Tofu Stir-Fry with Garlic Sauce

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This quick and easy tofu stir-fry is the weeknight dinner you’ve been looking for! Packed with flavor, crispy tofu, and tender-crisp veggies, this dish tastes better than takeout and can be on the table in 30 minutes.

Tofu stir-fry is, in my opinion, one of those absolutely essential vegan dinner recipes that everyone should have on their back pocket. Stir-fries in general make great weeknight meals (I even have a list of my favorite vegan stir-fries that I keep on hand for busy nights!).

And even though I’ve never met a vegan stir-fry I didn’t like, this garlicky tofu stir-fry is my favorite. I’ve been making it for years. I love that it packs a healthy dose of plant protein and a nice variety of delicious veggies.

I tend to have the tofu and most of the sauce ingredients on hand, and the veggies can always be switched out with whatever you have in the fridge, which means this stir-fry is pretty accessible any time you get a craving for it (which is pretty often for me!).

When I serve it alongside some sticky rice I feel like I’m sitting down to a restaurant meal, but it all comes together in my own kitchen, in just about 30 minutes!

Jump to:
  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How It’s Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Vegan Stir-Fry Recipes
  • Tofu Stir-Fry with Garlic Sauce

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Soy sauce. You could also use tamari or liquid aminos if you prefer.
  • Rice vinegar. Look for this in the international foods section of your supermarket. Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar can be substituted if needed.
  • Maple syrup. You can substitute another liquid sweetener if needed, such as agave.
  • Water.
  • Garlic.
  • Ginger.
  • Sriracha sauce. Feel free to switch this out with another type of hot sauce, such as sambal oelek, or just leave it out for a milder stir-fry.
  • Toasted sesame oil. Look for this in the international foods section of your supermarket.
  • Cornstarch.
  • Canola oil. Any type of high-heat oil could be substituted — peanut oil, vegetable oil, or corn oil would all work!
  • Tofu. Stick with extra firm or super firm tofu when stir-frying. Learn more about my tofu recommendations in this guide to tofu.
  • Scallions. Also known as green onions!
  • Vegetables. The recipe calls for carrots, broccoli, and shiitake mushrooms, but you could substitute your favorite stir-fry veggies if you’d like.
  • Rice. Serve your stir-fry with your favorite variety of cooked rice. I usually like to serve mine with brown rice or jasmine rice. You could even serve it with cauliflower rice for a lightened-up version of the dish.
  • Sesame seeds. These get sprinkled on top of your stir-fry. Roasted peanuts or cashews would also work if sesame seeds aren’t your thing.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Start by doing your prep work. The most important step in making any stir-fry is prepping everything in advance. If you’re using extra-firm tofu, you’ll need to press it. Chop your scallions and separate the white and green parts, chop your veggies, and mix up your sauce before doing anything else.
  • Heat up some oil in a skillet, then add diced tofu. Cook it for a few minutes on each side until the pieces are browned and crispy, then remove them from the skillet.
  • Tip: I’m using a cast-iron skillet for my tofu stir-fry because I like the flat bottom and the nonstick surface for cooking tofu. A wok is the traditional vessel for making a stir-fry though, and will work just fine for this recipe.
  • Turn up the heat and add sliced carrots and the white parts of your scallions to the skillet. Stir-fry them, making sure to flip them constantly while they cook. Tip: Always stir-fry over high heat and flip your veggies constantly to get that perfect tender-crisp texture.
  • Add the broccoli and mushrooms to the skillet and stir-fry them with your carrots and scallions.
  • Add your cooked tofu back to the skillet.
  • Carefully pour the sauce over your tofu and veggies. It should start to bubble up pretty quickly. Be super careful here, as the high-heat could cause your sauce to sputter!
  • Continue to cook and toss everything until the sauce is thick and forms a nice coating on your veggies and tofu.
  • Take the skillet off of the burner and top everything with the green parts of your scallions and some sesame seeds, then dish up your tofu stir-fry with some rice and dig in.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover tofu stir-fry will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this stir-fry be made gluten-free?

Yup! Just use gluten-free tamari in place of soy sauce.

Can I make this stir-fry with tempeh instead of tofu?

Absolutely! You can skip the step of pressing your tempeh, but otherwise it’s a direct substitution and you can simply follow the recipe using tempeh instead of tofu.

Can I substitute different veggies for those in the recipe?

Sure! Just stick with veggies that are about as firm (and will therefore cook in about the same amount of time) as those used in the recipe. Green beans, cabbage or cauliflower would work well in place of the carrots. Snap peas, snow peas, red bell pepper, asparagus, or baby bok choy would work well in place of the broccoli or mushrooms.

Is there a way to reduce the sodium content of this dish?

Try using a reduced sodium soy sauce.

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