:

  • Best Steamed Broccoli Steamed broccoli is an easy, healthy side dish that turns out bright green and crisp tender every time. Add red onion and feta if you’d like!
  • Simple Sauteed Broccoli Make your broccoli taste amazing in just 10 minutes! This easy sauteed broccoli highlights its fresh flavor and comes out perfectly crisp tender.
  • Broccoli Cheese Wild Rice Casserole Enjoy your broccoli casserole style, with white cheddar cheese and chewy wild rice.

This broccoli stir fry recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Print
Broccoli stir fry

Broccoli Stir Fry (Side or Main!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 as a side, 3 to 4 as a main with added protein

Description

This broccoli stir fry makes this green vegetable taste irresistible! Serve it as a tasty side dish, or add a protein and you’ve got dinner.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds (2 large heads) broccoli
  • 1 head broccolini (or 1 additional head of broccoli)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 2 portobello mushroom caps
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, grated (about a 2-inch nub)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (regular, not toasted)
  • Kosher salt
  • For the garnish: sliced green onion, sesame seeds (optional)
  • To serve as a main dish: Add 3/4 cup cashews with broccoli*, or make Marinaded Tofu or Sauteed Shrimp (with sesame oil and lime) and serve with rice

Instructions

  1. Chop the broccoli and broccolini into large florets (about 6 cups florets total). Chop the red onion into bite sized squares. Dice the pepper into bite sized squares. Remove the stems from the portobellos (if necessary), slice them into strips, then cut the larger pieces in half. Place all of the vegetables in a large bowl.
  2. Mince the garlic. Peel the ginger and grate it. Place them together in a small bowl.
  3. Stir together the mirin, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and Sriracha in a small bowl.
  4. In a large skillet over high heat, and heat the oil. Add the broccoli, broccolini (if using), red onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms and cook 6 to 7 minutes until just starting to brown on edges, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the garlic and ginger cook for 1 minute more, until broccoli is crisp tender but still bright green. Turn off the heat and add sauce; stir until combined. Taste and add additional pinches salt as necessary. Serve immediately. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion (optional).

Notes

*Adding cashews would serve about 2 to 3 as a vegetarian main; adding tofu can stretch it to 4.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stir Fry
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: Broccoli Stir Fry

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Miso-Glazed Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Miso-Glazed Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you’ve been looking for a quick, reliable way to make crispy roasted Brussels sprouts, you’re in the right place!

We’ve perfected our method for tender-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside sprouts plus a tangy, salty glaze that sends the flavor over the top. Let’s do this!

This recipe is simple, requiring just 30 minutes and 8 ingredients to make.

The Trick to Crispy Brussels Sprouts

  • Halved, seasoned Brussels sprouts cook first on the stovetop, then finish in the oven.

Miso-Glazed Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Minimalist Baker →

Easy Marinated Tofu

This marinated tofu doesn’t even need to be cooked! Flavored with soy, sesame oil and ginger, this easy tofu recipe will be your new favorite. (It’s ours.) Alex and I don’t eat a lot of tofu. But this marinated tofu: well, it’s special. It’s packed with savory umami: toasted sesame oil and ginger and garlic and soy sauce. There’s a touch of maple to balance, and it’s mixed with green onion and sesame seeds. Oh: and you don’t have to cook it! All you have to do is throw in the fridge to marinate: so it’s almost totally hands off. Normally we don’t evangelize tofu. But with this easy tofu recipe: we’re 1000% excited about it. You’ve got to try this one…we promise it’s a winner. Throw it in a bowl with quinoa, tahini sauce and some fresh veggies, and you’ve got a healthy lunch or dinner. How to make this easy marinated tofu recipe Where did we get the idea for this marinated tofu recipe? Well, we actually had it at an airport. AN AIRPORT? Yes, I know, I can confidently say that this is the first and only recipe on A Couple Cooks that has ever been inspired […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

This marinated tofu doesn’t even need to be cooked! Flavored with soy, sesame oil and ginger, this easy tofu recipe will be your new favorite. (It’s ours.)

Marinated tofu

Alex and I don’t eat a lot of tofu. But this marinated tofu: well, it’s special. It’s packed with savory umami: toasted sesame oil and ginger and garlic and soy sauce. There’s a touch of maple to balance, and it’s mixed with green onion and sesame seeds. Oh: and you don’t have to cook it! All you have to do is throw in the fridge to marinate: so it’s almost totally hands off. Normally we don’t evangelize tofu. But with this easy tofu recipe: we’re 1000% excited about it. You’ve got to try this one…we promise it’s a winner. Throw it in a bowl with quinoa, tahini sauce and some fresh veggies, and you’ve got a healthy lunch or dinner.

Marinaded tofu

How to make this easy marinated tofu recipe

Where did we get the idea for this marinated tofu recipe? Well, we actually had it at an airport. AN AIRPORT? Yes, I know, I can confidently say that this is the first and only recipe on A Couple Cooks that has ever been inspired by airport cuisine. HOWEVER. Alex and I were at Chicago Midway and we needed a healthy dinner fast. Somehow, Alex found some sushi and a box of marinated tofu. We were a little wary of it at first. But after the first bite, none of us could stop eating it: including Larson! It was seriously savory and satisfying, but tasted fresh and healthy at the same time.

This marinated tofu is the definition of easy: there are basically two steps. Press, and marinate. Why do you need to press tofu? Well there’s quite a bit of water in tofu, so in order to infuse it with flavor you’ll need to press it. However: we’ve developed a quick way to do it!

Easy marinaded tofu recipe

How to press tofu: fast!

Many tofu recipes require you to press tofu for about 1 hour to drain it before starting the recipe. This doesn’t really work with our life work flow, so we decided to research faster ways to press the water out of tofu. There’s actually a surprising trick for speeding up pressing tofu. The microwave!

Oddly enough, if you microwave tofu for 2 minutes, it extracts quite a bit of liquid. Then place the pieces on a dry towel, place a cutting board on top, and top it with a heavy object. The weight will extract more water, and it will be done after just 15 minutes.

Marinated tofu

How to marinade tofu

After pressing the tofu, all you have to do is marinade the tofu for 30 minutes. Marinading it is just letting it sit in a bowl with the marinade: you’ll just need to stir it once. The flavors are balanced with savory, sweet, tangy, and spicy: soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil, tangy rice vinegar, maple syrup and a touch of gochujang hot sauce for a hint of heat.

Throw that all together with some minced green onion and sesame seeds, and it’s SO flavorful, you won’t know what hit you. Like really. We served this marinated tofu to our 2 year old and he gobbled it all up! It’s truly magical.

Marinated tofu

Wait! It’s not cooked.

And that’s it! With this easy marinated tofu, you don’t cook it. This makes it 100% easier than any baked the method. Since it’s firm tofu and you’ve pressed all the water out of it, the tofu has a great texture. Of course, if you’d like to bake it you still can! You can pan fry it or bake it (we’d suggest our friend Ali’s method for baking it). But this easy marinated tofu recipe really doesn’t need to be cooked: it’s seriously flavorful without the fuss.

How to serve marinated tofu

This marinated tofu is so simple because it’s mostly hands off: there’s really only about 10 minutes of active time. This gives you ample time to prepare the rest of a meal. And because it can store refrigerated for up to 5 days, it’s perfect for lunches!

How would we serve this marinated tofu? We have a noodle bowl recipe coming soon that features it, or you could make it into a bowl meal bowl with quinoa and roasted brocolli….ok let’s just start a list! Try serving it with:

How would you serve it? Let us know in the comments below.

This marinaded tofu recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and plant-based.

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Marinated tofu

Marinated Tofu


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This marinated tofu doesn’t even need to be cooked! Flavored with soy, sesame oil and ginger, this easy tofu recipe will be your new favorite. (It’s ours.)


Ingredients

  • 12 to 16 ounces block of extra firm or firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon gochujang sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon minced green onion

Instructions

  1. Remove the tofu from the package and drain liquid. Cut tofu into half lengthwise and place it in a large bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes; this helps to extract liquid.
  2. Drain off excess liquid released in the microwave. Place the two pieces on a towel; place another folded towel on top and add a cutting board and a heavy object. Allow to press for 15 minutes until the water is drained.
  3. Cut each square into 16 pieces, for 32 squares total. Place them all in the bowl with the marinade and stir very gently. Add marinade and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, stirring gently halfway through. Stores refrigerated for 5 days.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Marinated
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: Marinated tofu

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

Crispy Miso Chickpea Bowls with Garlic Sesame Dressing

When making our new Garlic Ginger Tahini Miso Dressing I started craving a dish to put it on, and my mind automatically went to a grain bowl with chickpeas and an Asian twist.
So, after testing a few variations I came up with this beautiful Crispy Mis…

Crispy Miso Chickpea Bowls with Garlic Sesame Dressing

When making our new Garlic Ginger Tahini Miso Dressing I started craving a dish to put it on, and my mind automatically went to a grain bowl with chickpeas and an Asian twist.

So, after testing a few variations I came up with this beautiful Crispy Miso Chickpea Bowl with brown rice, fresh veggies, and a saucy garlic sesame marinade. When added, the Tahini Miso Dressing elevates it to the next level, but it is optional.

Crispy Miso Chickpea Bowls with Garlic Sesame Dressing from Minimalist Baker →

Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce

One of my biggest pet peeves is having a million half-used condiments in my fridge. So if I can quickly whip up a homemade sauce with pantry staples, I’m going to do that before buying another bottle! This Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce is the perfect example. At its most basic, a sweet and sour […]

The post Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

One of my biggest pet peeves is having a million half-used condiments in my fridge. So if I can quickly whip up a homemade sauce with pantry staples, I’m going to do that before buying another bottle! This Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce is the perfect example. At its most basic, a sweet and sour sauce is just sugar and vinegar, flavored with a splash of soy sauce and ketchup. But there are also plenty of ways you can jazz it up and make it your own, so I’ll also include those below!

A dumpling being dipped into a bowl of Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce on a colorful plate.

Small Batch For The Win

I like to make my homemade sauces in small batches so there are no leftovers because having a million half-used homemade sauces in your fridge is just as annoying as having a million half-used bottled sauces in your fridge. The recipe below makes about 1/2 cup of sauce, but can easily be doubled or tripled if needed. Simply adjust the number of servings in the servings box in the recipe card and all of the ingredient quantities will adjust for you. There will be no change to the cooking method.

How to Use Sweet and Sour Sauce

Sweet and sour sauce is amazing as a dip, glaze for meat, or sauce for stir fry. I show it being used as a dipping sauce for gyoza above, but it’s also great for dipping egg rolls, fried wontons, shrimp, or chicken nuggets. The sweet and tangy flavor pairs perfectly with pork and can be used on pork chops (See Sweet and Sour Pork Chops with Vegetables), as a glaze for ham, or a sauce for meatballs. It also makes a quick pour-on sauce for any stir fry.

A bowl of Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce on a colorful plate with dumplings, chopsticks on the side.

Customize Your Sweet and Sour Sauce

The recipe listed below is a very basic, simple sweet and sour sauce. If you want to change up your sauce and do something a little more interesting, here are a few options:

  • Zingy – Add 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • Spicy – Add a pinch of red pepper flakes, or a small squirt of sriracha
  • Pineapple – Replace the water with pineapple juice and reduce the brown sugar by 1 Tbsp

How Long Does Sweet and Sour Sauce Keep?

This sauce is best when used the same day, but since it doesn’t have any “fresh” ingredients in it, it will keep for quite a while in your fridge. You can keep the homemade sweet and sour sauce in an air-tight container in your refrigerator for about a week, but it may begin to seep water if kept much longer. 

 

Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce

This Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce can be whipped up in minutes with only a few pantry staples, so you don't have to keep another condiment in your fridge! 

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar ($0.16)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar ($0.48)
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup ($0.10)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce ($0.04)
  • 2 Tbsp water ($0.00)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch ($0.01)
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small pot and whisk until the sugar and cornstarch have dissolved. The sauce will have a slightly milky brown appearance.

  2. Heat the sauce over medium, while whisking, until it begins to simmer. Once it begins to simmer the cornstarch will thicken the sauce and it will turn from cloudy to shiny in appearance. Serve immediately.

  3. Serve the sweet and sour sauce immediately or refrigerate for up to one week.

What is your favorite food to eat with sweet and sour sauce? Let me know in the comments below!

Close up of a dumpling being dipped into a bowl of Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce

Step by Step Photos

Whisk Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients in a pot

Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp ketchup, 1 tsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp water, and 1 tsp cornstarch in a small pot. Whisk the ingredients together until the sugar and cornstarch dissolve.

Shiny cooked sweet and sour sauce in the pot, being scooped with a spoon.

Heat the sauce over medium, whisking continuously, until it begins to simmer. Once it reaches a simmer the cornstarch will thicken the sauce and it will go from looking cloudy to more of a glossy glaze.

A dumpling sitting in a bowl of sweet and sour sauce, on a plate full of dumplings.

Serve the sauce immediately, or refrigerate up to one week. If kept longer than that, water may begin to seep out and separate from the sauce.

The post Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops with Vegetables

Easy dinners are my jam! I love these Sweet and Sour Pork Chops because they’re a super fast alternative to take out, they require NO chopping, you need only a few pantry staples to make the sauce, and it meal preps well. What else could I want? Avoid Hockey Puck Pork Chops If you’ve avoided […]

The post Sweet and Sour Pork Chops with Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy dinners are my jam! I love these Sweet and Sour Pork Chops because they’re a super fast alternative to take out, they require NO chopping, you need only a few pantry staples to make the sauce, and it meal preps well. What else could I want?

Close up view from the front of Sweet and Sour Pork Chops with Vegetables in the skillet

Avoid Hockey Puck Pork Chops

If you’ve avoided making pork chops in the past because they turn out dry and tough, you’ve got to give this method a try. Giving them a quick sear in a hot skillet then finishing them off later in the sauce allows the the outside to brown and heats them through before the pork chops have a chance to dry out.

If you’re new to cooking meat or pork in particular, I always suggest investing in an instant read thermometer so you know as soon as your meat has reached a safe temperature. Cooking meat beyond that point is how you usually end up with a dry, tough hockey puck. For pork chops, the safe internal temperature is 145ºF. I use this Digital Instant Read Thermometer, which retails for under $15, but is absolutely priceless in the kitchen.

Can I Reduce The Sugar in the Sweet and Sour Pork Chops?

Sweet and sour sauce is a sugar based sauce, by nature. You might be able to get away with reducing it by a tablespoon or two, depending on your taste buds (the sauce will be a lot more tangy that way), but this just isn’t a recipe to make if you’re living a low-sugar lifestyle. Unfortunately I don’t cook with sugar substitutes, so I’m not sure how they would perform here.

Close up overhead view of pork chops in the skillet with vegetables, covered with sweet and sour sauce.

Sauce Options:

This is a SUPER simple sauce, but if you want to spruce it up a bit you can add a little grated fresh ginger, a pinch of red pepper flakes, or even a dab of sriracha or chili garlic sauce. Another option is to use my Homemade Teriyaki Sauce in place of the sweet and sour sauce.

What Kind of Pork Chops Should I Use?

This recipe is designed for use with boneless center cut pork chops, approximately 1-inch thick. If you use thinner pork chops they will cook faster. If you use thicker pork chops or bone-in pork chops, they will take much longer to cook through. Again, an instant read meat thermometer is invaluable! 

Close up of Sweet and Sour Sauce being spooned over a pork chop in the skillet, surrounded by vegetables and sauce.

 

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops with Vegetables

A few pantry staples are needed for these juicy Sweet and Sour Pork Chops with Vegetables, making them a quick and easy alternative to take-out.

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar ($0.32)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar ($0.96)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup ($0.20)
  • 1/4 cup water ($0.00)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce ($0.08)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch ($0.02)
  • 4 boneless, center cut pork chops, 1-inch thick (about 1.5 lbs. total) ($5.50)
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper ($0.05)
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 12 oz. frozen stir fry vegetables ($1.65)
  1. Add the brown sugar, rice vinegar, ketchup, water, soy sauce, and cornstarch to a bowl and whisk until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Set the sauce aside.

  2. Season the pork chops with a pinch of salt and pepper on each side.

  3. Preheat a large skillet over medium, or just slightly above medium. Once the skillet is nice and hot, add the cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the pork chops and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until they are nicely browned. Remove the pork chops to a clean plate and cover with a second plate (turned upside down) to keep them warm.

  4. Add the frozen vegetables to the skillet and continue to cook and stir over medium for about two minutes, or just long enough to take some of the ice off (they may still be icy in the center). Give the sauce a brief stir in case any of the cornstarch has settled, then add it to the skillet with the vegetables. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce begins to simmer, at which point it will thicken and go from a cloudy brown to a shiny glaze.

  5. Add the cooked pork chops back to the skillet with the vegetables and sauce. Let the pork chops simmer in the sauce for 2-3 minutes more, or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF. Serve hot, over rice or noodles.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

A plate with rice and sweet and sour pork chops with vegetables, a black fork on the side of the plate.

Step by Step Photos

Sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl, unmixed.

Make the sweet and sour sauce first, so it’s ready to add to the skillet when you need it. Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup water, 2 tsp soy sauce, and 2 tsp cornstarch in a bowl. If you want to jazz this up a bit you can always add some grated fresh ginger or even some crushed red pepper.

Whisk the sweet and sour sauce ingredients

Whisk the sweet and sour sauce ingredients together until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. The uncooked sauce will have a cloudy brown appearance.

Season center cut pork chops with salt and pepper

Season four boneless center cut pork chops (about 1-inch thick, 1.5 pounds total for all four) with a pinch of salt and pepper on each side. 

Browned Pork Chops

Heat a large skillet over medium, or just slightly above medium. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp cooking oil (your preferred type) and swirl to coat the skillet. Add the pork chops and cook on each side for about 5 minutes, or until they are browned. The pork will return to the skillet later, so they don’t need to be all the way up to 145ºF at this point. Remove the pork chops to a clean plate and cover with a second plate to keep them warm.

Add frozen vegetables and sweet and sour sauce to the skillet.

Add a 12oz. bag of frozen stir fry vegetables to the skillet and continue to cook over medium for about 2 minutes, or just until they begin to thaw. Give the sweet and sour sauce a brief stir, then add it to the skillet with the vegetables.

Cooked stir fry vegetables and sweet and sour sauce in the skillet

Continue to cook the vegetables and sauce, stirring often, until the sauce begins to simmer. Once it reaches a simmer, the cornstarch will thicken the sauce and it will go from cloudy to a shiny glaze. 

Pork Chops added back to the skillet with the vegetables and sauce.

Add the pork chops back to the skillet with the sauce and vegetables, and let them simmer in the sauce for a few minutes more, or until they reach an internal temperature of 145ºF. Serve hot over rice or noodles!

The post Sweet and Sour Pork Chops with Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.