Asparagus Tofu Stir-Fry Recipe

asparagus tofu stir-fry
asparagus tofu stir-fry

Asparagus is one of my all-time favorite vegetables, with its unique flavor and fresh texture. If you too are a fan of asparagus, you will love this simple but flavorful recipe using a savory marinade and brown garlic sauce.

This recipe is vegetarian and vegan.

Selecting Asparagus

The key to a good asparagus dish is good asparagus, of course! There are a few things to look for when selecting fresh asparagus. First, look for the thinnest stalks you can find. The thinner the stalk, the more tender the vegetable. Second, look at the cut end of the stalk. If it is very dried out, the asparagus is probably old, or at the very least badly kept. Finally, you want a rich green color, not faded or whitish or browning.

Asparagus Tofu Stir-Fry Recipe

serves 2



  • 1 cup dry jasmine rice or other long-grain white rice.
  • 2 cups water


  • vegetable or peanut oil
  • 8 oz. extra-firm pressed tofu
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus


  • 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 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or crushed
  • 1 tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • water to cover

Brown sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp. black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp. palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 5 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger root
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3 tbsp. water


1. Prepare the tofu. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch thick triangles. Gently press between woven cloth to remove excess moisture. Dry-fry in a Teflon pan over medium heat with NO OIL, pressing with spatula frequently. It is done when firm and golden on both sides. (See How to Cook Tofu Like the Pros: Dry-fry and Marinate Method for detailed instructions on pressing and dry-frying tofu, a professional technique).

2. Meanwhile, prepare the marinade. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl, then submerge the tofu after dry-frying.

3. Start cooking the rice (follow the directions for whatever variety you have).

4. Prepare the brown sauce. Heat all brown sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat (medium for a gas range). Bring to a boil and simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Stir-fry. Heat a well-seasoned wok until smoking over medium-high to high heat (or use a large pan if you do not have a wok). Add about 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil to the wok, then add drained tofu and asparagus. Stir-fry over medium-high to high heat just until asparagus is tender but still slightly crunchy. Cut the heat and toss the stir-fry with the brown sauce.

6. Serve immediately over rice. Enjoy!

asparagus tofu stir-fry
asparagus tofu stir-fry

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Comments 25 comments

tshirtscene profile image

tshirtscene 9 years ago

Yum, I love asparagus! and this is with tofu, I'll have to try this recipe out.

CareyYo profile image

CareyYo 9 years ago from Fullerton

This sounds yummy.

Melissa Ray Davis profile image

Melissa Ray Davis 9 years ago from Swannanoa, NC Author

Thanks, both of you. And yes, it's delicious!

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

This combines a few of my favourite things.

MERCEDES M 9 years ago


bobw profile image

bobw 9 years ago from Laurel, DE

Great looking recipe!

pircusz 8 years ago

I have been looking for a good tofu stir-fry recipe. This is amazing, I didn't make it with asparagus, I made it with sliced peppers, onions, and mushroom and at the end I have added steamed broccoli. Amazing.

Christa 7 years ago

I made this last night and added sugar snap peas and marinated shrimp with the tofu. I also used rice noodles and sauteed all together at the end. The marinade, sauce and advice on how to prepare tofu were excellent!

em 7 years ago

ooooh looks good! im actualy a highschool/ homeschooled student, and am researching tofu, its origins, recipes. etc.!! so this is gunna be great!!

Kevin  7 years ago

I appreciate the info on how to dry and marinate tofu - but this recipe isn't great. The brown sauce had way too much white pepper and didn't work for my tastes.

Melissa Ray Davis profile image

Melissa Ray Davis 7 years ago from Swannanoa, NC Author

Kevin, sorry, pepper isn't for everyone. If you're especially sensitive to spice it would be a good idea to reduce the amount of pepper you use. (The ginger and garlic can be slightly spicy as well). I was aiming for authenticity with this recipe, and I'm a big fan of Chinese brown sauces.

Abby 7 years ago

I just made this and thought it was a mouthful of AWESOME!

I have never dry fried tofu before, and I think I did alright! Next time I might cook it a little longer seeing as I liked the tougher pieces. I also thought I could do with a tablespoon less of oil to cook the asparagus. Otherwise, this was a huge winner! I cant wait to make it again!!!

Cheryl 7 years ago

I'm cooking this right now, and it smells so AMAZING, I cannot wait for it to be done!!!

Peanut 6 years ago

Num! Nummy! Nummedy! Num! I LOVE TOFU!

Ivy 6 years ago

Wow, this is super fantastic. My boyfriend and I have recently gone vegan, and I've had a hard time adjusting to tofu. I LOVE to cook, and this was so delicious my boyfriend literally licked his plate. Thanks for the recipe! AND for teaching me how to dry-fry. Greatest thing to happen to tofu. :)

dana 6 years ago

Made this last night and it was awesome

Karina 6 years ago

I have a question about the "marinade", am i supposed to drain the tofu then marinade for how long then drain it again? i need someone to help me out someone whos done this recipe before. i LOVE tofu, but id like to make some for myself and learn how to cook it :D thank you.

P.S. im tofu cooking ignorant! i need knowledge!

alyssa 6 years ago

my boyfriend and i seriously seriously can't get enough of this recipe. dry-frying is a marvel. i blogged about the method and the recipe here:

gerrywalker profile image

gerrywalker 6 years ago from Treasure Coast, Florida

I can't use pepper at all but find garlic gives peppery flavor enough for most things. I use LOTS of garlic!

Since I have angioedema (hives-- but in my tongue!)I'm only allowed five spices: chives, garlic, onion, saffron and sea salt -- I use them in nearly everything I cook; and of course it's all from scratch since I can't have any additives,etc.

Sabrina 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing, this is so yummy and not that hard to make at all

Sally 5 years ago

I made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it. They said this recipe is a keeper. Thanks so much for posting it.

Rhonda 5 years ago

I've given up meat for Lent and am looking for alternative cooking, this is on my menu for tonight...

Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico

I didn't know one could substitute rice wine with dry sherry! Thanks for the tip, it comes in very useful since rice wine in Mexico is a bit expensive and difficult to get.

Ric W. 3 years ago

This sounds absolutely amazing, I'll be trying this out this weekend for sure! Thank you!!!

Cheryl Steckler 19 months ago

Love this recipe. Can you give me the nutritional info with calories?

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