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Crispy Tofu in Garlic Sauce

No one will believe this delicious dinner is made with tofu!

This is the perfect introductory recipe to cooking tofu. We don’t have a lot of tofu recipes here on 12 Tomatoes yet, but after trying this one out we’re likely to do many more! Don’t let this meatless meal scare you away – this crispy tofu with veggies and garlic sauce will win even the harshest critic over.

Not only is the sauce bursting with garlic, ginger, and red pepper goodness, but the veggies are perfectly sautéd. Coupled with crispy, firm tofu strips, this is one healthy dinner option that won’t feel like a sacrifice. See how easily this dish comes together in the video below!

I always thought cooking with tofu was difficult. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Since tofu is already edible as is, there isn’t a way to over or under cook it. For this dish, simply cook the tofu until your desired crispiness. It doesn’t get much easier than that. The key to this recipe is to get firm tofu. That way it’s easier to cut and the texture comes out just right.

To get started, grab a large bowl and throw in tofu strips, oil, salt, and pepper. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, tomato paste, and cornstarch. Set aside.

Heat a large wok or frying pan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Once hot, arrange tofu strips in a single layer. Let cook on medium-high heat undisturbed 1-2 minutes. Flip and let cook until brown and crisp. Remove to a paper towel to drain.

In the same pan, add the remaining oil. Once hot, add in garlic, ginger, and red pepper flake. Let cook just until aromatic, 15 seconds or so. Increase heat and add onion. Sauté 1 minute, then add bell pepper and cook 1 minute more. Add crisped tofu back to the pan, followed by the sauce.

Let everything cook until thickened to desired consistency. Adjust seasoning as needed or thin with a tablespoon or two of water if too thick. Serve with sliced green onion and enjoy! Even those skeptical of tofu will have to agree this recipe is tasty and satisfying. Check out the full recipe below!

Makes 4 servings

10m prep time

10m cook time

Ingredients
  • 1 package firm tofu, cut into strips
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 2 white onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flake
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Green onions, chopped, for serving
Preparation
  1. In a large bowl, toss tofu strips with 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper. Let sit 10-15 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, tomato paste, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large wok or frying pan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil. Once hot, arrange tofu strips in a single layer. Let cook on medium-high heat undisturbed 1-2 minutes. Flip and let cook until brown and crisp. Remove to a paper towel to drain.
  4. In same pan, add remaining oil. Once hot, add in garlic, ginger, and red pepper flake. Let cook just until aromatic, 15 seconds or so.
  5. Increase heat and add onion. Sauté 1 minutes, then add bell pepper and cook 1 minute more.
  6. Add crisped tofu back to pan, followed by sauce. Let cook until thickened to desired consistency. Adjust seasoning as needed or thin with a tablespoon or two of water if too thick.
  7. Serve with sliced green onion and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Flavours of Kitchen.

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