Vegan Stir-Fry with Tofu and Sweet Chili Sauce

by Steph Sunshine at

Yield3 servings

Prep Time20 minutes

Cook Time20 minutes

Total Time40 minutes


Sweet Chili Sauce

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. vegan granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. sambal oelek (chili paste)
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp. garlic, minced (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 1/2 tbsp. fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  • 14 oz. extra-firm tofu
  • 1/2 tbsp. coconut aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil (or another light oil with a high smoke point)


  • 2 cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 3 cup broccoli florets (about 1 head)

For serving

  • white rice, cooked
  • green onions (scallions), chopped
  • sesame seeds


  1. (Optional) If you're planning to bake your tofu, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Gently squeeze your tofu block to remove excess water. Then wrap in a kitchen towel or paper towels, and squeeze gently again to drain more water out. You don't need to press the tofu in a press or with books for this recipe, just getting the excess water out is enough.
  3. Cut the tofu into 1-inch pieces. Then place the pieces in a large bowl (I like to use a container with a lid) and add 1/2 tablespoon each of coconut aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce) and rice vinegar. If you have a container with a lid, close it and toss the tofu to distribute the marinade. If not, then you can use your hands to mix it up, being careful not to break the tofu pieces. Set it aside while you chop your vegetables and prepare the sauce.
  4. Chop your cabbage and broccoli florets, then prepare the minced garlic and grated ginger for the sauce.
  5. Mix all your sauce ingredients together in a jar or bowl. If you have a jar with a lid that seals (like a mason jar), you can shake it to mix it. Otherwise, you can use a whisk or a fork to get the ingredients well-combined. Make sure that your cornstarch is dissolved with no clumps before moving on.
  6. Drain any marinade that's left at the bottom of your tofu container. Then sprinkle 3 tablespoons of cornstarch over your tofu, tossing the tofu to make sure it gets evenly coated.
  7. Option 1: Bake tofu. If you're baking your tofu, place it on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 15 minutes. Then turn it and bake another 15 minutes, until crispy. About 5 minutes before the tofu is ready, you can start stir-frying the vegetables.
  8. Option 2: Fry tofu. To fry your tofu, add 1 tablespoon of oil to a wok and turn the heat to medium-high. Add your tofu pieces to the wok, leaving space between them so they don't stick together. Turn your tofu every 2-3 minutes to get all sides crispy (you can use a wok turner or tongs for this), about 12-15 minutes total. Set aside on a plate.
  9. Add a tablespoon of oil to the wok and heat it over medium-high heat. If you fried your tofu, leave the heat at the same level. Add your cabbage and broccoli to the wok and cook until tender (but still bright and crisp), about 4-6 minutes.
  10. Reduce the heat to medium, then add your tofu and sauce to the wok. Toss to coat, and continue stirring until the sauce has thickened a bit (1-2 minutes).
  11. Remove from heat and serve immediately with rice. If desired, top with green onions and sesame seeds.

Notes & Hints

I recommend using a non-stick carbon steel wok for the best results. Don't use stainless steel as it will burn at high heat.

This recipe makes enough sauce for a light coating of the stir-fry. If you prefer more sauce, you can double the sauce recipe.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat over medium heat on the stove, adding a dash of water if needed.