Honey Lime Tofu Stir Fry
If we were to play a little word association, I suspect that the mention of the word “tofu” would not lead you to blurt out “SASSY!”—until you taste this Honey Lime Tofu Stir Fry.
This zippy tofu stir fry is a cacophony of color and flavor that bursts from the bowl and makes the descriptors commonly associated with tofu—“boring,” “mushy,” “hippies only”—seem as accurate as my bowling game (i.e. wildly off target).
Before I launch into all of the lively ingredients that make this tofu stir fry boogie, let’s address the elephant in the kitchen: tofu. It’s divisive, and I can understand why. Tofu lovers will profess how, when cooked properly, tofu is a crispy, protein-packed, super sponge for flavor. Tofu haters are more likely to recall the unpleasant experience that poorly cooked tofu: a mushy, bland blob of putty.
Both groups—the ‘fu lovers and the ‘fu naysayers—are right. To enjoy tofu, it really does need to be cooked well, which fortunately for us, is ridiculously easy. Last year, I launched a full-scale kitchen campaign to figure out how to cook perfectly crispy, super satisfying tofu at home and was pleasantly surprised. You can read the full detail of my tofu revelation in the post Ultra Crispy Unfried Tofu and rest assured that every tofu bite in this honey lime tofu stir fry is lightly crispy on the outside and satisfyingly firm and flavorful on the inside.
One of the most important questions to ask your tofu stir fry: “What are you drinking?” Tofu is a blank canvas and will absorb anything you add to it, turning each little cube into a big pocket of flavor. Currently, I’m hooked on a cocktail of honey, lime, and mint. It’s a little sweet, a little tart, and ultra refreshing—everything I crave in a spring or summer dinner. For extra pizzazz, I tossed in fresh ginger. It wakes up the tofu stir fry and makes it taste alive. (See also this Tofu Stir Fry!)
As with any of the stir fry recipes on my site, the veggies are a choose-your-own-adventure situation, so feel free to swap any you love or have on hand. I used two of my spring favorites—broccoli and asparagus—along with plump cherry tomatoes for a colorful, juicy pop.
I served this Honey Lime Tofu Stir Fry atop whole grain farro (which tastes similar to rice but is a bit chewier and heartier), but brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat noodles are lovely options too.
I hope I’ve convinced a few of the tofu skeptics to give the ‘fu a go, if only this once, but you can certainly make this Honey Lime Tofu Stir Fry with chicken, shrimp, or your protein of choice.
My one non-negotiable: you must wear your sassy pants when you serve it. Flavor this big demands a coordinating attitude!
Honey Lime Tofu Stir Fry
For the Stir Fry:
- 1 cup uncooked farro, — brown rice, or quinoa, or 12 ounces whole wheat noodles
- 14 ounces extra firm tofu — prepped according to Ultra Crispy Unfried Tofu
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil — or canola oil, plus 1 tablespoon for cooking the tofu
- 3 cups chopped broccoli, — about 6 ounces
- 2 cups 1-inch sliced asparagus, — about 8 ounces
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes, — about 10 ounces
- 4 green onions — finely sliced, plus additional for garnish
For the Sauce:
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice — about 2 limes
- 3 tablespoons honey
- Pinch red pepper flakes — optional
- 1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves — chopped
Cook the rice, farro, quinoa, or noodles according to package instructions. Set aside.
Prepare the tofu according to the method in Ultra Crispy Unfried Tofu. If you do not have time to freeze the tofu, simply skip this part and by boiling the tofu (step 2 of the tofu post).
In a small bowl, briskly stir together all of the sauce ingredients except for the mint: garlic, ginger, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, and optional red pepper flakes. Set aside.
Once the tofu is sautéed (again, according to the directions in Ultra Crispy Unfried Tofu), remove it from the skillet and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Return the pan to the heat and add the 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil. Let heat for 30 seconds, then add the asparagus and broccoli, along with 1/4 cup of the stir fry sauce (be careful—the sauce may splatter a bit on the heat). Cook until the veggies are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add an additional 1/4 cup sauce, the reserved tofu, tomatoes, and green onions. Cook 2 additional minutes. Stir in the mint, then serve over the prepared farro, garnished with additional green onions and sauce as desired.
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