A quick and easy, delicious and nutritious, vegetarian stir fry with tofu and sugar snap peas. Make it spicy or mild, but make a lot of it! This dish is a great meatless dinner option!
I was never a fan of tofu. But living with a vegetarian certainly changed that. The tofu I was used to eating came from a random take-out Chinese dish. It was bland and I thought it to be slimy. How was I to know that I would one day enjoy eating and cooking with tofu?
If you’re much like me and tend to screw up your nose at something before you try it, then I get you! You’ve often heard it said that we eat with our eyes first, right? Well, based on that, would anyone ever eat tofu? It’s certainly not appealing to look at!
I’m going to share with you a few things I learned about tofu over the past few years. Maybe you’ll change your mind about tofu and give it another try. Maybe you already love it and don’t need convincing. Either way, when all is said and done, this is my Tofu and Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry recipe. And, I think you’ll really enjoy it.
The Truth about Tofu
To start with, there are different levels of texture (softness versus firmness) in tofu. From least firm to most firm, the most common types of tofu are silken, soft, medium, firm, extra firm, and super firm.
All tofu is basically the same, but the firmer the tofu, the more water content has been pressed out of it. Since I am not a vegetarian and grew up eating meat, I prefer a firmer tofu. It has a meatier texture which I tend to favour. Softer tofu is best when used in soups, like the popular Chinese version of hot and sour soup.
I’ve learned that the firmer the tofu, the longer it takes to heat all the way through. So, firmer tofu is best for baking or frying, while softer tofu is best for quick recipes. Here’s a cool fact. The firmer the tofu, the more fat and protein the tofu has. Remember that if you’re on a high-protein diet.
Probably the most important thing I’ve learned about tofu is that it is very adaptable. You can use tofu in almost every way possible. I’ll talk about some of those next. I should also mention that tofu is extremely cheap in comparison to meat.
The Magic of Tofu
Unless you’ve been living off the grid, you must know that cauliflower can be transformed into just about anything you can imagine. I’ve even seen a recipe for cauliflower ice cream! No, I did not try it. No, I do not intend to.
Like cauliflower, tofu is an ingredient that can be transformed or left as it is. The magic of tofu is two fold. It can become something else, and it can take on any flavour you want to throw at it.
Depending on the softness or the firmness of tofu, it can be chopped, diced, sliced, shredded, grated, or pureed. It can be baked, fried, boiled, steamed, and even grilled.
Allow me to show you some of the other recipes I have here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen where tofu is the star. Before I knew much about blogging or food photography, I experimented with deep frying tofu. Take a look at my Sweet and Sour Tofu. This was delicious and I have to make it again soon so that I can update the photos.
In my Black Bean and Tofu Meatballs recipe, the tofu is pureed and combined with other ingredients to form balls. They’re then fried and tossed in sauce – so good! Then there’s my Greek Tofu Skewers which I marinated and grilled. Serve these with Tzatziki Sauce and crumbled feta.
On to the Recipe!
Tofu and Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry is super easy and very adaptable. You can change out the snap peas for broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Additionally, you can increase or decrease the spiciness by adding more or less of the red chilies. Use chili flakes too if you don’t have whole chilies.
I’m a sucker for fresh ginger in cooking, so I used a whole tablespoon. If you can certainly cut it back to one teaspoon if you like. But, don’t skip out on the fresh garlic. A dish this simple needs aromatics to make it delicious.
This recipe will serve three people as a main. But, if you were to use this as a side dish, I think you could easily get eight servings out of it. I do hope you enjoy this one as much as we did. It’s certainly a very easy way to introduce and experiment with tofu!
If you loved this recipe, here are some others that might interest you as well:
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Tofu and Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry
- 420 grams firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound sugar snap peas, washed
- 12 whole dried red chilies
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet. Over medium-high heat, pan fry the tofu one all sides until very lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the snap peas, chilies, garlic, ginger, salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Toss well to combine. Saute over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir often to ensure everything cooks evenly.
- Next, add the soy sauce and sesame seeds. Add the tofu back to the skillet as well. Toss to combine. Cook for 2 minutes until the tofu is reheated.
- Turn the heat off. Pour in the sesame oil and toss well to combine.
- Serve immediately.
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