Spicy Peanut Tofu Stir Fry

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We eat plant-based in our household, but despite regular consumption of beans, lentils, protein rich whole grains and tempeh, Tim is not a huge fan of tofu. Unless of course, he is food prepping and overcooks it to the point where it’s crispy, but overly chewy. Needless to say, we don’t enjoy tofu prepared the same way. Except when it comes to this spicy peanut tofu stir fry.

Spicy Peanut Tofu Stir Fry

While eating this stir fry for dinner one night, Tim looks up at me and says “how hard is it for you to make this?”. After explaining it’s pretty easy other than the time it takes rice to cook (which you should prep in advance!) he said “I think it’s my favorite thing you’ve ever made”. This says a lot considering he truly enjoys my cooking (I rarely will post something on here that isn’t Tim approved, which is usually just oatmeal), and doesn’t really love tofu!

A Stir Fry With Simple Ingredients

This mixed dish was ready to be made when we were running out of food, but I had cabbage and red bell peppers sitting in the fridge that needed to be used. The only protein ready to go was the tofu. Then, on the day I was ready to make a stir fry, I saw Pinch of Yum post a delicious looking peanut stir fry sauce for lettuce wraps on their Instagram story. I bailed on the sauce I usually make and decided to make a modified version of hers. It was much easier. No food processor required and made exclusively with items I always have in my pantry. And I used raw honey instead of refined sugar. This spicy peanut tofu stir fry sauce is a WIN!

Tofu Stir Fry Nutrition Benefits

This mixed dish is great for anyone as it provides a balance of protein, fiber, mono-unsaturated fats, and energizing carbohydrates. Still, the tofu is a higher quality protein than that of most plant-proteins, so it makes this recipe even better for athletes and active individuals, too.

If you’re someone who competes in endurance races or does a lot of weight training, you probably know your protein needs are higher than the general population. You can increase protein by a few grams if you use quinoa or farro instead of rice (like in this farro fried rice). For an even bigger plant protein boost, use an extra package of tofu or add a cooked egg on the top of each bowl. Need more ideas for fitting in plant protein? Check out these 50 vegan recipes rich in protein.

Recipe Notes

Rice: As I mentioned above, rice can be a pain to cook, simply due to time required. If you don’t have a pressure cooker or rice cooker, pick up some quick cook rice or even the ready cooked rice packets (I like Seeds of Change or 365 brand). On a more regular basis though, just prep your grains in advance. You don’t need to be doing a huge food prep on Sunday to do this either. Prep on a Monday morning while you’re getting ready for work, or cook on the side when you’re making dinner another night.

Noodles for Rice: When I haven’t had rice prepped or in packets, I’ve made this with buckwheat soba or rice noodles (the former preferred) since they cook SO quickly. Sometimes it’s a nice change to have the noodles, too. Cook enough so that there’s 1 Cup for each serving.

Veggies: Sometimes I have all the vegetables in the recipe on hand, other times I don’t. Feel free to sub in what you have. I like to use carrots, broccoli (even from frozen), and different colored peppers.

Chile Paste: I’ve used both guchujang and kimchi paste as a replacement when I’m out and they work just as well!


Looking for another stir fry idea? Check out my sheet pan miso ginger tempeh  and sheet pan tofu stir fry. 

spicy peanut tofu stir fry

Spicy Peanut Tofu Stir Fry

Your new go-to meal is this spicy peanut tofu stir fry. It's an easy vegan dish that packs in protein and a whole lotta flavor.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese


  • 3 cups cooked short grain brown rice
  • 2-3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, chopped
  • ½ small purple cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
  • ½ cup shelled edamame
  • 1 package extra firm tofu


  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • cup low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chili paste
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes optional


  • After draining water from the container, wrap and press the tofu with a clean kitchen towel to remove some of the moisture. Cut the tofu into small pieces. Heat 1-2 tbsp sesame oil in a nonstick skillet over low-medium and add the tofu. Cook until golden brown, roughly 10-15 minutes.
  • While tofu is cooking, heat another skillet with the remaining tbsp of sesame oil. Add prepped vegetables and edamame, stir, and cover to cook while the tofu is cooking.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk all sauce ingredients together at once.
  • When tofu is browned, mix it with the rice and vegetables before pouring sauce over top and incorporating it.
Keyword peanut stir fry, vegan stir fry
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  1. Sounds delicious! I’ll have to give this a try soon! Thanks for the recipe, I’m now following you. Check out my comedy blog and give it a follow if you enjoy it!

  2. I am absolutely loving this recipe- the flavors and textures sound like something both my hubby and I will really enjoy!