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Tofu Stir Fry with Vegetables & Ginger Sesame Sauce

This Tofu Stir Fry with Sweet Ginger Sesame Sauce glazed over seared chunks of tofu and veggies is an easy stir fry that will make the whole family rush to the table.

tofu veggie stir fry in wok with wooden spoon

I love to make stir-fries because they are so easy and versatile. They can have a base of rice or noodles, and the options for veggies to include are nearly endless.

For this recipe, I use a Sweet Ginger Sesame Sauce, but you really can use any stir fry sauce preferred. Any of these 5 Stir-Fry Sauces would be excellent options.

black plate filled with vegetable stir fry with tofu and chopsticks and hot tea

We love this stir fry because it’s…

  • Simple to make
  • Chock full of healthy ingredients
  • Loaded with protein and calcium
  • Saucy
  • Crunchy
  • Full of flavor
  • Delicious
brown coconut bowl filled with tofu stir fry with wok in background

Ingredients in tofu stir-fry

  • Tofu- You will want to purchase firm or extra firm tofu from the refrigerator section to make this recipe. It has a more dense meaty texture. The softer varieties will fall apart when cooking.
  • Vegetables- The vegetables chosen to use are completely your preference. Some of the ones we use regularly are mushrooms, Bok Choy, bell peppers, snow peas, and baby corn.
  • Base- Stir-fries need to be served over over a starch to make them a complete meal. The most common choices are rice or noodles, but you could even use other grains such as quinoa and bulgur.
  • Stir-Fry Sauce- There are so many sauces to choose from besides the ginger sesame sauce used here. Some of my favorites are Asian Stir-Fry Sauce, Peanut Sauce, and Tahini Sauce.

Do you have to press the tofu?

Yes, the tofu definitely needs to be pressed to remove most of the water from it. That leaves room for it to soak up the flavors of the stir fry sauce and will keep your dish from being soggy.

One trick with this recipe is to freeze the tofu in its container ahead of time. Then defrost before using, because it changes the texture and makes it more firm and spongy which is great for dishes like this.

Freezing tofu for at least one week prior to use makes it so firm you can actually squeeze the excess water out with your hands, just like a sponge. No tofu press will be necessary.

block of tofu being sliced into cubes on wooden cutting board

Is soy good for you?

Only 4 oz of tofu has nearly 300 mg of calcium which is about the same amount as a glass of milk.

Some people are not too sure about tofu, because it contains phytoestrogens. Turns out, phytoestrogens are very health-promoting and are not at all like our body’s natural estrogen that can cause harm and lead to disease.

This makes so much sense, because the countries that consume the most soy, such as Japan and China, have the lowest rates of cancer and chronic disease. This short video will explain the benefits of soy.

two wooden bowls filled with veggie stir fry with tofu and a small bowl of soy sauce

How to make tofu stir-fry

Begin by draining and pressing the firm or extra firm tofu. I like to freeze it ahead of time to make it even denser and, if you would like to do this, I explain the process in detail above. But, freezing isn’t required.

tofu chunks marinating in ginger sesame sauce

Once the water has been pressed from it, slice the tofu into bite-size chunks and drizzle with soy sauce. Set it to the side and allow it to marinate for about 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Place a stock pot with water on the stove and allow it to come to a boil. Add the udon noodles and cook for approximately 12 minutes or according to the package directions. I’ve included other noodle options below, including gluten-free options.

udon noodles in white colander

Drain and rinse the noodles under cool water to remove the starchy coating and stop the cooking process. Do not overcook the pasta or it will become mushy. Set to the side and prepare the stir fry sauce.

Making the sauce

In a wok or nonstick pan, add the sesame seeds to the dry pan and roast until they are golden brown and starting to pop. Remove quickly because they will go from brown to burned pretty fast. Transfer the seeds to a bowl and set them to the side.

Peel and grate 1.5 teaspoons of fresh ginger root. You can use ground dry ginger, but the flavor won’t be as fresh and delicious.

ginger root on cutting board with piece being grated in background

In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients–including the ginger and toasted sesame seeds–until well blended.

sweet ginger sauce in asian bowl with soup spoon

Place the wok or skillet back on the heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce, plus 2 tablespoons water. Add the marinated tofu in a single layer and allow them to brown.

non stick pan with browned tofu chunks

Cook approximately 3 minutes until browned, then flip the pieces so the other side can brown as well. Add more sauce or water if needed to keep from sticking. Remove from the pan and set to the side on a plate.

Return the skillet or wok to the heat and add approximately 3-4 tablespoons of water or veggie broth and the bok choy. Cover with a lid and cook until it begins to wilt for approximately 5 minutes.

bok choy leaves in stainless wok

Add all the other veggies and 1 tablespoon of the sauce and allow to cook for approximately 3-5 minutes until the vegetables are slightly tender.

Toss in the cooked noodles and the rest of the stir-fry sauce. Add the seared tofu and heat another 2-3 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!

stainless wok filled with tofu, veggies, and noodles

Pro tip variations and substitutions

  • Be sure to use a good non-stick pan to sear the tofu. With only a little bit of soy sauce, the tofu chunks should brown up nicely without sticking.
  • The noodles that I love are udon noodles. Other great options are lo mein noodles and any type of rice noodles.
  • To make this recipe gluten-free, use rice noodles or buckwheat soba noodles.
  • If you’re not a tofu fan, try other vegan meat substitutes like seitan, tempeh, or large portobello mushrooms.

*Recipe originally published June 2016.

Want more stir fry recipes?

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tofu veggie stir fry in wok with wooden spoon

Tofu Stir Fry with Vegetables & Sweet Ginger Sesame

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This Tofu Stir Fry with Sweet Ginger Sesame Sauce glazed over seared tofu and veggies is an easy stir fry that will make the whole family rush to the table.

Ingredients

Tofu Stir Fry

  • 1 package firm or extra firm tofu
  • 3 medium green onions, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small bunch Bok Choy
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 8-10 oz udon noodles (see Tips for other options)

Sweet Ginger Sesame Sauce

Instructions

  1. Begin by draining and pressing the firm or extra firm tofu. I like to freeze it ahead of time to make it even denser and, if you would like to do this, I explain the process in detail above. But, freezing isn't required.
  2. Once the water has been pressed from it, slice the tofu into bite-size chunks and drizzle with soy sauce. Set it to the side and allow it to marinate for about 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Place a stock pot with water on the stove and allow it to come to a boil. Add the udon noodles and cook for approximately 12 minutes or according to the package directions. I've included other noodle options below, including gluten-free options.
  4. Drain and rinse the noodles under cool water to remove the starchy coating and stop the cooking process. Do not overcook the pasta or it will become mushy. Set to the side and prepare the stir fry sauce.
  5. Place the wok or skillet back on the heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce, plus 2 tablespoons water. Add the marinated tofu in a single layer and allow them to brown.
  6. Cook approximately 3 minutes until browned, then flip the pieces so the other side can brown as well. Add more sauce or water if needed to keep from sticking. Remove from the pan and set to the side on a plate.
  7. Return the skillet or wok to the heat and add approximately 3-4 tablespoons of water or veggie broth and the bok choy. Cover with a lid and cook until it begins to wilt for approximately 5 minutes.
  8. Add all the other veggies and 1 tablespoon of the sauce and allow to cook for approximately 3-5 minutes until the vegetables are slightly tender.
  9. Toss in the cooked noodles and the rest of the stir-fry sauce. Add the seared tofu and heat another 2-3 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!

Making the sauce

  1. In a wok or nonstick pan, add the sesame seeds to the dry pan and roast until they are golden brown and starting to pop. Remove quickly because they will go from brown to burned pretty fast. Transfer the seeds to a bowl and set them to the side.
  2. Peel and grate 1.5 teaspoons of fresh ginger root. You can use ground dry ginger, but the flavor won't be as fresh and delicious.
  3. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients--including the ginger and toasted sesame seeds--until well blended.

Notes

Pro tip variations and substitutions

  1. Be sure to use a good non-stick pan to sear the tofu. With only a little bit of soy sauce, the tofu chunks should brown up nicely without sticking.
  2. The noodles that I love are udon noodles. Other great options are lo mein noodles and any type of rice noodles.
  3. To make this recipe gluten-free, use rice noodles or buckwheat soba noodles.
  4. If you're not a tofu fan, try other vegan meat substitutes like seitan, tempeh, or large portobello mushrooms.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292Total Fat: 5.6gCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 6.1gSugar: 9.3gProtein: 14.6g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

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Mary

Friday 21st of January 2022

Oh my gosh! This is wonderful! Even the meat eaters in my house thought it was good. My 11 year old granddaughter said it tastes like we got it at an Asian restaurant. My WFPB no oil husband and I absolutely loved it! Thanks so much for an awesome recipe. I will be making this again and again!

Terri Edwards

Saturday 22nd of January 2022

Hi Mary- WooHoo! I'm thrilled to hear that your family loved the recipe. Winning over the meat-eaters is a HUGE score!

michelle

Wednesday 12th of January 2022

what I'm having tonight!!! just pureed a pound of ginger to freeze- more than enough in my blender for this!

Ray

Friday 3rd of December 2021

This is an excellent recipe, the sauce is terrific. One of my regulars. Thank you so much!

Terri Edwards

Friday 3rd of December 2021

Hi Ray- Woo-Hoo! I'm so glad that you love it! :)

Diane

Wednesday 7th of June 2017

I want to pin individual recipes like this one but cannot find a Pinterest button. Do you have one that I am just not seeing?

EatPlant-Based.com

Wednesday 7th of June 2017

Diane, if you are on your phone, the share buttons (including Pinterest) are at the top of the recipe photo in blue. And, if you are on a desktop, the share buttons float in the left top corner. Hope this helps and thanks for Pinning!

Kathleen

Friday 1st of July 2016

I do wish there was a way to print these recipes without the pictures, ads, etc. Your recipes look delicious.

EatPlant-Based.com

Friday 1st of July 2016

To print a black and white plain copy, just click on one of the print buttons. One button is at the top right corner of the recipe, beside the star ratings. It's just a picture of a printer. The other button is at the bottom of the recipe, beside the email button and says, 'Print' on it. Hope this helps!

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