Thai Basil Tofu Stir Fry

4.91 from 33 votes

Easy Vegan Thai Basil Tofu Stir Fry is packed with flavors and pairs well with rice or noodles! You need less than 20 minutes to make this wonderfully flavored stir-fry!

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Super easy and flavorful Thai Basil Tofu Stir Fry gets done in less than 20 minutes (including the prep time)!

Serve over jasmine rice for a perfect meal.

cast iron pan with basil tofu stir fry

I have heard from most people that they either hate tofu or love it.

Basically, they don’t enjoy it as such but if it’s spiced or coated with sauce (in short flavorful), then they will love it.

I have the same thing with tofu. I absolutely love it when it’s wonderfully spiced like in this Tofu Tikka Masala or Honey Cashew Tofu.

But if you just give me a block of tofu and ask it to eat it as such (believe me that has happened with me before), I won’t be able to eat it!

Last week, I had a block of tofu sitting in my refrigerator. And I decided to make a stir-fry out of it using Thai basil.

It turned out so well and I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys!

This Thai Basil Tofu

✓ wonderfully flavored

✓ pairs well with rice or noodles

✓ has a wonderful texture

✓ gets done in less than 20 minutes!

basil tofu stir fry served with jasmine rice in a white bowl garnished with lime wedge

I always use extra-firm tofu for my recipes. I just like the texture better.

A small tip if using extra-firm tofu – do not skip the step of pressing it with a heavy object for 15 to 20 minutes before using in the recipe.

The tofu absorbs more flavors when you do this, so don’t rush. Once that it done, this stir-fry comes together in less than 15 minutes.

Easy meals for the win!

I wanted the tofu to have some texture and so I dusted the tofu pieces with cornstarch. It made the tofu crisp and also gave it a nice texture that I personally loved.

For this Thai basil tofu recipe, I chopped the tofu into very small pieces. You can cut into large pieces but I thought the smaller ones worked better here.

Stir-Fry Sauce

This dish gets lot of it’s flavor from the sauce. I have used a very simple sauce here.

It’s made up of dark soy sauce, lime juice, sriracha, sesame oil and brown sugar.

Only 5 ingredients!

tofu stir fry in cast iron skillet

But if you ask me, the star of the dish is definitely the Thai Basil. I think I am just obsessed with it and feel like adding it to everything.

Keep in mind though, do not substitute the Thai Basil with Sweet Basil here. Thai basil is what you need for this recipe!

It gives this dish such a robust fresh flavor!

This basil tofu stir fry is such an easy recipe, takes no more than 20 minutes.

So, it’s perfect for those busy days when you are in a rush. You can have this amazingly flavorful dish ready to devour in less than 20 minutes.

I paired mine with white jasmine rice but it will go well with brown rice too. Or some sort of noodles will be amazing too!

 

Method

Before you start, press tofu with a heavy object like cast iron pan or mortar and pestle for around 20 minutes. This will help in getting rid of excess moisture and tofu will absorb the flavors better.

1- In a bowl whisk together dark soy sauce, lime juice, sriracha, brown sugar and toasted sesame oil. Set the sauce aside.

2- Once the tofu has been pressured for 20 minutes, chop it into very small cubes. Then add it to a bowl along with cornstarch, white pepper powder and salt. Toss to combine so that tofu pieces are coated with the cornstarch.

3- Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Once it is hot, add the oil (I used avocado oil). Then add in the cornstarch coated tofu into the pan.

4- Let the tofu become lightly browned and crisp. The cornstarch coating gives it a nice texture. I cooked the tofu around 7 minutes, flipping once or twice in between.

step by step picture collage of making thai basil tofu stir-fry

5- Then add the garlic, ginger and red pepper. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until ginger-garlic start changing color.

6 & 7- Stir in the prepared sauce. Mix well and cook for 30 seconds or so until all the tofu is well coated with the sauce.

8- Remove pan from heat and stir in the chopped thai basil. Mix.

step by step picture collage of making thai basil tofu stir-fry

Add more Thai basil and serve the Thai Basil Tofu Stir Fry over jasmine rice!

basil tofu stir fry served with jasmine rice in a white bowl garnished with lime wedge

If you’ve tried Thai Basil Tofu Stir Fry Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Thai Basil Tofu Stir Fry

4.91 from 33 votes
Prep: 6 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 18 minutes
Servings: 2
Easy Vegan Thai Basil Tofu Stir Fry is packed with flavors and pairs well with rice or noodles! You need less than 20 minutes to make this wonderfully flavored stir-fry!

Ingredients 

  • 8 oz extra-firm tofu 226 grams, cut into very small cubes
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce 10 ml
  • 3 teaspoons lime juice 15 ml
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce like sriracha, or adjust to taste
  • 1.5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 5 ml
  • 1.5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1.5 tablespoons oil 22 ml, I used avocado oil
  • 5-6 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger finely chopped
  • 1 large red pepper sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped thai basil

Instructions 

  • Before you start, press tofu with a heavy object like cast iron pan or mortar and pestle for around 20 minutes. This will help in getting rid of excess moisture and tofu will absorb the flavors better.
  • In a bowl whisk together dark soy sauce, lime juice, sriracha, brown sugar and toasted sesame oil. Set the sauce aside.
  • Once the tofu has been pressured for 20 minutes, chop it into very small cubes. Then add it to a bowl along with cornstarch, white pepper powder and salt. Toss to combine so that tofu pieces are coated with the cornstarch.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Once it is hot, add the oil (I used avocado oil). Then add in the cornstarch coated tofu into the pan.
  • Let the tofu become lightly browned and crisp. I cooked the tofu around 7 minutes, flipping once or twice in between.
  • Then add the garlic, ginger and red pepper. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until ginger-garlic start changing color.
  • Stir in the prepared sauce. Mix well and cook for 30 seconds or so until all the tofu is well coated with the sauce.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in the chopped thai basil and mix.
  • Add more Thai basil and serve the Thai Basil Tofu Stir Fry over jasmine rice!

Notes

  1. If you want some crunch in this recipe, add peanuts or cashews to it. They would go very well here. 
  2. You can make this recipe with paneer too, should work just fine. 
  3. I love making this recipe in my cast iron skillet but you can use any wok too.

Nutrition

Calories: 276kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 758mg, Potassium: 378mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 2570IU, Vitamin C: 110.8mg, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Thai
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Hi, I’m Manali!

Bringing you easy, delicious vegetarian & vegan recipes! Eating veggies can be fun, you just need to get creative in the kitchen with the right set of ingredients!


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Recipe Rating




48 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Have made this many times, love it. Sadly, my Asian grocery has not had Thai Basil recently. I tossed in chopped baby Bok Choy greens instead. Not bad!!

  2. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe this definitely made us fall in love with tofu. (Our first time cooking tofu) I thought the flavor wouldn’t be there because it was a small amount of sauce and I didn’t realize the tofu shrunk, but let me tell you. It was SOOO flavorful. Perfect amount of sweet and that tai basil brought it to another level. We are writing this recipe down and it will be a staple in our kitchen here on 😁

  3. 5 stars
    First time I ever stir fried tofu, usually grill it. Doubled the recipe since I had a 16oz block of tofu. This was awesome! Caught my husband licking the spoons before washing the pan Will make this many times in the future.

  4. 5 stars
    This was a great way to use up the Thai basil I got at the farmers market. I ended up air frying the tofu which turned out awesome. The recipe was very flavorful and it was a hit in my house! I also added zucchini because I had some extra that needed to be used ASAP and that soaked up the flavor of the sauce well. I will definitely make again.

  5. It looks like there are red peppers and maybe carrots in the picture that accompanies the recipe, but these are not listed in the ingredients. Can you comment please.

    1. 5 stars
      By any chance, did you use regular soy sauce instead of dark? I made it verbatim and it was super flavorful, which made me wonder. That’s all.

      For a review, I followed the recipe to a t for 99% of it. It ended up being a last minute throw together dinner and my kitchen was lacking the red pepper, but I threw in the last tablespoon of pimientos I had. The sauce is a great vehicle for all sorts of things. I added sliced cabbage. If I’d had some cool mushrooms, they would’ve been tossed in. Remember that lime is the much needed acid, so let it flow! Great dinner, thanks for the recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. It really is easy. I doubled the sauce and will double the whole recipe next time. My family loved it!

  7. 5 stars
    I tried making this recipe today. It was a no-fuss, quick and yummy one. Thanks for simplifying it Manali.
    Love
    Deepti

  8. 5 stars
    My family loves this dish! Thank you so much for the detailed instructions. My first time cooking tofu at home and turned out delish!

  9. 5 stars
    Fantastic! Such a complexity of flavor! And so easy! Based on other reviews, I doubled the recipe and added a bit of cornstarch to thicken the sauce. The only thing I did not double was the garlic. I needed a recipe that would use my CSA Thai basil before it went bad. So glad I stumbled on this one. Next up: same recipe using the eggplants I got in my CSA allotment this week. The sweet sticky sauce in this recipe reminds me of the fantastic deep fried eggplant I used to order in a Portland Chinese restaurant…..but healthier. Thank you so much for a great recipe.

    1. probably double the sauce, add some water and cornstarch in the sauce as well and add it the pan later after garlic, ginger, pepper are cooked. As soon as sauce begins to thicken add tofu and stir well. Add in chopped thai basil and that’s it.

  10. 5 stars
    I cooked this with a small yellow summer squash as well as the tofu.
    I accidentally added more cornstarch to the sauce but everything turned out delicious. Great Vegan satisfy dish.

  11. 5 stars
    This was so delicious and actually quite easy to put together. I quadrupled the sauce and served with cauliflower rice. Will be making this again and again. Hubby loves it too!!

  12. 5 stars
    Very tasty! My daughter keeps begging me to make this now. About to make it for the third time this month. Thank you for your excellent vegan recipes!

  13. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe today and it was delicious. Everyone in my family loved it and fought over last few pieces. Very flavorful. Thank you !

  14. 5 stars
    I think Think this is my very first review on ANYONES food blog but I just LOVED this recipe soooo much

    First, I didn’t know Thai basil existed. Couldn’t even find it at my local stores
    LUCKILY I found the plant at Home Depot so I’m now planting Thai basil lol

    Second, I haven’t cooked with tofu for long and so I’m not an expert. Can never get it crispy no matter how long I cook it.. however, the sauce was BEYOND amazing it over came the texture of the tofu so I didn’t mind the softness at all when usually it’s unappealing to me.
    And third, loved how simple it was. I love any recipe that’s simple so for this it just made this whole recipe perfect!

    Also doubled the recipe and so glad I did because I’ll be having the leftovers later!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Thank you for this recipe. I have made it thrice; doubled it the first and second time, quadrupled it tonight. I don’t have a cast-iron skillet, but made it in a huge wok and added mushrooms, baby corn, bamboo chutes, and snow peas. When I made it tonight, I cut the brown sugar and salt down to 75% of what the recipe requested; did not miss either and think that I might even be able to cut brown sugar down to 50% of recipe next time. Absolutely delicious every time; the Thai basil leaves are like a magical ingredient. Even better once it’s had a chance to sit. Very grateful for this recipe!

  16. 5 stars
    This was so yummy! I browned the tofu in peanut oil. I also added fresh sliced mushrooms, a few shredded carrots and zucchini. Served it with Jasmine rice. Every bite was better that the last. This is definitely a keeper!

  17. 5 stars
    Thanks for this delicious recipe! I made it with tofu and mixed vegetables (zucchini, broccoli, carrots). The sauce was so tasty! I think next time I’m going to make 10x the amount.

  18. 5 stars
    What a great, simple recipe! I subbed green beans for the pepper & ordinary basil for Thai basil. I’m so happy I can get that hot basil flavor without going out to restaurant. Thanks kindly!

  19. Hi Manali

    Looks very inviting. Planning to try this reciepe.

    Can I substitute Tulsi with Thai basil?

    Thank you