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Tofu Garlic Stir-Fry Recipe

Garlic Tofu Stir-fry is an explosion of flavors that is vegan-friendly and incredibly healthy. It's a quick and easy dish, perfect for weeknight dinners and packed full of nutritious vegetables with a sauce that will keep you coming back for more.

Tofu Garlic Stir-Fry Recipe
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Some of the ingredients in this recipe may not be readily available in your pantry, such as shiitake mushrooms and snow peas. These can be found in the produce section of most supermarkets. Also, bear in mind to look for tofu in the refrigerated aisle. For the sauces, they're typically located in the international foods aisle.

Ingredients for Garlic Tofu Stir-fry

Vegetable oil: This is used to sear the tofu and sauté the vegetables.

Tofu: A soy product that is a good source of protein.

Sesame oil: Adds a nutty flavor to the stir-fry.

Garlic: Gives the dish its distinctive flavor.

Baby corn, snow peas, carrot, zucchini, green beans, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli: These vegetables add a variety of textures and flavors, as well as nutrients.

Black beans: Provides a hearty texture and extra protein.

Soy sauce: Gives the stir-fry its savory, umami flavor.

Rice wine: Adds depth and sweetness to the sauce.

Red pepper flakes: Adds a bit of heat to the dish.

Rice vinegar: Balances the flavors with its tangy taste.

One reader, Katuscha Steen says:

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This garlic tofu stir-fry recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are so vibrant and the tofu is perfectly crispy. The combination of veggies and the savory sauce is simply divine. It's a healthy and delicious dish that I'll be making again and again. Highly recommend trying it out!

Katuscha Steen

Essential Techniques for Crafting a Flavorful Stir-Fry

Pressing the tofu: Wrap the block of tofu in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and place a heavy object, such as a cast-iron skillet, on top to press out the excess water. This helps the tofu to become firmer and absorb flavors better during cooking.

Searing the tofu: Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pressed tofu and cook on all sides until it is seared and golden brown. This step helps to develop a crispy exterior and enhances the texture of the tofu in the stir-fry.

Preparing the vegetables: Wash and chop the vegetables as directed in the ingredient list. Cut the carrots, zucchini, and green beans into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking. Slice the garlic and shiitake mushrooms thinly for optimal flavor distribution.

Making the stir-fry sauce: In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil, black beans, soy sauce, rice wine, red pepper flakes, and rice vinegar. Mix well to ensure the flavors are evenly distributed before adding it to the stir-fry.

Reducing the sauce: After adding the stir-fry sauce to the pan, allow it to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will help the sauce to reduce and thicken, coating the tofu and vegetables with a flavorful glaze.

How To Make Tofu Garlic Stir-Fry

Have a meatless but protein-rich dish with tofu garlic stir-fry. The savory flavor of garlic mixed with fermented black beans create a rich taste.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes



  • ¼cupvegetable oil
  • 1lbtofu
  • 1tbspsesame oil
  • 2clovesgarlic,minced
  • ½cupbaby corn
  • 1cupsnow peas
  • 1carrot,thinly sliced
  • 1zucchini,cut in half and sliced
  • 1cupgreen beans
  • 1cupshiitake mushrooms,halved
  • 1cupbroccoli florets
  • 4tbspblack beans,fermented, rinsed
  • ¼cupsoy sauce,low sodium
  • 2tbsprice wine
  • 1tspred pepper flakes
  • 1tbsprice vinegar


  1. Press the water out of the tofu with paper towels or clean kitchen towels then add to a large skillet on medium high heat with the vegetable oil.

  2. Cook on all sides until seared and golden brown. Add in the garlic, baby corn, snow peas, carrots, zucchini, green beans, mushrooms, broccoli, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Mix together the sesame oil, black beans, soy sauce, rice wine, red pepper flakes, and rice vinegar before adding it to the pan and stirring to combine then let the sauce reduce as it cooks for 3 to 4 minutes.


  • Calories: 344.58kcal
  • Fat: 22.93g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.53g
  • Trans Fat: 0.11g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 12.89g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 6.14g
  • Carbohydrates: 21.00g
  • Fiber: 5.87g
  • Sugar: 5.61g
  • Protein: 16.32g
  • Sodium: 914.42mg
  • Calcium: 293.09mg
  • Potassium: 830.71mg
  • Iron: 3.96mg
  • Vitamin A: 183.94µg
  • Vitamin C: 45.13mg

Mastering the Art of Stir-Frying: A Crucial Tip

When pressing the water out of your tofu, it's important to be gentle yet firm. Too much pressure can cause the tofu to crumble, while too little won't remove enough water. This step is crucial as it allows the tofu to absorb the flavors of the stir-fry more effectively. For best results, wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels, place it on a flat surface, and put a heavy object on top, such as a cast-iron skillet or a cutting board weighed down with cans. Let it sit for at least 15-20 minutes before cooking.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Garlic Tofu Stir-Fry

Prep ahead: Chop and prepare all the vegetables and tofu in advance to streamline the cooking process.

One-pan wonder: Use a large skillet or wok to cook the stir-fry, minimizing the number of dishes to clean up afterward.

High heat: Cook the tofu and vegetables on high heat to achieve a quick and flavorful stir-fry.

Organized workspace: Keep all ingredients and utensils within reach to avoid wasting time searching for items during cooking.

Efficient multitasking: While the tofu is cooking, prepare the sauce and chop any remaining vegetables to maximize efficiency in the kitchen.

Substitute Ingredients For Tofu Garlic Stir-Fry Recipe

  • tofu - Substitute with tempeh: Tempeh is a fermented soy product with a firmer texture and nuttier flavor, making it a great alternative to tofu in stir-fry recipes.

  • sesame oil - Substitute with peanut oil: Peanut oil has a similar nutty flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable replacement for sesame oil in stir-fry recipes.

  • garlic - Substitute with shallots: Shallots have a mild, sweet flavor that can provide a similar aromatic quality to dishes as garlic.

  • baby corn - Substitute with water chestnuts: Water chestnuts offer a similar crunchy texture and mild flavor, making them a good substitute for baby corn in stir-fry recipes.

  • snow peas - Substitute with sugar snap peas: Sugar snap peas have a similar crisp texture and sweet flavor, making them a suitable replacement for snow peas in stir-fry dishes.

  • shiitake mushrooms - Substitute with cremini mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms have a similar earthy flavor and meaty texture, making them a good substitute for shiitake mushrooms in stir-fry recipes.

  • black beans - Substitute with edamame: Edamame provides a similar protein-rich element and adds a pop of color and texture to stir-fry dishes.

  • soy sauce - Substitute with tamari: Tamari is a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce with a similar rich, savory flavor, making it a suitable substitute in stir-fry recipes.

  • rice wine - Substitute with dry sherry: Dry sherry offers a similar depth of flavor and acidity, making it a good substitute for rice wine in stir-fry dishes.

  • rice vinegar - Substitute with apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar provides a slightly sweet and fruity acidity, making it a suitable replacement for rice vinegar in stir-fry recipes.

Presenting Garlic Tofu Stir-Fry

  1. Elevate the tofu: Cut the tofu into uniform cubes and arrange them in a neat and precise manner on the plate to showcase the texture and form of the tofu.

  2. Incorporate vibrant colors: Integrate a variety of colorful vegetables such as the baby corn, snow peas, carrots, zucchini, green beans, and shiitake mushrooms to create a visually appealing and appetizing dish.

  3. Create balance and harmony: Ensure that each component of the stir-fry is proportionally distributed on the plate, creating a harmonious balance of flavors and textures.

  4. Garnish with finesse: Sprinkle sesame seeds or finely chopped scallions on top of the stir-fry to add a touch of elegance and a burst of flavor.

  5. Utilize negative space: Embrace the concept of negative space on the plate to allow the stir-fry to stand out and be the focal point of the dish.

  6. Incorporate artistic drizzling: Drizzle the sauce in an artistic and deliberate manner around the plate, adding a touch of sophistication to the presentation.

  7. Emphasize the umami factor: Highlight the umami-rich black beans by strategically placing them around the dish, enhancing the overall depth of flavor.

  8. Consider the plate shape and size: Select a plate that complements the colors and arrangement of the stir-fry, ensuring that it enhances the overall presentation.

Essential Tools for Making a Delicious Stir-Fry

  • Large skillet: A large, flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and stir-frying ingredients.

  • Paper towels or clean kitchen towels: These are used to press the water out of the tofu before cooking.

  • Spatula: A kitchen tool with a broad, flat, blunt blade, used for mixing, spreading, and turning ingredients while cooking.

  • Mixing spoon: A long-handled spoon used for mixing and stirring ingredients in the skillet.

  • Measuring cups and spoons: These are used to accurately measure the vegetable oil, soy sauce, rice wine, red pepper flakes, and rice vinegar.

  • Cutting board and knife: These are used for preparing and chopping the vegetables and tofu.

  • Whisk: A utensil used for blending and mixing the sesame oil, black beans, soy sauce, rice wine, red pepper flakes, and rice vinegar for the sauce.

  • Tongs: Used for turning and tossing the ingredients in the skillet while stir-frying.

  • Cooking spoon: A large spoon used for stirring and serving the stir-fry.

  • Skimmer or slotted spoon: Used for removing any excess liquid or oil from the stir-fry.

  • Small bowl: Used for mixing the sauce ingredients before adding them to the stir-fry.

Storing and Freezing Your Homemade Stir-Fry

  • Let the garlic tofu stir-fry cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days
  • To reheat, simply place the desired portion in a skillet over medium heat and stir until heated through, adding a splash of water or vegetable broth if needed to loosen the sauce
  • For longer storage, transfer the cooled stir-fry to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing
  • Label the container with the date and contents for easy identification
  • Freeze the garlic tofu stir-fry for up to 2-3 months
  • To thaw, place the frozen stir-fry in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours until completely thawed
  • Reheat the thawed stir-fry in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through and the sauce is bubbling
  • If the sauce appears too thick after thawing, add a small amount of water or vegetable broth to achieve the desired consistency
  • For best results, consume the reheated garlic tofu stir-fry within 1-2 days of thawing

Reheating Leftover Garlic Tofu Stir-Fry

  • Reheat in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add a splash of vegetable oil or sesame oil to the pan, then add the leftover stir-fry. Stir frequently until heated through, about 3-5 minutes. This method helps to retain the texture of the tofu and vegetables.

  • For a quick and easy option, reheat in the microwave. Place the leftover stir-fry in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until heated through. Be careful not to overheat, as this can cause the tofu to become rubbery.

  • If you have an air fryer, you can use it to reheat the stir-fry. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C), then add the leftover stir-fry to the basket. Cook for 3-5 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until heated through and slightly crispy.

  • For a crispy texture, reheat the stir-fry in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C), spread the leftover stir-fry on a baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through and slightly crispy.

  • If you have a steamer, you can use it to gently reheat the stir-fry. Place the leftover stir-fry in a heat-safe dish, then place the dish in the steamer basket. Steam for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through. This method helps to retain the moisture and flavor of the dish.

Interesting Trivia About Garlic Tofu Stir-Fry

The garlic tofu stir-fry recipe is a great source of plant-based protein, as tofu is made from soybeans and is a good meat alternative for vegetarians and vegans. Tofu is also rich in essential amino acids and contains no cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy option. Additionally, this recipe is packed with a variety of colorful vegetables, providing an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Enjoying this dish regularly can contribute to a well-rounded and nutritious diet.

Is Making Garlic Tofu Stir-Fry at Home Cost-Effective?

This garlic tofu stir-fry recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. The use of affordable ingredients such as tofu, vegetables, and black beans makes it a budget-friendly option. With an abundance of nutritious and filling components, this dish offers great value for money. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15. The overall verdict for this recipe is 9/10, as it provides a delicious, healthy, and economical meal option for families.

Is This Stir-Fry Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

This garlic tofu stir-fry recipe is a healthy and nutritious dish overall. Here's why:

  • It's packed with a variety of vegetables, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber
  • Tofu is a great source of plant-based protein and contains beneficial compounds like isoflavones
  • The use of vegetable oil and sesame oil in moderation is fine, as they provide healthy fats
  • The recipe includes garlic, which has anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties
  • Soy sauce and black beans add flavor and some additional protein
  • The dish is low in carbohydrates and contains no added sugars

However, there are a few areas where the recipe could be improved to make it even healthier:

  • Opt for low-sodium soy sauce to reduce the overall salt content of the dish
  • Use a smaller amount of vegetable oil or choose a healthier option like coconut oil or avocado oil
  • Include a serving of whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa, to provide more complex carbohydrates and fiber
  • Add more leafy greens, like spinach or kale, to boost the nutrient content even further
  • Consider using a variety of mushrooms, as they offer unique health benefits and flavors
  • Experiment with different spices and herbs, like ginger or turmeric, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can enhance the overall taste of the dish

Our Editor's Take on This Stir-Fry Recipe

The garlic tofu stir-fry recipe is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The combination of tender tofu, crisp vegetables, and savory black bean sauce creates a harmonious dish. The use of sesame oil and rice wine adds depth to the overall flavor profile, while the hint of heat from the red pepper flakes provides a pleasant kick. The recipe's balance of ingredients and cooking techniques showcases a mastery of stir-frying. It's a versatile and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with steamed rice for a complete meal.

Enhance Your Tofu Garlic Stir-Fry Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Miso-Glazed Eggplant: Sliced eggplant marinated in a savory miso glaze and grilled to perfection
Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts: Crispy Brussels sprouts tossed in a sweet and spicy honey sriracha sauce
Coconut Curry Cauliflower Rice: Fluffy cauliflower rice cooked in a creamy coconut curry sauce with aromatic spices

Delicious Alternatives to Garlic Tofu Stir-Fry

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken: This dish is a flavorful and spicy stir-fry made with ground chicken, Thai basil, bell peppers, and onions. It's a perfect balance of heat and savory flavors.
Mango Avocado Salsa: This refreshing salsa is made with ripe mangoes, creamy avocados, red onions, cilantro, and lime juice. It's a perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: A comforting and creamy soup made with ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, onions, garlic, and a touch of cream. It's the perfect soup for a cozy night in.
Berry Cobbler: This classic dessert is made with a mix of fresh berries, a buttery biscuit topping, and a sprinkle of sugar. It's best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Ideal Appetizers and Desserts to Complement Garlic Tofu Stir-Fry

Crispy Tofu Bites: Crispy tofu bites served with a tangy dipping sauce, perfect for a light and flavorful start to your meal.
Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Savory stuffed mushrooms filled with a delicious mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs, a delightful appetizer to kick off your dining experience.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth and creamy texture will melt in your mouth, leaving you craving for more.
Berry Parfait: Layered with fresh berries, creamy yogurt, and crunchy granola, this berry parfait is a delightful combination of sweet and tangy flavors. Each spoonful offers a burst of fruity goodness and a satisfying crunch.

Why trust this Tofu Garlic Stir-Fry Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful fusion of flavors and textures, creating a harmonious balance in every bite. The use of tofu as the main protein source ensures a healthy and satisfying meal, while the medley of vegetables adds vibrant colors and essential nutrients. The combination of sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar infuses the dish with an irresistible umami taste. With a meticulous cooking process and a diverse range of ingredients, this garlic tofu stir-fry promises a delightful culinary experience that you can trust and enjoy.

Share your thoughts and experiences with the Tofu Garlic Stir-Fry Recipe in our Recipe Sharing forum section, where you can connect with fellow cooking enthusiasts and exchange tips and variations.
How can I make this stir-fry less spicy?
You can reduce the spiciness by using less red pepper flakes in the recipe. You can also omit the red pepper flakes altogether if you prefer a milder flavor.
Can I use a different type of bean instead of black beans?
Yes, you can substitute black beans with other types of beans such as kidney beans, chickpeas, or edamame.
Is there a substitute for tofu in this recipe?
If you prefer not to use tofu, you can substitute it with seitan, tempeh, or even chickpeas for a different texture and flavor.
Can I prepare this stir-fry in advance and reheat it later?
Yes, you can prepare the stir-fry in advance and reheat it later. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat it in a skillet or microwave when you're ready to enjoy it.
How can I add more protein to this dish?
To add more protein, you can include cooked chicken, shrimp, or beef to the stir-fry. Alternatively, you can also add a handful of cashews or peanuts for an extra protein boost.

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