Stir-Fried Tofu w/ Brown Garlic and Mandarin Chili Sauce

Two things inspired this dish, well three really, but two people.  The first is the site Blogging Over Thyme, who I follow on facebook and she had posted an article about Grilled Asian Tofu Bowls, and the second inspiration is my coworker/classmate Aurora who’s vegan, and the third inspiration was. . . what I had in my fridge.  None-the-less, these things are what made this fast stir-fry come together, and it was really tasty!  The sauce has its roots in Korean and Thai cooking with a take on a Thai citrus+lemon grass pairing and Korean with a faux gochujang (chili paste+Korean miso+Sesame Oil).

Stir Fried Tofu - Photography by Nick Kern
Stir Fried Tofu – Photography by Nick Kern


  • 2 – Large Cloves Garlic, Roughly Torn Into 6 or 7 Pieces
  • 1/3 – Package of Firm Tofu, cut vertically into 5 or 6 1/2″ strips
  • 1/2 Cup – Broccoli Slaw Mix
  • 1/4 Cup – Shredded Carrots
  • 1 TSP + 1 TSP – Ground Lemon Grass
  • 1 TSP – Red Miso Paste
  • 1 TSP – Sriracha Sauce
  • 1TSP + 1/2 TSP – Sesame Oil
  • 2 TSP – Veggie Oil
  • 2 TSP – Salt
  • 1 TSP – Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 TSP – Black Sesame Seeds *OPTIONAL*
  • 1 TSP – Green Onion, Chopped *OPTIONAL*
  • 1 – Mandarin Orange or Clementine
  • 1 TSP – Mandarin Orange Zest
  • 1/4 Cup – Water


  1. Zest your orange
  2. Combine the 1 TSP sesame oil with the veggie oil in a small saute pan
  3. Heat it to high heat
  4. Salt your tofu chunks well
  5. Add 1 TSP lemon grass to the hot oil, stir it for 2 seconds, then add your tofu, placing it all in the pan
  6. Then add your garlic around the tofu in the oil
  7. Let them sear about 3-4 minutes per side, shaking the pan every minute or so to make sure the tofu isn’t sticking, after both sides are seared, plate your tofu slices
  8. Keeping the garlic in the pan (it should be quite brown now), add your broccoli slaw and carrots
  9. Saute 2-3 minutes until it’s tender crisp, just barely getting soft, then squeeze on the juice of half the mandarin orange
  10. Saute another 2 minutes
  11. Place the sauteed veggies on top of the tofu and the garlic around the base of the tofu
  12. In the pan add the water, sriracha, miso paste, 1/2 TSP sesame oil, crushed red pepper, zest, and the juice of the other 1/2 of mandarin orange.
  13. Bring to a boil, reduce until sauce consistency (about 3 minutes), add the lemon grass, stir to combine, and take off heat.  Taste and correct the seasoning
  14. Drizzle the sauce all over your vegetables and tofu
  15. Garnish with black sesame seeds and green onions!

This one was really fast to come together as there isn’t much prep, but it has a ton of flavor!  It’s got a bit of ingredients for the sauce, but all of which can be found in Asian Markets.  I hope you “On the go” people like this one as I made it in about 7 minutes total from start to finish, so I’d expect it to take the normal person about 10-15 minutes tops.  Also, you can just boil a package of ramen noodles, strain them, and stir fry them, put them under the tofu if you want to make it more substantial!  So hopefully you all enjoy this vegetarian and vegan friendly meal that’s filling and delicious!


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