Dive into a delicious plant-based meal with this Crispy Tofu Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce – a fusion of crispy, golden tofu, vibrant veggies, and an easy homemade peanut sauce. Elevate your weeknight dinner with this irresistible vegetarian stir fry.
Even the meat-eaters are going to love this crispy tofu stir fry! I'll admit I'm not always the biggest fan of tofu but when it's fried until crispy and coated in a delicious peanut sauce, I'm in! You can always swap the tofu for chicken for the die hard tofu haters. It will be equally delicious.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Easy to Make: This tofu stir fry comes together quickly and easily. Cooking times will vary depending on the vegetables used but will come together in less than 30 minutes.
Versatile: Swap out any of the veggies to include your favourites or what you have on hand. Play around with it and make it your own.
Perfect for Meal Prep: All the vegetables can be prepped and the sauce made ahead of time to prepare for a busy week ahead.
Nutritious and Balanced: With protein-rich tofu and an assortment of vibrant veggies, it delivers a wholesome and delicious meal that's as good for your taste buds as it is for your well-being.
🥘Ingredients and Substitutions
Tofu: You can use firm or medium-firm tofu, but it might affect the crispiness due to a higher water content. Tempeh also makes a great substitution. For a non-vegetarian version, you can use diced chicken, thinly sliced beef, or shrimp.
Cornstarch: You can omit the cornstarch keeping in mind the tofu won't be crispy.
Vegetables: The vegetables can be substituted with other vegetables of your choice, such as bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower mushrooms, baby corn, bamboo shoots, or water chestnuts.
Garlic: If you don't have fresh garlic, garlic powder (⅛ teaspoon per clove) or minced garlic from a jar (½ teaspoon per clove) can be used as a substitute.
Peanut Butter: If you have allergies or prefer a different flavor, you can use almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter.
Soy Sauce: Tamari or coconut aminos can be used as a substitute for soy sauce. They are also suitable for a gluten-free option.
Rice Vinegar: White wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used as alternatives to rice vinegar.
Sugar: Use your sweetener of choice like maple syrup, honey, agave nectar etc. Adjust the amount to suit your personal preferences.
Sesame Oil: Toasted sesame oil adds a distinct flavor, but you can use regular sesame oil or omit it if necessary.
For a complete list of ingredients see the recipe card below.
To make a non-vegetarian version, replace or add to the tofu with sliced or diced chicken, peeled shrimp, or thinly sliced pork or beef. Proceed with the recipe as written, ensuring the protein is cooked through. Cooking times will vary depending on the type of protein and the size of the pieces.
Make it Spicy: To make a spicy version of this crispy tofu stir fry add in chopped fresh chili peppers, chili flakes, chili garlic sauce or hot sauce. Alternatively, serve chili garlic sauce or hot sauce on the side.
🔪How to Make Crispy Tofu Stir Fry
Step 1 - Slice the tofu and lay slices on a plate lined with paper towel. Pat with paper towel. Cut into bite sized pieces and toss in cornstarch.
Step 2 - Mix together all the sauce ingredients except for the water. Add a splash of water at a time to reach your desired thickness.
Step 3 - Coat the tofu pieces in cornstarch and fry in oil until golden brown and crispy.
Step 4 - Cook the vegetables starting with the ones that take the longest to cook and ending with the broccoli slaw.
Step 5 - Add the tofu back to the wok along with the green onions and peanut sauce. Stir well to coat and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes or until everything is warm and vegetables are crisp-tender.
For detailed instructions see the recipe card below.
Prepare your ingredients: In the restaurant world we call this "mise en place" which means "everything in its place". This is my number 1 piece of cooking advice. Before you start cooking make sure you have all your ingredients measured, chopped, drained etc. This is especially helpful when making one-pan meals that come together quickly.
Press the Tofu Thoroughly to remove excess water. This allows for better crispiness when cooking. You may need more than one change of paper towel or to reduce waste use a clean dish towel.
Adjust Sauce Consistency: Gradually add water to the peanut sauce until you achieve your desired consistency making sure the sauce perfectly coats the tofu and vegetables.
Use a Hot Pan: Heat the pan, and the oil, well before adding the tofu. A hot pan is crucial for achieving that golden crispiness.
There are a few reasons your tofu might not be getting crispy. You may not have pressed out enough of the water, you aren't using extra-firm tofu, the oil in the pan isn't hot enough, or the pan may be overcrowded.
Pressing tofu isn't mandatory for all recipes, but it enhances crispiness. If you lack a press, wrap tofu in layers of paper towel, place on a board, and weigh it down. Press for 20-30 minutes, changing towels. Alternatively, for a quick method, slice tofu, lay on paper towels, and press by hand.
Your tofu can stick to the pan if the oil isn't hot enough or if you aren't using a non-stick pan. Also be sure to leave the tofu in the hot oil for a minute or two before trying to stir or flip.
More Stir Fry Recipes
Crispy Tofu Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce
- 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed (300g)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup snow peas, ends trimmed
- 4 green onions, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups broccoli slaw
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ¼ cup peanut butter, creamy or chunky
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons water, adjust for desired consistency
- Fresh cilantro
- Chopped peanuts
- Lime wedges
- Prepare tofu: Slice into 1-inch slices and place between layers of paper towel. Press out as much water as you can. The drier the tofu, the more crispy it will become. Cut into bite sized cubes and toss in cornstarch until well coated.1 block extra firm tofu,, 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Make peanut sauce: Whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil and lime juice. Add water gradually for desired consistency.¼ cup peanut butter,, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons water,
- Cook tofu: Heat oil in a non-stick pan or wok, over medium-high heat. Add cornstarch-coated tofu cubes, cooking until golden brown and crispy. Remove and set aside to drain on paper towel.3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Stir fry vegetables: Add more oil if needed. Stir in carrots and a splash of water, stir-frying for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and snow peas, stir-frying for an additional 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Add green onions, garlic and broccoli slaw, stir-frying for 1 more minute.1 medium carrot,, 1 bell pepper,, 1 cup snow peas,, 4 green onions,, 1 ½ cups broccoli slaw, 4 cloves garlic,
- Combine: Add crispy tofu back to the pan, pour over the peanut sauce, and toss to coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes until heated through.
- Serve: Enjoy the stir fry on its own or over rice, noodles, or your preferred accompaniment. Garnish with chopped peanuts, cilantro, or fresh lime juice if desired.