Vegetable and Tofu Stir Fry

Vegetable and Tofu Stir Fry



If tofu is prepared right, it’s delicious. If not, it can taste like rubber. Tofu is curdled soy milk that has been pressed in a process similar to making cheese. You’ll find tofu in natural food stores and many supermarkets these days. Several brands are available with varying texture from extra firm to soft (tofu’s firmness depends on the amount of liquid that’s been pressed out of it). In large cities with Asian markets you can often find tofu sold in bulk, usually stored in open barrels. Tofu sold this way has occasionally been found to be infected with E. coli bacteria, so be cautious. You might also try the delicious varieties of baked, pressed tofu you’ll find in refrigerator cases at natural food stores. These are already flavored and ready to eat without additional cooking.

The idea behind stir-frying is to produce a mixture in which all the items are crunchy-tender and retain their colors and individual character. While a steel wok is the ideal pan for making stir-fry dishes because it distributes heat evenly, large flat skillets are nearly as effective. The important part is to stir the ingredients constantly over high heat. Also, as tofu is very perishable, store any unused portions in fresh water in the fridge and change the water daily. Just note that it will only last about a week.

Food as Medicine
Despite sensational claims on the Internet and elsewhere that soy foods are not healthy, the weight of available evidence indicates that soy is safe and nutritious when eaten in relatively unrefined forms such as tofu.


1 pound firm tofu
8 cups sliced vegetables (we suggest yellow onions, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, celery, broccoli, asparagus, mung-bean sprouts, bamboo shoots)
1 tablespoon expeller-pressed canola oil
2 cups cooked rice

1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup natural soy sauce (low sodium if you prefer)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger root
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder


1. Slice the tofu in 1/2 inch slices. Press between layered paper towels or clean kitchen towels to dry well. Cut slices into 1-inch cubes. Arrange on a plate with prepared vegetables, separated by variety. 

2. Combine sauce ingredients except for arrowroot powder in a small bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Mix arrowroot powder with just enough cold water to dissolve in a custard cup or teacup (you’ll use less than 2 tsp water). Add to sauce, stir well and set aside. 

3. Preheat a wok or large skillet. Add the canola oil and vegetables (add the sturdier vegetables first, adding the more tender ones like mung bean sprouts later) and cook over medium-high heat until just crisp tender, stirring constantly. 

4. Add the tofu and stir very carefully until the tofu is heated. Stir sauce and pour around edge of wok. Stir vegetables around in sauce as it thickens. Remove from heat as soon as sauce is thickened and serve over rice.


Serves 4

Nutrients Per Serving
Calories: 351.3
Protein: 15.1 grams
Fat: 10.6 grams
Saturated Fat: 1.3 grams
Monounsat Fat: 3.6 grams
Polyunsat Fat: 4.9 grams
Carbohydrate: 48.9 grams
Fiber: 6.4 grams
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Vitamin A: 12,756. IU
Vitamin E: 1.6 mg/IU
Vitamin C: 189.1 mg
Calcium: 185.3 mg
Magnesium: 163.1 mg


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