Tofu Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

Earlier I mentioned that I think fake meat is weird. However, tofu is not fake meat! It is it’s own thing, and I’m really into stir-frying it right now. I get the sprouted kind, because it’s supposedly easier to digest (and it’s the only kind that comes in two half-sized portions at the grocery store where I shop). Extra firm. I have been determined to perfect my stir-fry recipe, so I haven’t tried using it for anything but stir-fry yet. I’ve made a Thai-inspired peanut sauce (recipe here) as well as a Chinese-inspired sort of generic stir-fry sauce, and I liked the peanut one better so here you go. All my ingredients are in this picture except for limes, which I didn’t realize I had left over from Cinco de Mayo until after I’d taken the picture. I highly recommend squeezing lime juice into your sauce–it really did a lot to make it taste more like sauce and less like pure peanut butter. Here’s the recipe (sauce is adapted from this recipe).

Tofu Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

Time commitment: 20-30 minutes

Makes 4 servings (two dinners and one or two leftover lunches)


1 c. white rice
2 generous c. water

1/2 c. crunchy (or smooth) peanut butter
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. brown sugar
A couple dashes of red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
2 T. brown rice vinegar
1/2 c. water
juice of about half a lime
dash of sesame oil (this stuff is strong)

1/2 package of tofu, cut up
10 oz. package frozen stir-fry veggies
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1″ ginger, grated (or about 1/2 t. ginger powder)

Spinach, washed and dried


First, put a pot of rice on. You might have your own way, but I find that bringing the water and rice to a boil on high heat without the lid, then reducing to a simmer on low before putting the lid on keeps it from boiling over. Then I set the timer for 15 minutes and move it to a cool burner, leaving the lid on, once the timer goes off. Leave the lid on till you’re ready to serve.

Next, mix your sauce ingredients till smooth, then taste. Still to thick? Add more water. Too peanut buttery? Add more acid (vinegar and/or lime juice). Not spicy enough? You get the idea. Set aside.

Heat up a non-stick pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, cut up your drained-but-not-pressed tofu like this…

Add about a tablespoon of canola oil to your hot pan, then add the tofu. Spread it out so it all looks like little square pancakes. Leave it alone till it’s golden brown (4 or 5 minutes). Then, flip over to the other side and brown again.

When your tofu is done add the bag of frozen stir-fry veg, garlic, and ginger. Here’s a tip about ginger: it seems impossible to buy just enough for one recipe, so when I buy it I use what I need, then peel, grate, and freeze the rest in 1″ portions. Thaws out beautifully in about 10 minutes. No more wasted ginger!)

Stir-fry until the veggies are warmed through (I like mine still crunchy, and did you know that all store-bought frozen veggies have been parboiled?) then turn down the heat and stir in your sauce. If it gets too thick for your liking, then add some more water. Heat through.

You can serve it over whatever you want. I put mine on a bed of spinach and had rice on the side (sorry for the crappy iPhone pic). YUM. Next time I want to put some crushed peanuts on top and maybe an extra squeeze of lime.

What do you think? 

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