SC Test Kitchen: Tackling Tofu

By Bianca Tamburello, Dietetics Student, Sargent College

This week we gathered at Karen Jacob’s SC Test Kitchen for an Asian infusion of Stir-Fried Veggies and Tofu!

It’s always great to learn how to prepare a delicious new recipe and save money at the same time. Instead of using fresh shiitake mushrooms, Karen Jacobs introduced us to the benefits of using dried shitake mushrooms. They are cheaper than fresh mushrooms and also have a longer shelf life. Before cooking, we simply rehydrated the mushrooms in a bath of water and watched them plump back to average size.

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Next, we whisked the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil and crushed red pepper together for our marinade. We let the tofu soak in the marinade for about 30 minutes to absorb the sweetness of the honey and sesame oil along with the contrasting salty flavor of the soy sauce. During the lag period, we chopped our mushrooms and trimmed the sugar snap peas.

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I have enjoyed tofu plenty of times but never prepared it, so I was very excited to finally learn how to properly cook with a new ingredient. We strained the tofu mixture, saving the marinade for later on, and seared the tofu until golden. I found that tofu is fairly easy to cook, but it’s important to remove it from the heat once it’s golden to avoid a rubbery texture.

After we removed the tofu from the heat, we stir-fried the mushrooms and snap peas with the perfect combination of garlic and ginger, letting them cook for about 2 minutes, and then returned the tofu to the pan. Lastly, we drizzled the marinade on top of the veggies and tofu and let them cook for another 30 seconds.

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The tofu absorbed the sweet and salty marinade nicely and paired wonderfully with the crisp snap peas and shiitake mushrooms.  The Stir-Fried Veggies and Tofu alone was a delicious Asian inspired snack, but   it can also be served over a bed of brown rice for a balanced meal.

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Sargent Choice

Stir-Fried Veggies and Tofu

Yield: 4 servings


3 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 Tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Teaspoon oriental sesame oil

¼ Teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 12-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 3/4- inch cube, patted dry with paper


¼ Cup water

1 Teaspoon cornstarch

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

6 Ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps quartered

8 Ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed

4 Garlic cloves, minces

1 Tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

4 Green onions, sliced on diagonal


1.    Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl to blend.

2.    Add tofu and stir to coat; let marinate for 30 minutes

3.    Drain, reserving marinade in small bowl.

4.    Whisk ¼ cup water and cornstarch into the marinade

5.    Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add tofu and sauté until golden, about 2 minutes.

6.    Using a slotted spoon, transfer tofu to plate.

7.    Add remaining 1 Tbsp vegetable oil to skillet.  Add mushrooms and stir-fry until tender- about 3 minutes.  Add sugar snap peas- stir-fry 2 minutes.  Add garlic and ginger- stir-fry 30 seconds.

8.    Return tofu to skillet; drizzle marinade mixture over.  Stir-fry until marinade thickens slightly, about 30 seconds.

9.    Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to bowl.  Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

1 serving
Calories 330
Fat 13 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Protein 18 g
Carbohydrates 36 g
Fiber 6 g

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