Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Dry Fry" Tofu Stir-Fry with Asparagus

I like tofu, but now I love tofu. I couldn't figure out why I enjoyed tofu so much when prepared at a restaurant but in my own kitchen I had a hard time choking it down- rubbery, mushy.... yuck.

A friend of mine brought this technique to my attention.... "dry fry". This technique of cooking tofu will leave you with firm tofu loaded with flavor.

"Dry Fry" Tofu Stir-Fry with Asparagus
(Recipe source: HubPages)
((Printable Version))

vegetable oil or peanut oil
1 brick extra firm tofu 
1 bunch fresh asparagus (bottoms removed and cut into 1 inch pieces)

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup rice wine (or dry sherry)  
1/4 large sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or crushed
1 teaspoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)
enough water to cover  the tofu

Brown sauce:
2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon black vinegar or balsamic vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
2 tablespoons palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 teaspoon pepper
5 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1 1/2 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry (I didn't use this)
3 tablespoons water

prepared white or brown rice 

1. Prepare the marinade and set aside.  Start preparing the rice to cook.

2. Cut the tofu into thin pieces and place between two absorbent cloth napkins or towels (not terry cloth) and gently press to get out the water.  (I let it sit there for a few minutes.)

3. Dry-fry:  Use a nonstick skillet or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet set to medium- low heat.  Slowly cook the tofu on a dry skillet (no oil!) and press lightly with a spatula and allow the water to evaporate.  The tofu will start off white and turn a golden yellow as it cooks. When the tofu freely moves on the pan and is golden brown, flip and cook the other side.  If your pan isn't big enough, you'll need to do this in 2 batches.  I have a cast iron griddle that extends over two burners and it worked perfect for this.

4. Cut the tofu into desired size, place in a bowl, and cover with the marinade- tossing every few minutes.

5. Prepare the brown sauce.  Boil for 3 minutes and set aside.

6. Heat a wok or large fry pan with 3 tablespoons of oil.  Add the drained tofu and asparagus and cook over medium-high heat until the asparagus is crisp-tender.  Lower the heat and add the brown sauce.

*optional: dissolve 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with a little bit of water.  Add to the stir fry if you would like a slightly thicker sauce.

Serve immediately over rice.

*Also try my Beer Barbecue Tofu

Linked to: FaveDiets, Gooseberry Patch Recipe Round-Up, Katherine Martinelli


  1. this actually makes me want to eat tofu! i've had the same problems: slimy, mushy, gross... & have given up! but this looks manageable & tasty! thanks for sharing!

  2. I have to admit, I have never ever tried tofu :D

  3. This would definitely be a great recipe to try for a tofu newcomer. :)

  4. I always dry my tofu in the oven, but I really like your pan-drying method. Thanks for linking up to my blog hop!

  5. Looks wonderful!! I've grilled mine on the outdoor grill but never this way. Thanks for the recipe. I'll be dry frying next time! :)

  6. What a great technique! I will have to try this next time I make tofu. Thanks for linking up to my blog hop last week! Great blog :-)

  7. Wow I really appreciate this :) I cam across yoour blog through Foodgawker and love it by the way :) But anyways, I have been trying to find a new way to prepare my tofu to make it crispier :) I will be trying this TOMORROW :) (Or Tuesday!)

    THANK YOU :)

  8. Hi Mama J, I've recently turned vegan and thought I was doomed to eating wet, rubbery tofu dishes. Thanks so much for the dry-fry tip! Trying that out tonight. =]

    1. I can't eat it any other way. I hope you enjoy it! :)

  9. This implies you will cook food of course. And I can assure you that you will certainly need a Presto Electric Skillet. To be straight, no one likes to have their house smelling like chicken or fish, a smell that we all know it's kind of hard to remove and it's also time consuming. Original Green Pan