Crispy Tofu and Zucchini Stir-Fry Recipe

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By G. Daniela Galarza

Loaded with zucchini and tofu, this stir-fry has an adaptable sauce that can swing sweet, salty or spicy. You’ll start by frying cubes of tofu until crisp. Then, stir-fry zucchini and spring onions or scallions just until they take on some color. Finally, mix together a simple sauce. Adding oyster sauce (vegan or not) will make your sauce slightly sweet. Using only soy sauce will keep it salty and savory while stirring in chili-garlic sauce or Sichuan chili bean paste (doubanjiang) will turn it spicy. If you don’t want to fry the tofu, skip this step and just stir fry it briefly before adding the vegetables.

Doubanjiang, such as the Juan Cheng brand, can also be labeled as broad bean chili sauce or fermented chili bean paste.

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Where to buy: Doubanjiang (Sichuan chili bean paste, see headnote) can be found in Asian markets or online. Chili-garlic sauce and oyster sauce can be found at well-stocked supermarkets, Asian markets or online.

Storage: Refrigerate for up to 4 days.

From staff writer G. Daniela Galarza.


measuring cup

Servings: 3 (makes 4 cups)


  1. Step 1

    Line a large plate or small, rimmed baking sheet with a tea towel.

  2. Step 2

    In a wok or large flat-bottomed skillet over high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the tofu in one layer — you may need to do this in batches — and fry, flipping occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the prepared plate or baking sheet to drain.

  3. Step 3

    Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil — reserving it for another use — and return the pan to high heat. Add the white parts of the spring onions or scallions and the zucchini, and stir-fry, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables take on color, about 4 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Make the sauce: Meanwhile, in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup with a spout, stir together the cold water and cornstarch or potato starch. Stir in the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and the doubanjiang, chili-garlic sauce, oyster sauce or additional soy sauce.

  5. Step 5

    Add the sauce to the wok, and let it boil and thicken, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the tofu until well coated with the sauce. Garnish with the scallion greens and serve, with rice, if desired.

Nutritional Facts

Due to the variable oil absorption when frying, nutritional analysis is not available.

This analysis is an estimate based on the available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From staff writer G. Daniela Galarza.

Tested by Anna Rodriguez and Hattie Ulan.