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Stir-Fried Tofu, Thai-Style


Basil, cilantro, mint, and peanuts give this tofu stir-fry a fresh, Thai-inspired flavor. Serve with rice noodles or jasmine rice.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Photography: Sang An

Source: Body+Soul, June 2006


  • 1 package (14 ounces) regular tofu, firm or extra-firm, drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
  • 1 bunch Chinese broccoli, stems trimmed
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup each whole basil, cilantro, and mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped


  1. Cut tofu in half widthwise. Keep the pieces stacked and cut lengthwise into thirds (creates 6 rectangles), and then cut the tofu horizontally (slicing parallel to work surface) into quarters to create 24 cubes, each about 1 inch. Press the tofu. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, curry paste, and coconut milk until blended; set aside.

  2. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add the tofu and sear without moving until the cubes have browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn the tofu and sear other side until browned, about 2 minutes more. Turn and sear a third side, again for about 2 minutes. Remove tofu to a plate and set aside.

  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat. Add the broccoli, red pepper, 3 tablespoons of water, and salt to taste; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are almost tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Return tofu to the skillet and stir in the sauce. Cook to heat and blend flavors, about 1 minute. Serve immediately, garnishing each portion with basil, cilantro, mint, and peanuts.

Cook's Notes

To stir-fry successfully, prepare everything before you begin; then cook in batches. Forget the wok and use a skillet large enough to hold a single layer of tofu, which will ensure that your tofu browns and becomes crisp. For a spicier version, you can double the curry paste to 2 teaspoons.

Reviews Add a comment

  • SuzePrich1
    14 FEB, 2014
    The "sauce" is curiously flavorless, and to tell you the truth, I had to make myself a giant salad afterward, since I was starving. I'm not a vegetarian, but I often will eat a meatless meal. This was just not a satisfying tofu dish. I don't care for bell peppers, so I left them out, but I doubt that would have made the difference. I won't make it again.
  • mabrazeau
    5 DEC, 2010
    This recipe needed a few adjustments for our taste: -less fish sauce -more chinese brocoli Thanks for the base !
  • littledorrit
    3 MAY, 2010
    Sorry, but it ain't vegetarian. It's got fish sauce.
  • ManicCat
    30 JUN, 2009
    This Thai sauce was so easy to make.
  • ManicCat
    30 JUN, 2009
    This Thai sauce was so easy to make.