Quick One Pan Tofu Stir Fry

Quick one-pan dinners don’t get much easier than this tofu stir fry! It’s a 20-minute, flexible No need to press the recipe and your tofu.

If you love making stir fries like I do, you’ll also want to try these Vegan Stir Fry and Peanut Tempeh Stir Fry recipes!

Fry the tofu over the rice noodles in a bowl with chop sticks.

This tofu stir fry has everything you love about quick and easy stir fry recipes, with the bonus of chewy pan-fried tofu (that you don’t have to press for an hour) and a homemade garlic ginger sauce.

Everything comes together in one pan in just 20 minutes to help you get dinner on the table as quickly as possible. Follow the recipe to a tee or customize it… there are tons of ways to make this recipe your own!

Recipe features

  • Chewy, protein-packed fried tofu: If you want to take stir-fried vegetables up a notch, you need a protein. That’s where my perfect pan-fried tofu comes in! It’s crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, soaking up all the flavor from the stir fry sauce and filling you up. After all, just ½ cup of tofu contains 10 grams of protein.
  • Made in one pan: Forget dealing with a long cleanup or long prep time. In this recipe, tofu, vegetables and sauce are cooked together in one pan!
  • Simple ingredients, big flavor: It’s amazing how simple, pantry-staple ingredients can turn into such big flavors here. You don’t need anything complicated to make a tofu stir fry. And even if you don’t have one or two ingredients, swap them out for something else. Flexibility is the name of the game!
Fry the ingredients for the tofu in a separate white bowl.

Required components (including substitutions)

  • tofu – Extra firm tofu is best because it contains very little water and always has meaty, chewy pieces when fried. Plus you don’t really need to press it first! This is how I get my fried tofu and marinated tofu to achieve their tender, crispy and spongy texture. If you just have firm tofu, that’s fine, but you need to press it first. You can substitute tempeh or soy curls that have been rehydrated.
  • canola oil – Or use another oil with a higher smoke point, such as avocado oil.
  • green onion
  • Baby spinach – Or you can use other leafy greens, like kale or bok choy. Scroll down to the Variations section for more vegetables you can use in this stir fry.
  • I am Willow -Stir sauce with garlic root and ginger. If you need gluten free, use tamari.
  • Rice vinegar – Its sweet and sour flavor helps to balance the sauce.
  • the water
  • garlic
  • ginger – Use freshly grated ginger if possible. I like to buy some frozen ginger cubes at Trader Joe’s. If you have dried ginger, use only half a teaspoon.
  • sesame oil
  • Maple syrup – This sweet element is important for balance in the sauce. It’s not overly sweet, but you can reduce the amount to 1 tablespoon if you like. Agave will work as well.
  • Cornstarch – To help thicken the sauce. Feel free to use tapioca or arrowroot starch instead.
Golden brown tofu cubes fried in a gray skillet.

How to Fry Tofu

Find the full recipe with measurements below on the recipe card.

Drain and press before cutting the tofu into small cubes. Do this by wrapping the brick in a paper towel and placing a plate or skillet on top. Add a few heavy books to the plate/skillet and press for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

While you wait, make the fry sauce by whisking all the ingredients together in a jar or bowl.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and fry until the cubes are golden brown on all sides.

Next, add green onions and spinach. Let them cook until the spinach wilts, then reduce the heat and stir in the sauce.

Tofu cubes and spinach stir-fried in a gray skillet.

Keep stirring until it thickens and coats each piece of tofu.

Remove vegan stir-fry from heat and scoop over a bowl of noodles or rice. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and enjoy!

Pour the stir fry sauce into a gray skillet with the tofu and spinach.

Serving advice

Stir-fry with tofu over white or brown rice bowls or noodles such as udon, soba or rice noodle bowls. Top each serving with hot sauce, sesame seeds, more green onions, or chopped almonds on top and enjoy!

Helpful Tips

  • Take the tofu up a notch by using my marinated tofu recipe instead, or by using frozen, then defrosted extra-firm tofu.
  • Save some time (and avoid excess oil) by air-frying or baking tofu instead of pan-frying.
  • Tofu tends to stick, so I recommend frying it in a high-quality non-stick pan with oil. Also, do not move the tofu cubes during the first 3 to 4 minutes of cooking. This will help brown them and make them easier to flip.
Skillet-cooked tofu and spinach with brown sauce.


  • Add more vegetables – Add as many vegetables as you like to the stir fry, such as bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, baby corn, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, zucchini or mushrooms. Even frozen vegetables are a great option, like this frozen vegetable stir fry.
  • Instead of tofu – Use tempeh or soy curls instead, or use a variety of vegetables in a vegetable-only stir-fry.
  • Ginger sauce instead of garlic – Use my delicious 5 minute stir fry sauce.
  • gluten free – Make a stir fry sauce with tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
Tofu stir fry served over rice noodles in a white bowl.

Want more easy one-pan recipes?

Garlic Ginger Stir-fry Sauce

  • Prepare the tofu – Drain tofu and pat dry with paper towels, pressing for a few seconds to remove excess moisture. Small cubes, about 1/2 inch large.

  • Make the sauce – In a mason jar, add all the sauce ingredients. Put a lid on tightly and shake until well combined. Set aside.

  • Pan fry tofu – In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the tofu and fry until golden brown. Tip: To prevent the tofu from sticking, use a quality non-stick pan and let it cook for a few minutes before trying to stir it.

  • Add vegetables and sauce – When the tofu pieces are golden, add the green onions and baby spinach. Saute for a few minutes until the spinach wilts. Now reduce the heat to medium and stir in the sauce. Stir constantly until the sauce thickens and coats the tofu and vegetables. Remove from heat.

  • serve – Serve over rice or noodles with hot sauce and sesame seeds if desired. Enjoy! Leftover stir fries will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days. Reheat until hot.

  1. The recipe makes a rich sauce, perfect for serving over rice noodles or cooked rice. You can use 2 blocks of tofu for the amount of sauce if you like.
  2. Use frozen or pickled/tubed garlic and ginger to make roasting easier. Fresh always tastes best though.
  3. Agave will work in place of maple syrup.
  4. You can use arrowroot or tapioca starch instead of cornstarch if needed.

Worship: 1bhajana | Calories: 243kcal | Sugars: 15g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans fats: 0.03g | Sodium: 1167mg | Potassium: 260mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1469IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 170mg | Iron: 2mg

Course: Main proceedings

Recipe: Asian-inspired

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