Recipes, Student Life

Tofu vegetable stir-fry at the drop of a hat

Stir-frying random ingredients is a simple way to cook an impressive meal without culinary skill or expertise. I lack all three, but I can still make a passable tofu stir-fry without setting something on fire.

The following recipe takes 10-30 minutes to prepare, depending on how many vegetables you use, and about 10 minutes to actually cook. Remember not to overcook the vegetables: they should be crunchy, not mushy.

Ingredients (choose several of these vegetables):

  • 1 red, green, or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 medium carrot (or a handful of baby carrots)
  • 1 cup of snow peas
  • 6 medium-sized mushrooms
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small onion
  • 5 ears of baby corn (canned)
  • 1 broccoli stalk
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts*

And add these:

  • 1/2 pkg. firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil (preferred), vegetable oil, or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. orange juice


  1. Prepare the vegetables by washing them, removing any stems and seeds, and drying them lightly. Cut into approximately 3-centimetre long pieces, leaving the snow peas, baby corn, and bean sprouts whole.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, orange juice, and 1 tbsp. oil. Pat tofu dry and cut into 2-cm cubes. Add to bowl. Ideally, let it marinate for several hours, but realistically, 30 seconds will do.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, remove the tofu from the marinade, and stir-fry for one to five minutes, according to taste. The tofu should feel slightly undercooked. Remove from frying pan and set aside.
  4. Add the onion, bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots. Stir-fry for about two minutes.
  5. Add the celery, mushrooms, and zucchini. Stir-fry for about two minutes.
  6. Add the snow peas, bean sprouts, and baby corn. Stir-fry for about one minute.
  7. Add the leftover soy sauce and orange juice; stir thoroughly.
  8. Add tofu; stir-fry for one minute.
  9. Serve warm.

*Note: Other things I have successfully added to a stir-fry include slivered almonds, pecans, red apples, lemon juice, red cabbage, green cabbage, ginger, and hearts of palm. I don’t suggest trying them all at once, however, and the same goes for these vegetables.

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