Allison Day
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Tofu Stir Fry

Tofu Stir-Fry

Ask anyone who knew me growing up, and they’ll tell you I’m a meat-and-potatoes girl. Who (*gasp*) refuses to eat her vegetables. Give me a big slab of steak and some sort of potato side dish, and I was happy. Of course, that was long ago, in my pickier years. I wouldn’t eat sashimi or most more exotic ethnic foods at that time either.

The rich tofu…

Nowadays, though I am by no means vegetarian, I’ve started to lean the other way. No longer does a big honkin’ piece of steak sound like the perfect meal – now I tend more towards fish (sashimi, anyone?) or even vegetarian dishes. Just a change in tastes, I suppose.

…the soft vegetables…

Recently we were at Son’s parents’ house for a Buddhist holiday where they couldn’t eat meat, and his mother made a vegetable stir-fry with this fried tofu. The old me would have turned up my nose at the dish but tried to choke it down to be polite, but nowadays? Well, needless to say, I loved it. So much, that I had to ask his mom for the recipe. She didn’t have actual measurements for anything, but I’ve tried my best to approximate the amounts that I used when I made the dish for dinner just a few hours ago… it was a success.

…all on a bed of rice.


  • 1 container firm tofu
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 large zucchini, sliced
  • about 20 mushrooms, quartered
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup shoyu
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce

Cooking Directions

  1. Slice the tofu along the short side into slices at least 1 cm thick.
  2. Pour a little bit of olive oil into a frying pan or wok, heat over medium heat.
  3. Place the half of the slices of tofu into the pan in one layer.
  4. Pour about 1/4 cup of shoyu over the tofu.
  5. Sprinkle about 2 tbsp sugar over the tofu.
  6. Spread about 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce onto each piece of tofu.
  7. After about a minute, flip the tofu using a pair of tongs. (I find that it’s really difficult to flip the tofu using chopsticks without breaking the tofu slices.)
  8. Spread about 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce onto the second side of each piece of tofu.
  9. After another minute, flip the tofu again. Continue flipping every minute or so, until the tofu begins to brown and the sauces/sugar begin to caramelize.
  10. Remove the tofu from the pan onto a plate.
  11. Repeat with the remaining tofu.
  12. When you have cooked and removed all the tofu, place the onion slices into the pan.
  13. Sauté the onions until translucent, then pour 1/2 cup shoyu and 1/4 cup sugar over the onions.
  14. Add the zucchini and mushrooms to the pan.
  15. Add in the chili garlic sauce. If you want your stir-fry spicier, then you can add more, but 1 tbsp is just enough to give it a kick without being very spicy.
  16. Sauté the vegetables until they are soft, about 5-10 minutes.
  17. Serve the vegetable stir-fry over a bed of rice or noodles, topped with a couple slices of fried tofu.
  18. Does it get any better?


7 Responses

  1. That looks really good! I’ve never been able to make tofu taste good, but your photos are making me think I’ll try again.

  2. I never liked tofu growing up, but this tofu is amazing. When you make it, it might seem like you are overdoing it with the shoyu and hoisin sauce, but it’s completely worth it and delicious!

  3. Your photos are always so gorgeous. Makes my mouth water. 🙂 What camera do you use, if you don’t mind my asking.

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post… Gary: 2002

  4. Thank you. 🙂 We use a two-year-old Cannon Rebel XT for all our pictures.

  5. Wowzers you two! The sauce on the tofu is just kick ass (oops, sorry), really ….
    If we could, we would totally bite in to the computer screen. It just looks delicious!

    We love tofu and know of some folks who don’t (booo!!!). But we’ll have to turn them onto this post, cause it’s definitely something that will get the haters to cross over!

    White On Rice Couple’s last blog post… Four Spice Liver Pate w/ Vietnamese cinnamon + winner(s)!

  6. Thanks you guys! It really is some amazing tofu, sure to change the minds of any and all tofu-haters. 😀

  7. […] not a big tofu fan growing up. I couldn’t stand the stuff. These days I’ve found some tofu recipes that I actually enjoy, but never did I think that I’d fall for plain, soft tofu. With maple […]

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