Easy Tofu Bok Choy Stir fry

This delicious tofu bok choy stir fry with a simple sauce and crunchy peanuts is an easy dish you can have with rice for a quick vegetarian dinner or lunch. Learn my secret to stir fry bok choy without overcooking it.

Close-up view of tofu bok choy stir fry.

About the recipe

This bok choy tofu stir fry is one of the best (and yummy) ways to get plant-based protein, nutrients and fiber. Stir-fried bok choy and tofu complement each other very well in terms of texture and taste. When you add a sweet and spicy sauce to the combo, you get a tofu recipe that’s hard to resist.

Not a great fan of bok choy? I didn’t like it either until I figured out a way to make it taste great. Trust me, you’ll start loving it once you master this recipe.

Tofu is lightly coated with seasoned cornflour and pan-fried (similar to my popular honey garlic tofu recipe). Bok choy is stir-fried with garlic and ginger. It is then mixed with tofu and a flavorful sauce. Chopped peanuts are sprinkled for added crunch and we’re done.

Make this an easy and healthy weeknight dinner with plain steamed rice. You can also serve this tofu bok choy stir fry with Thai red fried rice for a vegetarian meal.

Though cooking this bok choy tofu recipe is quite straightforward, you need to take into account a few things. I hope my tips will help you make the best out of this dish.

Close up view of bok choy and tofu stir fry.

Watch How To Make It

Ingredient notes

Sauce ingredients

  • Hoisin sauce: This helps boost the flavor of the whole dish. If you’re not a vegan, it can be replaced with oyster sauce.
  • Soy sauce: I prefer low sodium version.
  • Vinegar: I’ve used apple cider vinegar here, but white vinegar is also fine.
  • Red chilli flakes: For that spicy kick.
  • Sugar: Use white, brown or honey, whatever suits you.
  • Salt and pepper: Just a pinch to balance the flavors.

Stir-fry ingredients

  • Bok choy and tofu
  • Peanut oil: Any oil with a high smoke point can be used.
  • Aromatics: Ginger and garlic. Optionally, spring onions can be added.
  • For tofu: Cornflour and spices (chilli flakes, salt and pepper)
  • Garnish: Roasted and chopped peanuts.
ingredients for tofu bok choy stir fry.

How to cut bok choy for stir fry

Bok choy is a bit tricky to cook. It has thick stems which might be too crunchy and taste raw if not cooked properly. But the leaves wilt very fast. They become chewy and bitter if overcooked.

THE SOLUTION?

Cut off the ends (that look like pretty light green-colored roses). Separate the stems and leaves. Chop and stir-fry the stems first, then add the leaves. This way you cook the stems well, without overcooking the leaves. Now that I’ve explained the “why” and “how”, let’s jump into the recipe:

Chopped bok choy leaves, stems, ginger and garlic in separate bowls for stir fried bok choy tofu recipe.

How to make tofu bok choy stir fry

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)

Make sauce

Take soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, red chilli flakes, pepper, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined.

stir fry sauce in a small bowl.

Press and dice tofu

Wrap tofu in a cloth and place something heavy on it to squeeze out water, for about 20 minutes. Dice them into 1 inch pieces, preferably into cuboids (with 2 larger sides). This makes it easy to flip the tofu pieces and brown them. For detailed pictures and instructions, read how to press and dice tofu in this post.

How to fry tofu

  • Season cornflour with red chilli flakes, salt and pepper.
  • Coat diced tofu with the cornflour mixture.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan or wok and fry tofu.
  • Fry until the 2 larger sides are browned.

A quick note: Do not keep stirring the tofu pieces. Wait for a couple of minutes until each side is browned, then flip. Since we have sliced tofu in such a way that they have only 2 large sides, it is easier to brown them. (the smaller sides don’t matter much!)

How to stir fry bok choy with tofu

  1. Remove the fried tofu and fry garlic and ginger in the same pan. The leftover oil in the pan is enough to stir fry garlic, ginger and bok choy.
  2. Add the chopped bok choy stems and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes until they soften slightly.
  3. Stir in chopped bok choy leaves and fry for a minute.
  4. Drizzle over the sauce.
  5. Stir until the leaves are wilted, for about a minute.
  6. Add fried tofu.
  7. Stir for another couple of minutes.
  8. Serve topped with roasted and chopped peanuts.

Recipe tips

  • You don’t have to hunt for a wok if you don’t have one, but use a deep non-stick pan in which you can stir the ingredients with ease.
  • If your pan is small, fry tofu in batches so that they don’t overcrowd the pan.
  • Stir-fry ginger and garlic on medium flame to avoid burning them. After adding bok choy, increase the flame to medium-high.
  • Once you add the sauce, wait for it to come to a boil before adding tofu.
  • The sauce in this recipe is just enough to coat the ingredients. If you like more sauce, double all the ingredients for the sauce, ginger and garlic.
Close-up view of stir fried tofu and bok choy tofu stir fry in a white bowl in the background.

Common questions about bok choy and tofu

Do you have to press tofu for stir fry?

Pressing helps get rid of the moisture in tofu so it turns out crispy when stir-fried. When you remove moisture from tofu, it also absorbs the sauce better, resulting in more flavorful tofu. So unless you’re using tofu for scramble like the chilli garlic tofu recipe, it is always better to press tofu for at least 20 minutes before stir-frying.

How do you make tofu stir fry without it falling apart?

Even extra-firm tofu can break if not handled with care. The first tip is to use high flame that would quickly brown the surface of tofu. The second tip is not to keep stirring the tofu. Flip only after a couple of minutes and use tongs to flip gently, rather than a spatula. The third tip (as mentioned above) is the way in which you slice tofu: Slice them into flat pieces (cubes sliced into 2) so that you need to brown only 2 sides.

What part of bok choy do you eat in stir fry?

Both the stems and leaves are edible. They taste delicious when stir-fried with a simple sweet and spicy sauce. The trick is to separate the leaves and stems and stir-fry the stems a couple of minutes earlier than the leaves.

How do you dry tofu for stir fry?

To begin with, use firm tofu. (Silken or soft tofu is used for soup and scramble recipes.) Drain out the water from the package. Wrap the tofu block in a clean absorbent cloth and place it on a dry chopping board or tray. Keep something heavy like a cast iron pan on the wrapped tofu. Keep it pressed for 20 to 30 minutes. This would squeeze out moisture from the tofu and make it ready for stir-fry.

Looking for more?

Close-up view of tofu bok choy stir fry.

Tofu Bok Choy Stir fry Recipe

This delicious tofu bok choy stir fry with a simple sauce and crunchy peanuts is an easy dish you can have with rice for a quick vegan dinner or lunch. Learn my secret to stir fry bok choy without overcooking it.
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course dinner, LUNCH, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 210 kcal

Ingredients
  

Sauce ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar Apple cider or rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes divided
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt divided
  • ½ teaspoon pepper divided

Stir-fry ingredients

  • 400 grams tofu (14 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 500 grams bok choy
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic finely chopped

To garnish

  • 2 tablespoons roasted and chopped peanuts

To serve

  • plain boiled rice

Instructions
 

Press tofu

  • Wrap tofu block in a cloth and keep pressed under a heavy object for about 20 minutes.

Prepare and fry tofu

  • Slice the tofu into flat pieces so that you have 2 large sides to brown. For details on how to press and slice tofu, check this post.
  • Season corn flour with ¼ teaspoon each of chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Add to the diced tofu and mix well until all the pieces are coated with cornflour.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan or wok and add the tofu pieces. Fry on high flame for about 2 minutes without stirring, then flip all the pieces to brown the other side.

Make stir fry sauce

  • Combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, rest of the red chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Mix well in a small bowl.

Chop bok choy

  • Separate the leaves and stems of bok choy. Chop them into roughly 1-inch long pieces.

Stir-fry bok choy

  • After removing fried tofu from the pan, add finely chopped ginger and garlic. (The leftover oil in the pan is enough to fry the rest of the ingredients.)
  • Stir-fry on medium-low flame for about 2 minutes, ensuring they don't get burnt. Add bok choy stems. Increase the flame and stir-fry for about 1 to 2 minutes until the stems soften up a little.
  • Add bok choy leaves and stir for a minute.

Bok choy and tofu stir-fry

  • Add the sauce and bring it to a boil. Add fried tofu and mix well for a couple of minutes.
  • Turn off the flame and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped peanuts and serve with boiled rice.

Video

Notes

  • You can use a wok if you have. Or else, ensure that you use a non-stick pan that is deep enough for easy stirrring.
  • If your pan is small, fry tofu in batches without overcrowding the pan.
  • When you fry tofu, wait for each side to brown for about 2 minutes before flipping. (resist the urge to keep stirring)
  • The sauce in this recipe is enough to coat the ingredients, so you can eat it with plain rice. But if you prefer more sauce, double the sauce ingredients, ginger and garlic. Recipe instructions will be the same.
Easy Tofu Bok Choy Stir fry

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