Crispy and vibrant veggies are stir-fried luscious peanut sauce to make this flavorful and colorful peanut butter tofu stir-fry. An easy vegan dinner that’s packed with flavor and on the table in under 30 minutes!
I love peanut sauce, which you probably know by now if you’re a regular reader of this site. I toss it with noodles, serve it with summer rolls, and dip homemade vegan satay in it. But this is, I think, the first time I’ve worked it into a stir-fry. Boy have I been missing out!
Homemade Peanut Sauce
You can, if you’d like, save some time and use bottled peanut sauce for this recipe. But, I highly encourage you to make your own because, (1) it’ll turn out way better than the bottled stuff, and (2) it’s ridiculously easy.
All you need to do is whisk a few ingredients together:
- Peanut butter. This is the main ingredient in our peanut sauce. I recommend using a natural peanut butter of the creamy (not chunky) variety. I personally love Trader Joe’s brand.
- Hoisin sauce. This adds some savory undertones along with some sweet and salty flavors. Look for it near the soy sauce and stir-fry sauces at your supermarket.
- Soy sauce. For more savory and salty flavor.
- Maple syrup. You’ll need a bit of sweetness to balance out the flavors. Maple syrup is my go-to for this, though you could also use agave or even brown sugar if that’s what you’ve got on hand.
- Rice vinegar. For a bit of tartness. Lime juice makes a great substitute if that’s what’s available to you.
- Sriracha. Totally optional, but great for adding a little heat.
- Garlic and ginger. I like adding these aromatics right to the sauce, as it keeps the flavors nice and intense.
- Water. Use as much as you need to thin the sauce.
Taste-test your sauce and adjust any of the ingredients to get the flavor to your liking.
Tip: this sauce works great as a salad dressing or as a dipping sauce for finger foods like dumplings.
How to Stir-Fry
You’ll want to have your sauce ready before you start cooking. Also chop your veggies, press and cut your tofu.
Ready to go? Okay!
The tofu gets cooked first, all by itself. Oil up a large skillet and arrange your tofu cube in an even layer. Let them cook for a few minutes, until they start to get brown and crispy on the bottoms. Now flip them and cook them for a few minutes more on the opposite sides. Take the tofu out of the skillet and transfer it to a plate.
You can add some more oil to the skillet at this point if it seems dry. Turn the heat up to high.
Add some chopped up scallions, but just the white parts — the greens will go in at the end. Stir-fry them for just a minute.
Now all of the veggies go in! Flip and stir them continuously white they cook. After a few minutes they should start to become tender and brighten in color.
Return the tofu to the skillet and add the sauce. Flip everything a few times to coat the tofu and veggies with sauce. Let the mixture cook for barely a minute, just to heat and thicken up the sauce a bit.
Take your stir-fry off of the burner and top it with the green parts of your scallions and some chopped peanuts.
Serve it with rice and enjoy!
Peanut Butter Tofu Stir-Fry FAQ & Tips
- Can this stir-fry be made gluten-free? Yup! Just use a gluten-free hoisin sauce and substitute gluten-free tamari for the soy sauce.
- Leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days.
- Peanut-free version: this stir-fry should be equally delicious if you substitute almond butter for the peanut butter and chopped almonds for peanuts.
- Can different veggies be used? Absolutely! Broccoli, baby corn, celery, and bok choy would all be excellent choices! Just keep in mind that softer veggies (like bok choy) take less time to cook, so they should be added a bit later than the others.
- Need more guidance on how to pan-fry perfect tofu? Check out this post.
Rainbow Peanut Butter Stir-Fry
Crispy and vibrant veggies are stir-fried luscious peanut sauce to make this flavorful and colorful peanut butter tofu stir-fry. An easy vegan dinner that's packed with flavor and on the table in under 30 minutes!
For the Peanut Sauce
- 1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (or to taste)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- About 1/3 cup water, as needed
For the Stir-Fry
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or high heat oil of choice)
- 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) package extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 medium scallions, white and green parts separated and chopped
- 2 cups snow peas
- 2 medium carrots, julienned
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- cooked rice
To make the sauce, whisk the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup, vinegar, sriracha, garlic and ginger together in a small bowl.
Begin whisking in the water, a bit at a time, just until the sauce is smooth and runny, but not overly watery.
Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add tofu cubes in an even layer. Allow the to cook for about 10 minutes, flipping it once or twice, until browned and crispy on multiple sides.
Remove the tofu from the skillet and transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate.
Raise the heat to high. Add snow peas, carrots and bell pepper to the skillet.
Stir-fry until the veggies are tender-crisp and have deepened a bit in color, about 3 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium. Return the tofu to skillet, and add peanut sauce. Flip everything a few times until all ingredients are coated with sauce. Remove the skillet from heat.
Sprinkle the stir-fry with peanuts and the green parts of the scallions.
Divide the stir-fry onto plates with rice. Serve.
Nutrition information does not include rice.