Easy Tofu Tacos

This tofu tacos recipe is what easy dinners are made of! The filling is spiced to perfection, making it a vegan meal everyone will love. Here’s a fast and easy dinner that went over like a charm over here: Tofu Tacos! While it’s not typically served in a tortilla, tofu is ideal for tacos. Its neutral flavor takes on whatever flavors you season it with: and these tofu crumbles are quite the kitchen trick. Add cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and smoked paprika, and the filling is bursting with flavor! You can whip up these easy tacos in just 20 minutes, making them ideal for weeknight meals. Wait: you can make a block of rubbery white tofu into the best vegan tacos filling? Here’s how. First off: is tofu healthy? There’s a lot of misinformation related to the health benefits of this soy product, so we get this question a lot. Here’s the thing: Tofu in moderation is part of a healthy diet (several times per week). Per to the Harvard School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week. It’s likely to provide health benefits, especially when you eat it as an […]

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

This tofu tacos recipe is what easy dinners are made of! The filling is spiced to perfection, making it a vegan meal everyone will love.

Tofu Tacos

Here’s a fast and easy dinner that went over like a charm over here: Tofu Tacos! While it’s not typically served in a tortilla, tofu is ideal for tacos. Its neutral flavor takes on whatever flavors you season it with: and these tofu crumbles are quite the kitchen trick. Add cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and smoked paprika, and the filling is bursting with flavor! You can whip up these easy tacos in just 20 minutes, making them ideal for weeknight meals. Wait: you can make a block of rubbery white tofu into the best vegan tacos filling? Here’s how.

First off: is tofu healthy?

There’s a lot of misinformation related to the health benefits of this soy product, so we get this question a lot. Here’s the thing: Tofu in moderation is part of a healthy diet (several times per week). Per to the Harvard School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week. It’s likely to provide health benefits, especially when you eat it as an alternative to red meat and processed meat. For more, go to Straight Talk About Soy and Is Tofu Good for You?

Here at A Couple Cooks, for years we avoided tofu though we ate mostly vegetarian and vegan recipes. The past few years we’ve come around to it as a delicious and easy to prepare vegan protein! We just didn’t know the best ways to prepare it. Speaking of, here’s one of our new favorites…

Tofu Tacos recipe

How to turn a block into tofu tacos filling

Yes, it’s easier than you think to make a flavorless block of pressed soy into a delicious tofu tacos filling! The secret: tofu crumbles. You’ll break the tofu into smaller irregular shaped pieces, then mix it with delicious seasonings. Here’s what to do:

  • Crumble the tofu with your fingers. Yep, throw it right into a bowl and crumble it up! It’s usually pretty cold at this point (since it’s refrigerated), so you’ll have to grin and bear it.
  • Add olive oil and the secret spices. In this case, that’s cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and smoked paprika.
  • Cook in a skillet for 8 to 10 minutes. You’ll want it to be just browned and becoming lightly crisp on the outsides.

The easiest taco toppings

To keep these as a quick and easy dinner recipe, we went for the simplest toppings imaginable. Of course, you can customize them as you’d like! Here’s what we do when we’re in a rush:

  • Sliced red cabbage with lime: Thinly slice it, then spritz with lime juice and add a few pinches salt. You don’t even need to measure!
  • Pico de gallo: Get store-bought for the quickest prep.
  • Torn cilantro: No need to chop: just tear it with your fingers.
  • Yogurt mixed with hot sauce: This is our other favorite taco sauce trick! Take some vegan yogurt and swirl it with Mexican hot sauce (we like Cholula). It makes an instant creamy, spicy sauce. You can also use storebought salsa or taco sauce (or make homemade).
Tofu tacos filling

More tofu tacos topping ideas

The toppings listed above are the quickest and easiest: and usually they’re all we need! But if you want to get fancier, we’ve got lots of great options. Here are some fun tacos fillings ideas:

Tip: warm your tortillas

Here’s our biggest tip for tofu tacos, or tacos of any kind: warm your tortillas! There’s nothing worse than a taco with a tough, cold tortilla. Here’s how to warm tortillas like a pro:

  • Place them over the flame of a gas burner (preferred!). The best way? Place each tortilla directly on a gas burner for a few seconds per side. It lightly chars the edges and warms the tortillas. Then throw them into a tortilla warmer!
  • Or, warm them in the oven. If you don’t have a gas burner, you can warm them in the oven. Go to How to Warm Tortillas.
Tofu tacos

More great tofu recipes

There are so many great recipe to make with tofu! As I mentioned above, we used to avoid tofu but now we like including it as part of a healthy vegetarian and vegan diet! Now that we know the best ways to prepare it, we always look forward to including it in weekly meals. How about you: are you a tofu convert too? Have you always loved this tasty soy protein?

Here are a few more great tofu recipes we’d recommend in addition to these tofu tacos:

This tofu tacos recipe is…

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

Print
Tofu Tacos

Easy Tofu Tacos


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This tofu tacos recipe is what easy dinners are made of! The filling is spiced to perfection, making it a vegan meal everyone will love. 


Ingredients

For the tofu

  • 12 to 14-ounce block extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

For the tacos

  • 2 cups red cabbage
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, torn
  • Pico de gallo (purchased or homemade)
  • Vegan yogurt (or regular), mixed with salt and Mexican hot sauce to taste (we like Cholula brand)

Instructions

  1. Make the tofu crumbles: Drain the tofu container, then pat the tofu dry with a clean dish towel. Place the tofu in a large bowl and use your fingers to break the tofu into roughly bite-sized crumbles. (It might be a little cold on your hands: don’t worry, it should only take a few seconds!). Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and spices.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the tofu and cook on medium high for 8 to 10 minutes, breaking up large pieces into bite sized chunks and stirring occasionally, until browned and lightly crispy and the liquid evaporates. (The exact timing depends on the tofu brand.)
  3. Assemble the toppings: Thinly slice the red cabbage, and place it in a bowl. Spritz with the juice of 2 lime wedges and add a few pinches kosher salt. Mix the vegan yogurt with Mexican hot sauce to taste, and add a few pinches of salt. 
  4. Warm the tortillas: Warm and char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
  5. Serve: Place the tofu crumbles in the tortillas, then top with toppings and enjoy. 
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Tofu tacos

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

Quick Tofu Stir Fry

Here’s a little quickie for you this weekend! This super simple tofu stir fry is a riff off of my favorite Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry. It’s super fast, super easy, and endlessly customizable. Keep reading to see all the possibilities for making this tofu stir fry your own!

The post Quick Tofu Stir Fry appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Here’s a little quickie for you this weekend! This super simple tofu stir fry is a riff off of my favorite Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry. It’s super fast, easy, filling, inexpensive, and endlessly customizable. Keep reading to see all the possibilities for making this tofu stir fry your own!

Quick Tofu Stir Fry in a skillet with sriracha and a bowl of peanuts on the side

Use any Stir Fry Sauce

This recipe is so flexible that you can literally use any type of stir fry sauce, so go with whatever you like best. The stir fry sauce for the Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry, which this recipe is based upon, is a spicy and super simple 4-ingredient sauce, but I switched it up this time and used a non-spicy sauce, then just added sriracha on top for heat as needed. Feel free to use that original sauce, something a little less sweet like the sauce used in my Ground Turkey Stir Fry, a richer oyster based sauce like in my Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli, or even something a little sweeter like a bottled sweet chili sauce. It’s so flexible!

Change Up the Vegetables

I love using bagged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) in stir fry because there’s no prep involved, it’s filling, and it’s still super inexpensive. I used about ½ of a 1 lb. bag of mix here, but you could probably even add more if you want it more vegetable heavy. You can shred your own cabbage and carrots (you’ll want about 5 cups), or even use a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables in place of or in addition to the shredded cabbage.

If using frozen vegetables, I suggest adding them to the skillet before the cabbage because they’ll need a little longer to cook. If you are increasing the amount of vegetables, you may wan to also increase the sauce and add half to the tofu and half after adding the vegetables.

Substitute the Peanuts

If you don’t like or can’t have peanuts, don’t worry! They’re totally optional. I love the crunchy texture they add to the dish, but you can either leave them out, substitute with another nut (maybe cashews or almonds), or add a few sesame seeds to the stir fry at the end. It’s up to you!

How are the Leftovers?

I’m going to call the leftovers of this one “subjective.” Haha! Dishes like this will seep water as they sit in the refrigerator and the cabbage (or other vegetables) will soften further, but that wouldn’t stop me from reheating and enjoying the leftovers. If you’re a bit more sensitive to texture and flavor changes, you may not enjoy the leftovers.

front view of three bowls full of quick tofu stir fry
three bowls of quick tofu stir fry

Quick Tofu Stir Fry

This super fast and inexpensive tofu stir fry is super filling, easy enough for busy weeknights, and endlessly customizable!
Total Cost $3.82 recipe / $0.96 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 272.43kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp water $0.00
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.10
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger $0.10

Stir Fry

  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu $1.79
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts $0.12
  • ½ lb. coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) $0.90

Toppings

  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha (optional) $0.11

Instructions

  • Prepare the stir fry sauce first. In a bowl combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, toasted sesame oil, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Set the sauce aside.
  • Slice the green onion and chop the peanuts.
  • Take the tofu out of the package, draining away any liquid from the package (no need to press the tofu as the water will be cooked out). Crumble the tofu into a bowl.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once the skillet and oil are very hot, add the crumbled tofu and stir fry for about 5 minutes, or until there is no longer any water pooling on the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the prepared stir fry sauce to the skillet and continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes more. Finally, add the slaw mix and chopped peanuts and stir fry for 1-2 minutes more, or just until the cabbage begins to wilt. Top with sliced green onions and a drizzle of sriracha, then serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 272.43kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.98g | Protein: 14.53g | Fat: 17.73g | Sodium: 815.75mg | Fiber: 3.33g
close up of quick tofu stir fry in the skillet

How to Make Quick Tofu Stir Fry – Step by Step Photos

stir fry sauce in a white bowl with a fork

Make the stir fry sauce first. In a bowl, combine 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp water, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and about 1 tsp grated fresh ginger. Set the sauce aside.

chopped peanuts and sliced green onion

Chop ¼ cup peanuts and slice two green onions.

tofu and coleslaw mix

These are the two main ingredients in this super simple stir fry–tofu and shredded cabbage and carrots (coleslaw mix). You can switch up the vegetables or add more if you’d like. See the notes above the recipe for ideas.

crumbled tofu in a bowl

Take the tofu out of the package, draining away any liquid (there is no need to press the tofu for this recipe because the excess water will be cooked out). Crumble the tofu into a bowl.

sauce being added to cooked tofu in the skillet

Heat 2 Tbsp cooking oil (your favorite kind) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil and skillet are hot, add the crumbled tofu and stir fry until there is no longer any liquid pooling in the skillet. Pour the prepared sauce over top and continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes more.

shredded cabbage and carrots added to the skillet

Finally, add the shredded cabbage and carrots, and the chopped peanuts to the skillet. I used half the bag, or about ½ lb., but you could probably add more if you’d like. Continue to cook and stir for only 1-2 minutes more, or just until the cabbage begins to wilt.

Sriracha being drizzled over the skillet

Top the stir fry with sliced green onions and a drizzle of sriracha, then serve!

three bowls of quick tofu stir fry

The post Quick Tofu Stir Fry appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Breakfast Vegetable Scramble

Want to eat more veggies? Make this breakfast vegetables scramble! It’s got lots of colorful veggies to start the day right…with a plant based / vegan option. Want to eat more breakfast vegetables? You’re not alone. Eating more veggies to start the day is starting to trend. Because let’s face it: the American breakfast is largely based on carbs and sugar. Pancakes, waffles, muffins…all sugary. So health-minded people have been asking: why not re-imagine breakfast? Let’s infuse veggies into the first meal of the day, too. How to eat vegetables for breakfast? Try this Breakfast Vegetable Scramble! You can make it two ways: with eggs or tofu, depending on your diet. It’s full of savory flavor…and loaded with nutrients, too. Ingredients in this breakfast vegetables scramble This scramble is unlike most breakfast recipes…it’s loaded with vegetables! There are lots of vegetables you can eat for breakfast: here are the ones we chose. But you can feel free to customize this recipe as you choose! (See below.) The main ingredients in this breakfast vegetables scramble are: Bell pepper: 1 medium red bell pepper provides a whopping 169% of your daily vitamin C! (Source) That means eating 1 serving of this scramble […]

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

Want to eat more veggies? Make this breakfast vegetables scramble! It’s got lots of colorful veggies to start the day right…with a plant based / vegan option.

Breakfast vegetables

Want to eat more breakfast vegetables? You’re not alone. Eating more veggies to start the day is starting to trend. Because let’s face it: the American breakfast is largely based on carbs and sugar. Pancakes, waffles, muffins…all sugary. So health-minded people have been asking: why not re-imagine breakfast? Let’s infuse veggies into the first meal of the day, too. How to eat vegetables for breakfast? Try this Breakfast Vegetable Scramble! You can make it two ways: with eggs or tofu, depending on your diet. It’s full of savory flavor…and loaded with nutrients, too.

Ingredients in this breakfast vegetables scramble

This scramble is unlike most breakfast recipes…it’s loaded with vegetables! There are lots of vegetables you can eat for breakfast: here are the ones we chose. But you can feel free to customize this recipe as you choose! (See below.) The main ingredients in this breakfast vegetables scramble are:

  • Bell pepper: 1 medium red bell pepper provides a whopping 169% of your daily vitamin C! (Source) That means eating 1 serving of this scramble you’ll stock up on 85% of your vitamin C for the day.
  • Baby kale and spinach: Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet; it’s packed with nutrients like Vitamin K, anti-oxidants and more (read more here).
  • Avocado: You can serve avocado on the side in this breakfast. Avocados are rich in fiber with 25% of your daily value, full of heart healthy good fats, and loaded with vitamin and nutrients (source).
  • Eggs: They’re not breakfast vegetables, but eggs are also a healthy food. One egg has 75 calories, 7 grams of protein, and lots of nutrients. Recent research has found that eggs can increase the good cholesterol the body needs.
  • Tofu: For a plant-based option, you can use tofu instead! See below for nutrition info.
Breakfast vegetables

What other breakfast vegetables can you add?

This breakfast vegetables scramble is very customizable based on the vegetables that you have on hand! You can use so many more vegetables for breakfast. Here are some vegetables that we’d recommend:

  • Broccoli*
  • Carrots*
  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Swiss chard, chopped
  • Cabbage, shredded
  • Brussels sprouts, shredded (here’s how to shred them)

For the broccoli and carrots, make sure to cut them small. You may find you need to cook a few minutes longer than the timing specified below since they are hard vegetables. Looking for more ideas? See these Best Vegetables to Eat Today.

Tofu scramble with breakfast vegetables
This tofu scramble is a healthy vegan breakfast idea full of vegetables

Vegan variation: make a tofu scramble!

Don’t want to eat eggs with your breakfast vegetables? Use tofu instead! This Tofu Scramble is so full of savory flavor, it tastes remarkably similar to eggs! Alex and I don’t eat 100% plant-based, but we adore tofu scrambles when we want a vegan option.

Is tofu healthy? Per the Harvard TH Chan School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week. It’s likely to provide health benefits, especially when you eat it as an alternative to red meat and processed meat. 

Vegetables for breakfast

Ways to eat breakfast vegetables

Want other breakfast vegetables ideas? Here are some more ways to load vegetables onto your plate in the morning:

  1. Make toast and load it with veggies. Try Avocado Toast. Or spread toast with hummus or goat cheese and add sauteed vegetables.
  2. Add a side of sauteed greens. Try Sauteed Spinach, Sauteed Chard or Sauteed Kale.
  3. Make a vegetable frittata. Try these Veggie Mini Frittatas.
  4. Eat breakfast tacos. These 5 Minute Tacos have delicious egg “taco meat”: load them with raw and sauteed veggies.
  5. Try savory oatmeal. Make oatmeal and top it with a poached egg and sauteed veggies.
  6. Sip vegetable smoothies. Try a green smoothie like Broccoli Smoothie, Spinach Smoothie, Kale Smoothie or Celery Smoothie.
  7. Make an omelette loaded with greens. Try this Parmesan Omelette and use any greens you like: spinach, kale or chard.

Sides to serve with this vegetable scramble

Want to serve an impressive breakfast or brunch? Here are a few great sides for this breakfast vegetable scramble:

  • Hash Browns: These Hash Browns in the Oven are perfect for sliding into the oven while you make a saute. Or make traditional Homemade Hash Browns in another skillet.
  • Sweet Potato Hash Browns: Try Sweet Potato Hash Browns are baked in the oven, making them simple to prep.
  • Breakfast Potatoes: These Pan Fried Potatoes are full of big flavor and take just 15 minutes.
Breakfast vegetables

This breakfast vegetables scramble recipe is…

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

Print
Breakfast vegetables

Breakfast Vegetable Scramble


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Want to eat more veggies? Make this breakfast vegetables scramble! It’s got lots of colorful veggies to start the day right (and a vegan option).


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper (or 1/2 red and 1/2 orange)
  • 4 cups baby kale or spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives or other fresh herbs
  • 4 eggs or this Tofu Scramble
  • ¼ cup shredded Colby cheese or crumbled goat cheese (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Avocado slices, for serving

Instructions

  1. Prep the vegetables: Thinly slice the red onion. Large dice the bell pepper.
  2. Prep the eggs or tofu: In a medium bowl, crack the eggs and whisk them together until well-beaten. Stir in the shredded cheese, fresh herbs, kosher salt, and plenty of fresh ground pepper. Or, complete Step 1 of the Tofu Scramble.
  3. Cook the vegetables: Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. When hot, add the onion and peppers. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until tender and just starting to brown, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Add a pinch of salt and the baby greens. Cook for 30 seconds until wilted. Remove and set aside.
  4. Cook the eggs or tofu: Keep heat on low. Pour in the eggs. Cook for 20 to 30 seconds. When the eggs just start to set, use a flat spatula to scrape sections of eggs, gently stirring constantly until cooked but still soft, about 1 minute. Or, complete Step 2 of the Tofu Scramble.
  5. Add the vegetables and serve: Add the veggies back to the pan with the eggs or tofu. Stir for a few seconds until combined and warmed. Serve immediately.

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

Keywords: Breakfast vegetables

More breakfast recipes

Here are a few more of our favorite ways to eat healthy breakfast ideas:

  • Homemade Acai Bowl or Acai Smoothie This colorful smoothie bowl is full of nutrient-dense tropical fruits and almond butter.
  • Healthy Banana Bread Muffins These muffins are made of 100% oats: no flour! They’re a great way to eat oatmeal on the go.
  • Everyday Baked Oatmeal You’ll be blown away by the flavor of this baked oatmeal! It’s so easy to make and endlessly versatile: a true go-to recipe. Vegan variation, too!

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

Go-To Tofu Stir Fry

This tasty tofu stir fry recipe is our go-to for healthy plant based dinners! It’s got the best stir fry sauce, and you can use any veggies. Did you know tofu is delicious? For years Alex and I veered away from tofu because we weren’t quite sure what to do with it. Of course, tofu right out of the container is a colorless, flavorless goo. But cook it up right and it’s one of the tastiest plant-based dinners you can have. This healthy vegan protein is great for incorporating into your meal prep repertoire. Want to fall in love with it? Come taste this tofu stir fry. It’s got the most flavor-packed stir fry sauce that works with any veggie, and the tofu is crisped on the outside and perfectly seasoned. First off: is tofu healthy? We get this question a lot, because there have been some tofu rumors out there in the rumor mill. Here’s our two-cents: Tofu is part of a healthy diet. According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week. It’s likely to provide health benefits, especially when you eat it as an […]

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

This tasty tofu stir fry recipe is our go-to for healthy plant based dinners! It’s got the best stir fry sauce, and you can use any veggies.

Tofu stir fry

Did you know tofu is delicious? For years Alex and I veered away from tofu because we weren’t quite sure what to do with it. Of course, tofu right out of the container is a colorless, flavorless goo. But cook it up right and it’s one of the tastiest plant-based dinners you can have. This healthy vegan protein is great for incorporating into your meal prep repertoire. Want to fall in love with it? Come taste this tofu stir fry. It’s got the most flavor-packed stir fry sauce that works with any veggie, and the tofu is crisped on the outside and perfectly seasoned.

First off: is tofu healthy?

We get this question a lot, because there have been some tofu rumors out there in the rumor mill. Here’s our two-cents: Tofu is part of a healthy diet. According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week. It’s likely to provide health benefits, especially when you eat it as an alternative to red meat and processed meat. Learn more about tofu here: Straight Talk About Soy and Is Tofu Good for You?

How to make a tofu stir fry: the basic steps

Even better than being healthy: tofu can be completely delicious if you cook it correctly! Here’s what to know about the elements of making this basic tofu stir fry:

  • Make the stir fry sauce. This sauce is SO good! You’re going to love the flavor and the thick body of the sauce.
  • Chop the veggies. This is where much of the prep time will come in. We’ve used only a few veggies so you don’t have to spend hours chopping.
  • Cook the tofu. The main idea is to cut it into small squares, then pan fry for 5 minutes per side.
  • Stir fry the veggies. Add the veggies for 6 minutes. Then add the tofu and sauce and turn off the heat! The sauce will heat and thicken using the residual heat. If you have the heat too high, the sauce will evaporate.
Tofu stir fry

Guess what: you don’t have to press the tofu!

Did you notice something was missing? Pressing the tofu! If you’ve made other tofu recipes, they may have called for wrapping the tofu in a towel and placing a heavy object on top for 30 minutes. The theory is that this extracts more water, helping the tofu to get crispier. But really: who has the time for that?

This tofu stir fry works for weeknight dinners because you don’t have to spend the time pressing it before cooking. Just pat it dry with a towel and you’re ready to cook.

What’s in this delicious stir fry sauce

Did we talk up this stir fry sauce enough? Let’s just spend a little more time there. You can use this sauce for any stir fry that’s intended for 4 servings. You can also easily make the sauce in advance! Whip it up and store in a covered jar or container until you’re ready to cook. It saves a few minutes: which can be crucial on a weeknight. Here’s what’s in this sauce:

  • Soy sauce
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Miso
  • Cornstarch
  • Garlic powder
Tofu stir fry

Other veggies to use in a tofu stir fry

You can use lots of other vegetables in this tofu stir fry! We chose broccoli, red and orange bell pepper, and shiitake mushrooms because they have beautiful colors, lots of nutrients, and a similar cooking time. Here’s a cheat sheet for other vegetables you might want to add to show the timing for each one:

Vegetables that take 6 to 7 minutes to stir fry:

Vegetables that take 3 to 5 minutes to stir fry:

  • Cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Snap peas
  • Bok choy, chopped
  • Zucchini or summer squash
  • Edamame, frozen and shelled

Vegetables that take 1 minute to stir fry:

  • Garlic, minced
  • Ginger, minced
  • Green onion, thinly sliced (or use as a garnish)
Tofu stir fry

What to serve with this tofu stir fry

Lastly, let’s talk about how to serve this tofu stir fry! This makes a fantastic healthy vegan dinner idea or easy vegetarian meal. You’ll want to serve with some sort of whole grain to make it more filling. Here are some options:

  • Rice: The easiest and most traditional option for a stir fry. Go to How to Cook Rice or Instant Pot Rice.
  • Quinoa: When we want to mix things up, quinoa is a fun grain to serve with a stir fry. Go to How to Make Quinoa or Instant Pot Quinoa.
  • Cauliflower Rice: Don’t want to eat a whole grain? Try cauliflower rice! Take 1 head of cauliflower and chop it into large florets. Place half of the florets into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until fully chopped and the cauliflower resembles grains of rice. Remove the “rice” to a bowl and process the remainder of the cauliflower.
Tofu stir fry

This tofu stir fry recipe is…

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

Print
Tofu stir fry

Go-To Tofu Stir Fry


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.56 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This tasty tofu stir fry recipe is our go-to for healthy plant based dinners! It’s got the best stir fry sauce, and you can use any veggies.


Ingredients

For the stir fry sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

For the tofu stir fry

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, stem on (about 3 large heads or 6 heaping cups florets)*
  • 1 red bell pepper (or half red and half orange)
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 14-ounces firm or extra firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Start the rice: If serving with rice, start the rice.
  2. Make the sauce: Whisk together the stir fry sauce ingredients in a medium bowl, or make the sauce in advance and refrigerate until cooking.
  3. Chop the veggies: Chop the broccoli into florets. Thinly slice the pepper. Remove the shiitake stems and thinly slice them, if using. Thinly slice the green onion. Peel and grate the ginger.
  4. Cook the tofu: Cut the tofu into bite sized pieces (1-inch squares, 3/8-inch thick and pat it dry with a towel. Add the oil to a large non-stick pan and add the tofu cubes and a few pinches kosher salt. Turn on the heat to medium-high. Cook 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom.
  5. Flip the tofu: Briefly remove the pan from the heat to reduce spitting. Flip the tofu with chopsticks (the easiest method!) or tongs. Return the heat to medium-high and cook 5 to 6 minutes until browned. Remove the tofu to a bowl and set it aside.
  6. Stir fry the veggies: Add another 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Add the broccoli, pepper, and shiitake mushrooms and two pinches salt and cook 6 to 7 minutes until just starting to brown on edges, stirring occasionally. In the last minute, add 1 tablespoon water and allow the vegetables to steam.
  7. Turn down the heat to low. Add the green onion and ginger and cook 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Add the tofu and sauce and stir until the sauce thickens. Serve immediately. Store leftovers up to 3 days refrigerated.

  • Category: Stir Fry
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: Tofu stir fry

More easy vegan dinner ideas

Love eating plant based? Here are a few more vegan dinner ideas to add to your repertoire:

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

Raw Rainbow Veggie Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

With warmer weather comes lighter cravings, and this incredibly fresh Pad Thai-inspired salad has been one of our go-to meals this summer.
Vegetables like carrots, cucumber, and cabbage are thinly sliced or “noodled” and tossed in a bright, citrusy pe…

Raw Rainbow Veggie Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

With warmer weather comes lighter cravings, and this incredibly fresh Pad Thai-inspired salad has been one of our go-to meals this summer.

Vegetables like carrots, cucumber, and cabbage are thinly sliced or “noodled” and tossed in a bright, citrusy peanut dressing with a kick thanks to red pepper flake. It’s like summer in a bowl. Let us show you how it’s done!

This 30-minute noodle salad begins with making the sauce, which is inspired by Thai flavors.

Raw Rainbow Veggie Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing from Minimalist Baker →

Gochujang Ramen with Tofu

I love good quality food, but I also have a small place in my heart reserved for convenience foods like instant ramen or frozen pizzas. I don’t indulge in them often, and when I do I often spruce them up with something special to make them a little more interesting. I’ve posted before about the […]

The post Gochujang Ramen with Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love good quality food, but I also have a small place in my heart reserved for convenience foods like instant ramen or frozen pizzas. I don’t indulge in them often, and when I do I often spruce them up with something special to make them a little more interesting. I’ve posted before about the things I like to add to my instant ramen to give it an upgrade, and now I have a new favorite ingredient—gochujang! This sweet-salty-spicy paste creates a rich broth with plenty of umami that I balanced with some fresh spinach and chunks of mild tofu. This Gochujang Ramen with Tofu is a quick and easy way to indulge that noodle craving!

Two bowls of gochujang ramen with tofu, a bowl of gochujang on the side

What is Gochujang?

If you’ve never heard of gochujang, it’s a Korean chile paste made with chile peppers, rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. It kind of reminds me of a spicy version of miso. Gochujang is really starting to trend in the U.S. because of its uniquely sweet-salty-spicy and UMAMI flavor. And because we’re all kind of over our infatuation with sriracha and looking for the next best thing. It’s those fermented soy beans that really set gochujang apart and give whatever you’re adding it to that extra “WOW” factor. So if you haven’t tried it yet, put it on your list!

Where to Buy Gochujang

Because gochujang is really becoming quite popular, you’ll probably be able to find some at most major grocery stores. My local kroger actually carries about 4-5 different kinds! I’m using this Sempio Gochujang. If you have an Asian grocery store near you, you’re sure to find a really good selection there, and probably much better prices. Want to try to make your own? Try this traditional gochujang recipe, or this quickie 5-minute gochujang.

To Use the Ramen Packet or Not to Use the Ramen Packet

Personally, I like to use my own broth when making ramen instead of using the little seasoning packet that comes with the noodles. I like the freedom of tweaking the flavors and salt content, but you can use the seasoning packet if you prefer. Gochujang has quite a bit of salt, so if you do want to use the flavor packet that comes with the instant ramen I suggest adding the gochujang to the water first (3 cups water), then adding a little of the flavor packet at a time until the broth reaches a reasonable salt level for you.

How Spicy is It?

Decently spicy, IMHO. You can reduce the amount of gochujang to make it slightly less spicy, if you prefer. Or, if you’re looking for non-spicy ways to spruce up your ramen, check out my post about 6 Ways to Upgrade Ramen, or my Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen.

What Should I Do With my Leftover Tofu?

This recipe uses half of a traditional 14oz. block of tofu. My first choice for using up the other half of the block would be to make a half batch of my Curried Tofu Salad. That stuff is to die for. You could also toss it into a stir fry, or chop it up, add some BBQ sauce and make yourself a BBQ Tofu Slider.

Gochujang ramen with tofu in the sauce pot on a yellow background with a black and white zig-zag napkin.

 
One bowl of gochujang ramen with tofu, chopsticks on the side

Gochujang Ramen with Tofu

Spicy gochujang gives this instant ramen extra oomph! Gochujang Ramen with Tofu is a quick and easy way to satisfy that noodle craving.
Total Cost $2.26 recipe / $1.13 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 322.15kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 7 oz. extra firm tofu $0.90
  • 1 cup water $0.00
  • 2 cups vegetable broth* $0.26
  • 2 Tbsp gochujang $0.46
  • 1 package instant ramen* $0.19
  • 2 cups fresh spinach $0.25
  • 2 green onions $0.20

Instructions

  • Drain the tofu and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Add the water, vegetable broth, and gochujang to a small sauce pot. Whisk until the gochujang is dissolved.
  • Add the cubed tofu to the pot, place a lid on top, and bring it up to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, add the instant ramen noodles (without seasoning). Boil for one to two minutes, or just until the noodles begin to soften and pull loose from each other.
  • Add two handfuls (about 2 cups) fresh spinach and stir it into the hot broth until wilted. The noodles will finish cooking as the spinach wilts.
  • Slice the green onions and sprinkle over top of the ramen just before serving.

Notes

*If using vegetable broth, discard the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen noodles. If using the seasoning packet, use 3 cups of water instead of 1 cup water and 2 cups vegetable broth. Add the gochujang to the water first, then add a small amount of the seasoning packet at a time until you reach the desired level of saltiness for the broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 322.15kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.55g | Protein: 15.9g | Fat: 12.6g | Sodium: 1347.35mg | Fiber: 3.1g

side view of a bowl of gochujang ramen with chopsticks picking up a piece of tofu

How to Make Gochujang Ramen with Tofu – Step by Step Photos

cubed tofu on a cutting board

Drain a 14oz. block of tofu and cut half of it into ½-inch cubes. See the notes above the recipe for ideas for using the remaining tofu.

Gochujang broth in a small sauce pot with a whisk, tub of gochujang on the side

Add 1 cup water, 2 cups vegetable broth, and 2 Tbsp gochujang to a small sauce pot. Whisk until the gochujang has dissolved.

Cubed tofu being dropped into the pot

Add the cubed tofu to the pot. Adding the tofu before we start boiling the broth gives it a few minutes to start absorbing some of the flavor from the broth, as opposed to adding it at the end. Place a lid on the pot and bring the broth up to a boil over high heat.

Ramen noodles added to the pot, empty package on the side

Once boiling, add the block of instant ramen noodles (without seasoning packet). Let the noodles boil for about a minute, or just until they being to soften up and loosen up from the block.

Spinach added to the pot

Add a couple handfuls of spinach to the pot and stir it in until wilted. This should give the noodles just enough time to finish cooking as well.

Finished gochujang ramen in the pot

Slice two green onions and sprinkle them over the ramen just before serving.

One bowl of gochujang ramen with tofu, chopsticks on the side

Enjoy that spicy goodness!!

The post Gochujang Ramen with Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Perfect Pan Fried Tofu

Here’s how to make the best pan fried tofu: fast and easy, no pressing required! It has irresistible flavor and cooks in 15 minutes. Are you a tofu fan? I’ll confess that Alex and I haven’t been until recently. But this plant-based protein has started to win our hearts! Why? Well, it’s great for weeknight meals, which is where this recipe comes in. And guess what? Tofu can be majorly delicious, when it’s prepared correctly. Douse it in a little smoked sauce sauce and sesame oil and pan fry it until golden brown, and it’s positively irresistible! This perfect pan fried tofu is our go-to for easy plant-based dinners (along with this Tofu Scramble, also a favorite). Here’s how to make it! What you need for this pan fried tofu Tofu is soy milk that’s turned into curds (like in cheesemaking!) and pressed into blocks. It was invented in China and is used in many Asian cuisines from Chinese to Thai. On its own, it has no flavor at all (ew!). But combine it with a few simple flavorings and pow! It tastes savory and meaty all at once. Here’s what we’ve used for this pan fried tofu: Tofu, firm […]

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

Here’s how to make the best pan fried tofu: fast and easy, no pressing required! It has irresistible flavor and cooks in 15 minutes.

Pan fried tofu

Are you a tofu fan? I’ll confess that Alex and I haven’t been until recently. But this plant-based protein has started to win our hearts! Why? Well, it’s great for weeknight meals, which is where this recipe comes in. And guess what? Tofu can be majorly delicious, when it’s prepared correctly. Douse it in a little smoked sauce sauce and sesame oil and pan fry it until golden brown, and it’s positively irresistible! This perfect pan fried tofu is our go-to for easy plant-based dinners (along with this Tofu Scramble, also a favorite). Here’s how to make it!

What you need for this pan fried tofu

Tofu is soy milk that’s turned into curds (like in cheesemaking!) and pressed into blocks. It was invented in China and is used in many Asian cuisines from Chinese to Thai. On its own, it has no flavor at all (ew!). But combine it with a few simple flavorings and pow! It tastes savory and meaty all at once. Here’s what we’ve used for this pan fried tofu:

  • Tofu, firm or extra firm: This is important! Do not, we repeat, do not buy soft or silken tofu. It will not work in this recipe.
  • Olive oil
  • Toasted sesame oil: Make sure it’s toasted! Regular sesame oil is neutral and intended for cooking; toasted has a nutty flavor and is intended for cooking.
  • Smoked soy sauce or soy sauce: Smoked shoyu is becoming widely available; if you can find it’s 100% worth it! Keep reading for more.
Pan fried tofu

Wait: you don’t have to press it?

Nope, this tofu recipe works without pressing it! If you’ve made tofu before, you might notice that many recipes call for wrapping the tofu in a towel and placing a heavy object on top for 30 minutes. Who has 30 minutes for that?

This pan fried tofu recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners because you don’t have to spend the time pressing it! Simply dry it off with a towel and you’re good to go. Score!

How to make pan fried tofu (basic steps)

Let’s clarify before we start: this is not crispy tofu! This pan fried tofu results in golden brown pieces that are crisped at the edges. It’s not ultra crispy, but it has a lovely texture that we like even better. Sometimes crispy tofu can get too crunchy. Here are the basic steps for how to make pan fried tofu (or jump right to the recipe):

  • Cut it: Slice the tofu into large cubes. Dry it off with a towel.
  • Cook side 1: Here’s where it gets a little interesting. Place the tofu in cold oil. Then bring it up to medium heat and cook 5 to 6 minutes until one side is golden brown.
  • Flip! Here’s the only hard part! Remove the pan from the heat to reduce spitting. Then flip the tofu: using chopsticks is easiest!
  • Cook side 2: Return to the heat. Cook another 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Season & cook a little more: Add toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. Cook another 2 minutes on each side. Done!
Flip the tofu with chopsticks
Chopsticks are the easiest tool for flipping the tofu

Use smoked soy sauce (shoyu) if you can find it!

Smoked soy sauce (or shoyu, the Japanese word for soy sauce) is popping up at mainstream grocery stores these days. Alex and I could not be happier! Years ago we found a bottle of smoked shoyu at a Japanese restaurant in Santa Fe and became obsessed. The intensely savory, smoky flavor is incredible for using in vegan recipes.

Because smoked shoyu was hard to find, we never called for it in our recipes: until now! If you can find it, a drizzle adds the perfect garnish. You can also order it online! Here’s the type we use: order Smoked Soy Sauce (Shoyu) online.

Pan fried tofu

Is tofu healthy?

We get this question a lot, because there have been some tofu rumors out there in the rumor mill. Here’s our two-cents: Tofu is part of a healthy diet. According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week. It’s likely to provide health benefits—especially when eaten as an alternative to red and processed meat. (For more details, go to Straight Talk About Soy.)

So, you can feel good adding this pan fried tofu recipe to your weekly meal calendar! Speaking of…

How to serve pan fried tofu

Here’s the fun part! Alex and I love whipping up this pan fried tofu. It was actually inspired by a method Alex made up one weeknight and we loved it so much, we wrote down how to do it! It’s so easy to throw into a bowl with some veggies for an easy vegan dinner. Here’s how we’d serve it:

Pan fried tofu

This pan fried tofu recipe is…

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

Print
Pan fried tofu

Perfect Pan Fried Tofu


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make the best pan fried tofu: fast and easy, no pressing required! It has irresistible flavor and cooks in 15 minutes.


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Cut the tofu into large cubes (about 1.5″ x 2″) and pat it dry with a towel. Add the olive oil to a non-stick pan and add the tofu cubes and a few pinches kosher salt.
  2. Turn on the heat to medium-high. Cook 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom.
  3. Briefly remove the pan from the heat to reduce spitting. Flip the tofu with chopsticks (the easiest method!) or tongs. Return the heat to medium-high and cook additional 5 to 6 minutes until browned.
  4. Briefly remove from the heat again and drizzle with the sesame oil and soy sauce (watch for spitting). Return to low heat and cook an 2 minutes, then flip the and cook another 2 minutes, until the color is darkened. Serve immediately.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Pan Fried
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: Pan fried tofu

More tofu recipes

If you’re a tofu fan, here are some more tofu recipes you might enjoy:

  • Easy Tofu Scramble This easy scramble has the same texture as scrambled eggs, but it’s 100% plant based! It’s a vegan breakfast idea you’ll want to make again and again.
  • Easy Marinated Tofu This one 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.)
  • Tofu Ramen Features crispy pan-fried tofu and a slurpable miso broth! It’s a delicious plant based dinner recipe.

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

Healthy Vegan Egg Salad

This 15-minute Vegan Egg Salad is made of tofu and cashews to give you a creamy, protein-packed and delicious breakfast sandwich. To make this recipe the healthiest possible, we skipped the high-fat mayonnaise and any other packaged products and opted …

This 15-minute Vegan Egg Salad is made of tofu and cashews to give you a creamy, protein-packed and delicious breakfast sandwich. To make this recipe the healthiest possible, we skipped the high-fat mayonnaise and any other packaged products and opted for only whole foods plant-based ingredients.  We love savory breakfasts, not to mention quick savory...

Read More

The post Healthy Vegan Egg Salad appeared first on My Pure Plants.

Chopped Power Salad with Baked Tofu and Almond-Miso Dressing

Last year I linked to a Maple-Miso Tofu recipe in one of my What I Ate This Week posts and shortly afterwards, the recipe disappeared from the internet. I have no idea why it was taken down, but I get people asking me once in a while if I happen to hav…

Last year I linked to a Maple-Miso Tofu recipe in one of my What I Ate This Week posts and shortly afterwards, the recipe disappeared from the internet. I have no idea why it was taken down, but I get people asking me once in a while if I happen to have a copy of it myself; sadly, I do not. I get asked about it enough that I figured I’d try to make my own version and post it here. Then I decided that what would make that Maple-Miso Tofu even better was to serve it in a bowl full of noodles. A noodle salad! With chewy baked tofu and maybe an almond-lime sauce, like the one I made a few months ago to dip crispy baked zucchini in. I was all set to make that, until I decided what would be even better would be to make the Maple-Miso Tofu and then serve it in a regular, non-noodle salad with an almond-lime dressing. But right before I went to the kitchen to start cooking, I realized making two separate sauces would be a little bit of a pain, so I merged the two together and made an Almond-Miso […]

Recipe | Coconut-Lime Tofu Soup

In case you were wondering, I’m still doing Weight Watchers (and I’ve lost 10 pounds—yay me!). It just feels weird to write about it all the time here. Anyway! I typically find it easy to stick to the plan for breakfast and dinner, and I&#8…

In case you were wondering, I’m still doing Weight Watchers (and I’ve lost 10 pounds—yay me!). It just feels weird to write about it all the time here. Anyway! I typically find it easy to stick to the plan for breakfast and dinner, and I’m not much of a snacker, so that’s not a problem either. But lunch has been difficult. I don’t like frozen foods and I’m not a big salad eater. I did sandwiches for a while, but I burnt out on those. I like some canned soups, but I’m trying to avoid them because of the whole BPA thing. When lunchtime rolls around, it’s usually, “Oh, what I’m going to eat? I guess I’ll have some potato chips and a tangerine.” So I’m not so much over-eating when it comes to lunch—it’s mostly just that I’m eating odd things. Things that don’t really constitute a meal. Not having time to whip up something from scratch on a daily basis, I’ve found that a good solution has been to make a big batch of soup on Sundays to eat during the work week. Soup is easy to heat up and I can have it with some fruit and […]