Marinated Tofu Stir-Fry

This recipe is one of my favorite quick suppers, the marinade ingredients have been taped inside a cupboard for years now! It's vegan so a good choice for Meatless Mondays and low in fat and calories so a great choice for Weight Watchers and healthy eaters. For awhile, I called this recipe "Kitchen" Stir-Fry because honestly, it tastes good made with whatever's in the kitchen. Just keep tofu and frozen vegetables on hand, then add whatever other vegetables sound good. After that, honestly, this stir-fry kind of cooks itself.

Real Food, Fresh & Flexible. Weeknight Easy. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free. High Protein. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real.
Marinated Tofu Stir-Fry, another Quick Supper ♥, just tofu and a mix of fresh and frozen vegetables. Weeknight Easy. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free. High Protein. Vegan.

In Praise of Plant-Based Tofu.

What food sells for less than $2 a pound? is low in calories? and fat? and carbs? and cholesterol? but high in protein?

It’s tofu, the soy-based, earth-friendly super-food. If you’re tempted to stop reading, please don’t! I do understand: I was a vegetarian for eight years and cooked with tofu exactly once.

But now that I’ve become a carnivore, thanks to this delicious stir-fry, I’m also a reformed tofu-eater!

Keep the ingredients for Marinated Tofu Stir-Fry on hand so you can cook up a fast, hot and nutritious supper any time. Some tofu brands require no refrigeration so store in the pantry. Stock up on frozen stir-fry vegetables for the freezer when they’re on sale, which can make this an economical supper too.

Like most stir-fry dishes, this one begs for improvisation, especially with the vegetables. Sugar snap peas are especially good, broccoli and fancy mushrooms too. Use your imagination to discover your family’s favorite combinations.

Serve with Oven-Baked Brown Rice. I often make it with a 2:1 mix of brown rice:wild rice or rice:quinoa. Some times, I stir a little baby spinach into the hot rice, more color, more flavor, more nutrition! Not into brown rice? Here's How to Cook White Rice!


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 4
Allow about 30 minutes for the tofu to marinate and the frozen vegetables to thaw. Use this time to prep the vegetables, they should be ready to go before beginning to cook.

  • 12 ounces extra-firm tofu (see TIPS)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave (for vegan) or honey
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (don't skip this!)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Used Marinade
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Marinated (But Drained) Tofu
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 8 ounces (225g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 green onions, cut in two-inch lengths
  • 8 ounces (225g) sliced water chestnuts
  • 16 ounces (450g) frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed while the tofu marinates
  • Thickening Sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh bean sprouts, for garnish

MARINATED TOFU Place a double layer of paper towels in a colander or right on the counter. Dice the tofu onto the paper towels, then pat the cubes dry. Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil and cayenne, pour into a freezer bag. Add the tofu and gently turn a few times, distributing the marinade throughout the bag. Let the tofu marinate for 30 minutes or more, turning occasionally.

THICKENING SAUCE In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water. After the tofu has marinated, snip a corner of the freezer bag, drain the marinade into the bowl and mix again. Set aside.

FINALLY, STIR FRY! Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet (or a wok, if you have one) over high heat. Transfer the tofu to the hot skillet (it should sizzle) and let it cook, turning occasionally, until edges are brown and crispy. Remove the tofu from skillet and keep warm.

Add 1/4 cup water to the skillet. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, mushrooms and green onion and stir-fry until almost cooked, about 5 minutes. Add thawed vegetables and water chestnuts, stir-fry until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Thickening Sauce, then cook until Sauce turns slightly syrupy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return the tofu to skillet and stir just to mix. Serve immediately, garnishing plates with bean sprouts.

ALANNA's TIPS Check the nutrition facts on tofu packages. While still relatively low in calories, some tofu brands have several times more calories than others. Look for brands that have about 45 calories for a three-ounce serving. Warm the honey in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to pour or measure. The next time you buy soy sauce, choose a bottle with reduced salt. What a flavor difference! If your family is extra hungry, double the marinade and add more vegetables. Just add the ones that will take longer to cook first, the ones that cook more quickly at the end.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 164 Calories; 3g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 765mg Sodium; 25g Carb; 6g Fiber; 10g Sugar; 13g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 4 & SmartPoints 5 & Freestyle 2 & myWW green 3 & blue 2 & purple 2

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.