Tasty Tofu Stir Fry – Child Friendly

I’ve posted this stir fry on Instagram several times and had more requests for the recipe from friends than any other dish.  It’s vegan, full of vegetables and relatively quick to cook.  The preparation isn’t too hideous but the flavour is well worth it.

Now don’t get my wrong.  The boys sometimes create a fuss (big time) when I put this in front of them.  They will often gobble up my stir fry, other times they wail their protests that it looks disgusting.   I let Felix pick out the peppers, Teddy rejects the mange tout, but what else would you expect from children?  The thing is if I cook something for the children I am enjoying I don’t care if they refuse to eat it.  It would be a different story if I wasn’t enjoying the fruits of my labour!

Does it really look that bad?

This whole recipe is suitable for most allergies (tamari soy sauce is gluten free) but I’m afraid the tofu contains soya.  You could use normal soy sauce and chicken for a soy free version but on the other hand this would contain wheat.  There is a good reason I never made this for Felix until he could eat Soya.

You’ll find this so child friendly it is certainly lacking a ‘kick’.  There is only one way to improve this – a generous covering of Sriracha hot sauce on the adult portions.  Please don’t let them mistake it for ketchup, little tongues would get a very nasty shock!

If I’m not making this for Felix I add dry roasted peanuts and a sprinkling of sesame oil.  Delicious.


Serves 2 adults and 2 children

1 block of extra firm tofu – this is the stuff you get in the fridge at the shop, not to be confused with the silken variety in a tetra pak

1 tbsp garlic oil

3 tbsp tamari soy sauce

1 dsp vegetable oil

1 clove garlic – finely grated (I use a microplane grater)

1 thumb fresh ginger – peeled and finely grated

1 red onion – finely sliced

1 pepper (any colour) – cut into 1/2 cm strips

1 carrot – cut into 1/2 cm batons like tiny french fries

1 broccoli crown – cut into bite sized chunks including the stalk

1 small handful mange tout – cut in half (you could use sugar snap peas or green beans instead)

1 dsp chinese 5 spice seasoning

2 tbsp Chinese rice wine – check the ingredients carefully as some brands aren’t gluten free.  If you can’t find it dry sherry is a good alternative.  If not use wine, beer or water!

1 tsp white pepper

4 spring onions – finely sliced across the grain into little rounds

1 cup jasmine rice

You’ll need a wok or a large frying pan and chop all the veg before you start.

First cook your rice according to the instructions on the packet.  I do mine in a Tefal Rice Cooker which might sound daft but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

My ancient but very well used rice cooker

Begin by draining the Tofu of all liquid and wrapping it in a tea towel squeezing tightly.  Press the tofu under a pile of heavy things (I use cook books) for 10 minutes.  This will squeeze all of the moisture out of the tofu improving the texture and flavour.

Cut the tofu into 2cm cubes and marinate with 2 tbsp of soy sauce and the garlic oil.

Heat the vegetable oil in the wok followed by the garlic and ginger, stir-frying constantly for 30 seconds.  Add the onion, stir fry for another minute.

Add the five spice seasoning and rice wine followed by the peppers, carrot, mange tout and broccoli.  Keep stir frying for 5 minute or until the vegetables are cooked but still crunchy.  Add the white pepper.

Pour in the tofu and marinade, now stir fry gently, you don’t want it to break up in the pan.  Continue for a further 3 minutes or until nice and hot.

Next add the cooked rice to the wok.  Turn it over gently to coat the rice in the sauce and stir fry.  It’s this bit that brings the whole dish together for a Wagamama style of flavour.

Sprinkle over some spring onions before serving in warm bowls.




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