Asparagus Tofu Stir-Fry Recipe

Updated on May 21, 2007
asparagus tofu stir-fry
asparagus tofu stir-fry

Asparagus is one of my all-time favorite vegetables, with its unique flavor and fresh texture. If you too are a fan of asparagus, you will love this simple but flavorful recipe using a savory marinade and brown garlic sauce.

This recipe is vegetarian and vegan.

Selecting Asparagus

The key to a good asparagus dish is good asparagus, of course! There are a few things to look for when selecting fresh asparagus. First, look for the thinnest stalks you can find. The thinner the stalk, the more tender the vegetable. Second, look at the cut end of the stalk. If it is very dried out, the asparagus is probably old, or at the very least badly kept. Finally, you want a rich green color, not faded or whitish or browning.

Asparagus Tofu Stir-Fry Recipe

serves 2



  • 1 cup dry jasmine rice or other long-grain white rice.
  • 2 cups water


  • vegetable or peanut oil
  • 8 oz. extra-firm pressed tofu
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/4 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or crushed
  • 1 tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • water to cover

Brown sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp. black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp. palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 5 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger root
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3 tbsp. water


1. Prepare the tofu. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch thick triangles. Gently press between woven cloth to remove excess moisture. Dry-fry in a Teflon pan over medium heat with NO OIL, pressing with spatula frequently. It is done when firm and golden on both sides. (See How to Cook Tofu Like the Pros: Dry-fry and Marinate Method for detailed instructions on pressing and dry-frying tofu, a professional technique).

2. Meanwhile, prepare the marinade. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl, then submerge the tofu after dry-frying.

3. Start cooking the rice (follow the directions for whatever variety you have).

4. Prepare the brown sauce. Heat all brown sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat (medium for a gas range). Bring to a boil and simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Stir-fry. Heat a well-seasoned wok until smoking over medium-high to high heat (or use a large pan if you do not have a wok). Add about 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil to the wok, then add drained tofu and asparagus. Stir-fry over medium-high to high heat just until asparagus is tender but still slightly crunchy. Cut the heat and toss the stir-fry with the brown sauce.

6. Serve immediately over rice. Enjoy!

asparagus tofu stir-fry
asparagus tofu stir-fry

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Cheryl Steckler 2 years ago

        Love this recipe. Can you give me the nutritional info with calories?

      • profile image

        Ric W. 4 years ago

        This sounds absolutely amazing, I'll be trying this out this weekend for sure! Thank you!!!

      • Claudia Tello profile image

        Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

        I didn't know one could substitute rice wine with dry sherry! Thanks for the tip, it comes in very useful since rice wine in Mexico is a bit expensive and difficult to get.

      • profile image

        Rhonda 6 years ago

        I've given up meat for Lent and am looking for alternative cooking, this is on my menu for tonight...

      • profile image

        Sally 6 years ago

        I made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it. They said this recipe is a keeper. Thanks so much for posting it.

      • profile image

        Sabrina 6 years ago

        Thanks for sharing, this is so yummy and not that hard to make at all

      • gerrywalker profile image

        Gerry Walker 7 years ago from Treasure Coast, Florida

        I can't use pepper at all but find garlic gives peppery flavor enough for most things. I use LOTS of garlic!

        Since I have angioedema (hives-- but in my tongue!)I'm only allowed five spices: chives, garlic, onion, saffron and sea salt -- I use them in nearly everything I cook; and of course it's all from scratch since I can't have any additives,etc.

      • profile image

        alyssa 7 years ago

        my boyfriend and i seriously seriously can't get enough of this recipe. dry-frying is a marvel. i blogged about the method and the recipe here:

      • profile image

        Karina 7 years ago

        I have a question about the "marinade", am i supposed to drain the tofu then marinade for how long then drain it again? i need someone to help me out someone whos done this recipe before. i LOVE tofu, but id like to make some for myself and learn how to cook it :D thank you.

        P.S. im tofu cooking ignorant! i need knowledge!

      • profile image

        dana 7 years ago

        Made this last night and it was awesome

      • profile image

        Ivy 7 years ago

        Wow, this is super fantastic. My boyfriend and I have recently gone vegan, and I've had a hard time adjusting to tofu. I LOVE to cook, and this was so delicious my boyfriend literally licked his plate. Thanks for the recipe! AND for teaching me how to dry-fry. Greatest thing to happen to tofu. :)

      • profile image

        Peanut 8 years ago

        Num! Nummy! Nummedy! Num! I LOVE TOFU!

      • profile image

        Cheryl 8 years ago

        I'm cooking this right now, and it smells so AMAZING, I cannot wait for it to be done!!!

      • profile image

        Abby 8 years ago

        I just made this and thought it was a mouthful of AWESOME!

        I have never dry fried tofu before, and I think I did alright! Next time I might cook it a little longer seeing as I liked the tougher pieces. I also thought I could do with a tablespoon less of oil to cook the asparagus. Otherwise, this was a huge winner! I cant wait to make it again!!!

      • Melissa Ray Davis profile image

        Melissa Ray Davis 8 years ago from Swannanoa, NC

        Kevin, sorry, pepper isn't for everyone. If you're especially sensitive to spice it would be a good idea to reduce the amount of pepper you use. (The ginger and garlic can be slightly spicy as well). I was aiming for authenticity with this recipe, and I'm a big fan of Chinese brown sauces.

      • profile image

        Kevin  8 years ago

        I appreciate the info on how to dry and marinate tofu - but this recipe isn't great. The brown sauce had way too much white pepper and didn't work for my tastes.

      • profile image

        em 9 years ago

        ooooh looks good! im actualy a highschool/ homeschooled student, and am researching tofu, its origins, recipes. etc.!! so this is gunna be great!!

      • profile image

        Christa 9 years ago

        I made this last night and added sugar snap peas and marinated shrimp with the tofu. I also used rice noodles and sauteed all together at the end. The marinade, sauce and advice on how to prepare tofu were excellent!

      • profile image

        pircusz 9 years ago

        I have been looking for a good tofu stir-fry recipe. This is amazing, I didn't make it with asparagus, I made it with sliced peppers, onions, and mushroom and at the end I have added steamed broccoli. Amazing.

      • bobw profile image

        bobw 10 years ago from Laurel, DE

        Great looking recipe!

      • profile image

        MERCEDES M 10 years ago


      • Bob Ewing profile image

        Bob Ewing 10 years ago from New Brunswick

        This combines a few of my favourite things.

      • Melissa Ray Davis profile image

        Melissa Ray Davis 10 years ago from Swannanoa, NC

        Thanks, both of you. And yes, it's delicious!

      • CareyYo profile image

        CareyYo 10 years ago from Fullerton

        This sounds yummy.

      • tshirtscene profile image

        tshirtscene 10 years ago

        Yum, I love asparagus! and this is with tofu, I'll have to try this recipe out.