There are many reasons to pursue a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, such as health issues, animal concerns, or religious reasons. However, just because you’ve chosen not to eat meat doesn’t mean you can go without the protein it often provides in the average diet. One popular meat substitute is tofu, a soy product made from compressed soybeans in a process similar to cheesemaking.
Although often a debated ingredient among different health camps, tofu is a relatively healthy and nutrient dense ingredient. Each 3.5 oz serving contains 8 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, iron, zinc, and calcium – all for only 70 calories. Research shows that increasing your tofu intake make increase blood and heart health as well as help balance hormones in postmenopausal women.
Keep reading for a few tips on cooking with tofu as well as a few veggie-packed tofu stir fry recipes you’ll want to put on your menu this week.
Tips for Stir-Frying Tofu
Tofu is a budget-friendly, nutritional ingredient, but it can be a little tricky to work with in stir-fry. Practice does help and some sound advice can help you avoid some common mistakes. To start, buy firm or extra-firm tofu if you can find it, as softer tofu won’t hold up and will result in a soft, disappointing texture.
Cube and press your tofu before cooking by covering it in a few layers of paper towel before laying a heavy plate or cutting board on top. Allow to press for at least 20 minutes, this will remove the last of the moisture from your tofu. Add your tofu into the wok first to allow it to crisp on the outside and form a lovely golden texture. Expect some crumbling, as this is natural and actually enhances the flavor. Remove your tofu before stir-frying the rest of your veggies.
3 Tofu Stir Fry Recipes
Ginger Snow-Pea Tofu Stir Fry
Chinese rice wine (called Shaoxing) and baby bok-choy give this vegetarian stir-fry an authentic flavor. You’ll find the Shaoxing in the liquor aisle, and although the recipe says you can substitute rice vinegar there really is no comparison. Be sure to cook your ingredients in steps, starting with the tofu, then moving to the onions and peppers and finishing with the more delicate bok-choy and snow peas.
Simple Green-Bean and Red Pepper Stir Fry
This recipe from the Minimalist Baker calls for drying your tofu in the over before sauteeing in sesame oil with green beans and pepper. A bit of fresh ginger and maple syrup give this recipe a truly simple and sweet flavor. This recipe calls mainly for ingredients you already have on hand so we think it’s the perfect starter recipe for experimenting with tofu stir-fry.
Honey-Ginger Veggie Stir Fry
This recipe calls for a tenderly cooked bed of whole grain brown rice or farrow and only gets better from there. Asparagus, green onions, and shaved carrots bring the veggies to the party, and the honey-soy sauce completes the dish to perfection.
What’s your favorite tofu-stir fry ingredient? What do you add to your meatless stir-fry dinners? Share your tips with us in the comments section below.
Photo by Vita Marija Murenaite on Unsplash