What’s so exciting about Teriyaki? Find out by making this easy one-pot Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry! Whisk together a quick sauce, add any assortment of veggies, and serve it over some cooked quinoa for the perfect weeknight meal!
In our family, we use easy Asian sauce combinations at least 1-2 times a week. You can pour them over noodles, create a veggie stir-fry, use them as marinade for pan-fried tofu, or make a variety of different fried rice or quinoa dishes. It’s the perfect “clean out your fridge” meal or “I have only 15 minutes to prep” meal. And since my kids love them, leftovers make the perfect non-sandwich school lunch.
When you make these meals often, the key is to have enough variety so you’re not bored with the same taste and flavors. I have a few great recipes already on the blog where you can simply take the sauce combination and use it for anything.
This Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry sauce has been my latest obsession. I kept it simple, using a combination of ingredients I’ve always loved and ones which are readily available in my pantry. This sauce is somewhat of a spin-off my popular Pra Ram Tofu, but without the peanut butter flavor. When I started brainstorming what to call this recipe, I realized that it’s more-or-less a non-traditional version of the ever-so-popular Teriyaki sauce!
The word Teriyaki in modern day gets thrown around quite often. So before diving into the recipe, I thought it’d be fun to find out a little more about this magical sauce. What’s so exciting about the flavor of Teriyaki that has everyone obsessed with it?
All About Teriyaki.
Did you know that the word Teriyaki is derived from ‘tare’ which means luster or shine from the sugar content, and ‘yaki’ which refers to cooking over a direct heat? It was originally used to describe a style of cooking used in Japanese cuisine and refers to some type of protein marinated or coated with a sweet and salty sauce, and roasted on a grill or open fire. The sauce is traditionally made with soy sauce, and two types of rice wine (marin and sake). But the Westernized version is a little different and non-traditional, containing ingredients such as garlic, ginger, sesame oil, pineapple, green onions, or any other types of sweeteners.
Today, Teriyaki is basically used to describe any food marinated in, cooked in, or served with a version of this sauce. It’s become more-or-less a simple, yet versatile Asian marinade or seasoning and is used as a cooking sauce, dipping sauce, or table sauce.
Now coming back to this particular Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry recipe I’m sharing with you guys today –
- I used Tamari instead of soy sauce
- Added ginger, garlic, and sesame oil
- Used coconut sugar and maple syrup as my sweeteners
- Added corn starch to thicken the sauce
- Used rice wine vinegar instead of marin or sake
This sauce is a non-traditional version of Teriyaki and so delicious! It’s got that salty, sweet, tangy flavor that will keep you coming back for more.
How to make Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry?
It’s simple! Basically pan-fry some tofu, then stir-fry it along with your favorite veggies in this homemade version of teriyaki sauce, and serve it over cooked rice or quinoa. I used asparagus for this recipe, but you can just as easily make this Teriyaki tofu with bok choy, mushrooms, pineapple, broccoli, peppers. or even rice noodles. So try out this 30-minute dish. You can even prep a large batch of the sauce and use it throughout the week. It’s kid friendly and customizable for the entire family!
Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry
- 14 oz firm tofu
- 1 pound asparagus , or ~2 cups of any other veggies
- 1 tbsp Tamari , or soy sauce
- 2 tbso green onions , finely chopped
- 2 teasp red chili sauce (optional)
- 2 teasp cooking oil
For the Sauce:
- 3 tbsp Tamari , or soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1.5 tbsp rice vinegar
- 5 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/2 tbsp ginger , freshly grated
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar , or maple syrup
- 2 teasp corn starch
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 cups quinoa , cooked (or brown rice)
To Prepare the Tofu:
- Cut the block of tofu in half. Place each half in 2 clean paper towels one at a time and gently press/squeeze to remove excess stored liquid (without breaking up the tofu).
- Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes and pan fry on medium-high heat in a non-stick pan with 1 teasp cooking oil.
- Mix and turn frequently until all the water is burned off and the tofu is lightly golden brown on most sides (be sure not to burn the tofu). If you find that the tofu is sticking to the pan, add a little more oil.
- While the tofu is cooking, continue on to the rest of the recipe.
- Once the tofu is done, add 1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce) and toss once more. Set the tofu aside in a bowl.
- Using a wet paper napkin, quickly wipe down the non-stick pan while it's still hot.
To Prepare the Dish:
- Whisk all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Prep any veggies. For asparagus, trim the bottom of the spheres and cut them into 2-inch long pieces. For any other veggies, dice them to preferred size.
- Once the tofu is done cooking and set aside, quickly wipe down and use the same non-stick pan to saute the veggies.
- Heat 1 teasp cooking oil on medium-high heat. Add in the diced veggies and saute until cooked through, but still slightly crispy.
- Add in the pan-fried tofu.
- Add in the sauce. Turn the heat down to medium and let it cook until the sauce starts to thicken and coat the tofu and veggies.
- Taste and adjust flavor if needed with additional tamari and/or coconut sugar.
- If using, mix in the red chili paste and green onions. Mix once more.
- Turn off the heat and serve over cooked quinoa.
This dish fabulous and its so simple. I am yet to try tofu again…. I know..I know… I tried it in a stir fry in Thailand when i was there on honeymoon and for some reason, it didn’t taste as expected. was bit too soft for my liking and i think the texture was enough for me not to try it again.. I think pan fried or crumbed and baked in the oven would better for me.. Nonetheless your recipe looks amazing!
Thank you!!! Yes…you absolutely need to try making tofu at home. I’m totally with you on not liking too soft tofu, which is why i’m always either pan frying it or baking it to get the crispy texture! Try it one of my ways and I promise you’ll love it!
This recipe looks absolutely delicious 😉
I tried tofu on a skewer with bell peppers and other veggies and I enjoyed it, it wasn’t too soft or too had, just the perfect texture, but we have to definitely try your way!
Thank you Rashmi! Tofu on skewers is delicious and a recipe I still have yet to develop my own version of! Pan-frying it also tastes great and gives it nice texture.
I am dying over this.
Well lucky for you it’s super easy to make 🙂 let me know if you try it out!
Lisa | Garlic & Zest
The sauce you’ve made sounds terrific! I don’t think I can get my husband to eat tofu, but I’m betting this stir fry would work well with chicken or beef too! Yum!
This sauce is so versatile that you can add it to anything really. I made some noodles with it the other day! Let me know if you try it out.
Michelle | The Last Food Blog
I love a good fridge clear out meal! This sounds delicious, anything with teriyaki and I’m in.
Monica | Nourish & Fete
I so agree with you about using sauces like this in different ways and combos to keep things interesting yet simple for the chef! I do this most often with different pestos and Italian sauces, but what a great reminder that I could change things up more and do this just as easily with Asian flavor profiles. And I learned something from your background on Teriyaki. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for reading Monica! Pestos and italian sauces are my other cuisine go-to freezer ready sauces! We do a lot of asian in our house also, and it’s so easy to get the veggies and protein in. Have you ever tried coconut aminos? If you’re really in a bind, just some of that in a stir-fry itself tastes awesome! Let me know if you try this out!
Lucy @ Supergoldenbakes
I can’t wait to try this sauce out – and maybe share a few of those Teriyaki facts around the dinner table.
Thanks Lucy! Those facts were fun and really interesting seeing as how teriyaki has become so popular in modern world! Let me know if you try it out!
Your recipe pictures speak out. I don’t like tofu, but this recipe makes me want to give tofu another shot.
Oh you totally need to give tofu another shot! I used to hate it as well but it all depends on how you cook/texture/marinate and flavor it!
I love tofu recipes. This looks very flavorful and delicious, is tamari healthier than soy sauce? I never used tamari, sounds interesting!
I use tamari all the time because it’s gluten-free, plus, I do think it’s a little healthier and tastes better. The healthier option in this recipe would probably be coconut aminos. Have you tried that before? So good!!!
This looks so good! We eat very similar at our house. Asian sauce, tempeh or tofu, and rice and noodles. So good and easy! Thanks for this great recipe.
Thanks Sarah! It really is good and easy…protein, grains, veggies!
Vanessa @ veganfamilyrecipes
I just picked up a bunch of asparagus and wasn’t quite sure what to make it with it yet. However, NOW I know exactly what I want to make ! THis teriyaki tofu stir fry looks fantastic!
Awesome! Thanks Vanessa…this recipe is definitely the one before asparagus season is over!
We’ve just started to explore beautiful and vibrant Japanese cuisine… I’m glad to have found this great recipe too! Especially because it’s one pot and has everything it needs to feed a hungry bunch after a long day 🙂
Thank you!! You’ll love this easy version of teriyaki! It’s so tasty and very easy to prep on a weeknight!
Strength and Sunshine
Who doesn’t love some great teriyaki…and a great stir fry at that!