Sesame Ginger Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry
Crispy pan-fried Sesame Ginger Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry! This easy recipe starts with a homemade sesame ginger sauce that coats the crispy tofu and perfectly al-dente carrots and green beans. This easy stir fry recipe can be served with rice, quinoa, noodles, cauliflower rice, or on it’s own!
This has been my favorite tofu stir fry recipe for the better part of the last decade!
It’s truly remarkable with that crispy texture on that pan-fried tofu and those tender vegetables coated in a sesame ginger sauce that’s so good you’ll want to toss it with all the things. Friends who eat chicken – this recipe would be delicious with chicken too!
I don’t know what I love more about this tofu recipe.
Is it the little crispy bites of firm tofu that‘s coated in cornstarch and then pan-fried until it’s all crunchy and crispy around the edges? Yes. Is it the soy sesame ginger glaze that clings to the veggies and caramelizes when it hits the hot pan and sizzles? Yes. Could it be that it’s wildly adaptable to the produce you‘ve got stashed in your refrigerator? Have broccoli, red bell pepper, snow peas, and onions? Can you use those? Absolutely.
You don’t have to take my word for it! Just look at all the reviews from people that have made and loved this one! ❤️
Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry Video:
Ingredients for Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry:
- Tofu: I like to use extra firm tofu for this recipe as it contains a lower water content and allows the tofu pieces to crisp up better in the pan. You can also use firm tofu if you prefer. Silken or soft tofu wouldn’t be a good choice here. First, press the tofu to remove as much moisture as you can. This device is my favorite and definitely worth investing in if you make tofu stir fry’s often. Once pressed, cut the tofu into small cubes. The more pieces you make, the quicker the tofu will cook and the more surface area it will have. More surface area means more crispy edges and less of the center softness!
- Seasonings: You’ll need kosher salt, cornstarch, and red pepper flakes for this recipe. The tofu pieces are tossed in a combination of kosher sal and cornstarch to help crisp them up in the wok or frying pan later.
- Veggies: I use green beans and baby carrots that I cut in half lengthwise for this recipe. You could use whatever veggies you like. Feel free to swap for green beans for broccoli, or add in some thinly sliced onions.
- Sauces: You’ll need a variety of sauces for this recipe, such as rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. I prefer and suggest using toasted sesame oil for this recipe so that it gives the stir fry sauce a deep toasted flavor.
- Brown sugar: The few tablespoons of sugar that we add to the recipe helps balances the acidic and salty ingredients in the recipe. Brown sugar works best for this recipe as it enhances the deep toasted sesame flavor, however, you can also use honey or maple syrup if you prefer. Keep in mind that if you want to keep this recipe vegan friendly, You’ll want to use something other than honey.
- Aromatics: Freshly grated ginger and minced garlic are the heart and soul of any good stir fry recipe! You can use minced ginger from a jar or a tube if you’d like. Over the years, I have tested this recipe in every which way and it works just fine! It also eliminates the whole blending the sauce in the blender step, making for easier clean up!
- For serving: I like to serve this stir fry recipe with brown rice. I love the way that nutty brown rice tastes with the soy ginger sesame glaze. Feel free to serve this with noodles, cauliflower rice, or any other grain that you like!
How to make Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry:
- Treat that tofu right. Start by folding a few tea towels or paper towels in the shape of your tofu. Remove the tofu from the packaging and place it on a plate with the paper towel. Plate another folded sheet on top and press down with a heavy cast iron skillet or simply remove the tofu from packaging and place it in the tofu press. Allow the tofu to rest for 15-20 minutes letting most of the moisture drip out of the protein. You’ll want to use this time to slice the vegetables and keep them ready in a bowl and to prepare the stir fry sauce. Once it’s dry, cut the tofu into ¾-1 inch pieces. You can also cut them smaller if you want! The tofu will cook faster and crisp up more that way. Add a tablespoon of cornstarch and some salt to a ziptop bag. Toss the tofu pieces in the bag. Zip and toss to combine.
- Make the sauce. While the tofu is pressing, combine the sesame oil, grated ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, cornstarch and a couple tablespoons of water. Blend until smooth and set aside for later.
- Stir fry it up. Add a drizzle of any high heat oil to a large skillet, wok, or pan over medium-high heat. Toss in the tofu pieces and cook them for 3-7 minutes flipping them frequently until crispy and golden on all sides. Add 2 tablespoons of sauce during the last little bit and toss and cook until the sauce clings to the tofu. Remove the tofu to a plate and keep warm. Add another drizzle or oil to the same pan and toss and cook the carrots and green beans until they’re cooked to your liking. Add the tofu back to the pan. Stir the sauce if the cornstarch has settled to the bottom and pour it in over all the other ingredients. Toss and stir to coat until the sauce thickens. Top with sesame seeds if desired or you could also top with thinly sliced green onion (I don’t) and serve warm over fluffy rice.
FAQs about this recipe?
As written, this recipe is not gluten-free, however it can be made GF friendly with one swap. You’ll need to swap the soy sauce for gluten-free tamari.
As written, this recipe is vegan/ vegetarian-friendly, so you don’t have to sub anything at all!
Leftovers should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This recipe does taste best when consumed in one sitting as the tofu does lose that crispness, however, it’s still delicious. Leftovers keep for 4 days, just reheat in a microwave when you’re ready to eat.
I love serving this stir fry with a side of sauteed baby bok choy. I usually just add a drizzle of toasted sesame oil to a pan and panfrybok choy halves it it for 2 minutes or so on high heat until crispy around the edges. A pinch of salt and red pepper flakes really makes this a delicious side dish.
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Crispy Black Pepper Tofu Stir Fry
- Crispy Honey Garlic Tofu
- Spicy Curry Ramen with Tofu and Veggies
- Peanut Tofu Stir Fry
- Thai Basil Fried Rice
Original recipe shared Aug 2015, updated with new images, post, and minor recipe edits July 2022.
- 1 (14 ounce) package extra firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons high heat oil (such as avocado)
- 2 ½ cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup baby carrots, cut lengthwise
- 1 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 ½ tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or GF tamari)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- TOFU: Drain tofu from packaging. Place tofu on a plate with a folded tea towel. Place another tea towel on top (in the shape of the tofu) followed by another plate and a heavy cast iron skillet or metal cans. Or simply use a tofu press. Let tofu dry for 15-20 minutes or up to 1 hour. Then, cut into ¾-1 inch cubes and toss in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and the ½ teaspoon of salt in a zip-top bag until coated.
- BLEND: While the tofu is drying, prepare the sauce. Combine sauce ingredients in a blender until completely smooth (see notes) Set aside.
- CRISPY TOFU: In a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add tofu and let fry for 3-7 minutes. Flip tofu as needed to brown on all sides. Add 2 tablespoons of prepared sauce and allow to cook until the sauce coats the tofu; about 2-3 minutes. When the tofu is caramelized, remove to a plate.
- STIR FRY:Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, if needed. Toss in veggies and cook for 3-4 minutes, tossing as needed to desired doneness. Add tofu back to the skillet. Stir the sauce to combine and pour it in. Stir to coat. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until the tofu soaks up the sauce.
- SERVE: Serve warm with rice, quinoa, noodles, cauliflower rice, or on its own. The tofu will lose it's crispness as it sits. Best when eaten fresh.
- Update 4/22: after making this recipe countless times since publishing, I’ve found if you use garlic paste and ginger paste, you can skip the step of blending the sauce. Simply combine in a bowl with a whisk or a mason jar with a lid.