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Peanut tofu stir fry in a skillet.

Peanut Butter Tofu Stir Fry

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  • Author: Alexandra Shytsman
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian-American
  • Diet: Vegan


A one-pan tofu stir fry with a rich peanut butter-based sauce.



For the Tofu

  • One 14– or 16-ounce block extra firm tofu* (see note below)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil, plus more if needed
  • 1 small yellow or red onion, cut into medium dice
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into medium dice
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Cooked rice and chopped peanuts, for serving (optional)

For the Sauce

  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter*
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar*
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil


  1. Press the tofu in a tofu press or: place it on a plate, then top with another plate or cutting board, and weigh down with something heavy, like a couple of cans, to squeeze out excess water. Let stand for 15 minutes, periodically draining off the water that pools at the bottom of the plate.
  2. Cut the tofu into 1 inch cubes and arrange in a single layer on the cutting board. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the avocado oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu in a single layer seasoned side down, then season the top-facing side. Cook undisturbed until the tofu is nicely golden on the bottom and crisp around the edges, 5 to 6 minutes. Then flip and continue cooking in the same manner, browning 3-4 sides total. (Resist the urge to move the tofu more than necessary.)
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Then gradually incorporate 4 tablespoons of water, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisking after each addition. The sauce should be thin and pourable.
  5. Remove the browned tofu from the pan and set aside. Add more oil to the skillet if needed, and add the onions and peppers with a pinch of salt. Cook until the vegetables are soft and lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the tofu back to the skillet, along with the peanut sauce. Toss to combine and turn the heat off. Garnish with scallions (and peanuts, if using). Serve immediately.


  • If using “super firm” tofu, skip the pressing step and start at step 2.
  • This recipe was developed using natural peanut butter (the only ingredients in the jar should be peanuts and maybe salt). I always recommend this option as it forgoes the added oil, sugar, and emulsifiers of regular peanut butter (like Jif/Skippy). I also recommend crunchy instead of smooth for extra texture.
  • Rice vinegar can be subbed with apple cider vinegar, or lemon/lime juice.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe (without rice)
  • Calories: 285
  • Sodium: 460 mg
  • Fat: 20.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.1 g
  • Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 16.7 g