This quick and easy tofu stir-fry is the weeknight dinner you’ve been looking for! Packed with flavor, crispy tofu, and tender-crisp veggies, this dish tastes better than takeout and can be on the table in 30 minutes.
Garlic tofu stir-fry is one of those Chinese restaurant items that always amazes me at how tasty it is for being so simple. My homemade version is no exception: it’s a plateful of savory, salty, garlicky goodness.
What You’ll Need
- Soy sauce. You could also use tamari or liquid aminos if you prefer.
- Rice vinegar. Look for this in the international foods section of your supermarket. Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar can be substituted if needed.
- Maple syrup. You can substitute another liquid sweetener if needed, such as agave.
- Sriracha sauce. Feel free to substitute another type of hot sauce, such as sambal oelek, or just leave it out for a milder stir-fry.
- Toasted sesame oil.
- Canola oil. Any type of high-heat oil could be substituted — peanut oil, vegetable oil, or corn oil would all work!
- Tofu. Stick with extra firm or super firm tofu when stir-frying. Learn more about my tofu recommendations in this guide to tofu.
- Vegetables. The recipe calls for carrots, broccoli, and shiitake mushrooms, but you could substitute your favorite stir-fry veggies if you’d like.
- Rice. Serve your stir-fry with your favorite variety of cooked rice.
- Sesame seeds. These get sprinkled on top of your stir-fry. Roasted peanuts or cashews would also work if sesame seeds aren’t your thing.
How to Make Tofu Stir-Fry
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!
- Start by doing your prep work. The most important step in making any stir-fry is prepping everything in advance. Dice and press your tofu, chop your scallions and separate the white and green parts, chop your veggies and mix up your sauce before doing anything else.
- Heat up some oil in a skillet, then add your tofu. Cook it for a few minutes on each side until browned and crispy, then remove it from the skillet.
- Turn up the heat and add sliced carrots and the white parts of your scallions to the skillet. Stir-fry them, making sure to flip them constantly while they cook. Tip: Always stir-fry over high heat and flip your veggies constantly to get that perfect tender-crisp texture.
- Add the broccoli and mushrooms to the skillet and stir-fry them with your carrots and scallions.
- Add your tofu back to the skillet.
- Carefully pour the sauce over your tofu and veggies. It should start to bubble up pretty quickly. Be super careful here, as the high-heat could cause your sauce to sputter!
- Continue cooking and stirring everything until the sauce is thick and forms a nice coating on your veggies and tofu.
- Top everything with the green parts of your scallions and some sesame seeds, then dish up your tofu stir-fry with some rice and dig in.
Leftovers & Storage
Leftover tofu stir-fry will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yup! Just use gluten-free tamari in place of soy sauce.
Absolutely! You can skip the step of pressing your tempeh, but otherwise it’s a direct substitution and you can simply follow the recipe using tempeh instead of tofu.
Sure! Just stick with veggies that are about as firm (and will therefore cook in about the same amount of time) as those used in the recipe. Green beans, cabbage or cauliflower would work well in place of the carrots. Snap peas, asparagus, or baby bok choy would work well in place of the broccoli or mushrooms.
- Tempeh Stir-Fry
- Rainbow Peanut Butter Stir-Fry
- Vegan Mango “Chicken” Stir-Fry
- Veggies & Dumplings Stir-Fry
- Pad Ped
Tofu Stir-Fry with Garlic Sauce
For the Sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce or sambal oelek, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the Tofu Stir-Fry
- 1 tablespoon canola oil, or high heat oil of choice
- 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) package extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 scallions, chopped, white and green parts separated
- 1 medium carrot, sliced on a bias into strips
- 1 medium broccoli crown, broken into florets
- 4 ounces shiitake mushroom caps, cleaned and sliced
- Cooked rice
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place it over medium heat.
- Add the tofu cubes in an even layer.
- Cook the tofu for about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice, until browned on multiple sides.
- Remove the tofu from the skillet and transfer it to a plate.
- Raise the heat to high.
- Add the white parts of the scallions and carrots to the skillet. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add the broccoli and mushrooms to the skillet. Stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes more, until the veggies deepen in color and become tender-crisp.
- Return the tofu to the skillet and add the sauce.
- Continue to cook everything for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and coats the tofu and veggies.
- Remove the skillet from heat and add the green parts of the scallions.
- Divide onto plates and top with sesame seeds. Serve with rice.