The Best Damn Peanut Stir Fry

You'll never crave takeout again once you try this stir fry tofu with peanut sauce. Crisp veggies and a thick, rich sauce will know your socks off!
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A plate of tofu peanut stir fry served with a side of rice.
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I don’t think there’s a week that goes by that I don’t crave some kind of salty and savory meal. I dream of tantalizing takeout being delivered right to my door without delay. That’s why I was all a-tingle when this stir-fried tofu with peanut sauce recipe came my way.

Now, my cravings are calmed and my wallet free of woe. Everything I need is right in my own cozy, cluttered kitchen. After several slices, a few choice chops, and a little bit of stir fry, the most mouthwatering meal will be mine to savor.

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

Imagine it’s the end of the week, you’re hungry for a quick and tasty meal, and have a bunch of vegetables you need to use up before they go bad. Enter: peanut tofu stir fry. The ingredients are straightforward, easy to find, and incredibly versatile! Here’s what all you need:

Ingredients for vegan peanut stir-fry, with labels.
  • Extra Firm Tofu: Extra firm tofu holds its shape well during cooking, making it perfect for stir-fries. Be sure to press it to remove excess moisture for the best texture. Use super firm to skip the pressing process, or try firm tofu if that’s all you have on hand. Here’s our guide to types of tofu if you have one not mentioned.
  • Soy Sauce: Soy sauce adds a rich, salty flavor, while tamari is a great gluten-free alternative. Both work well to season the tofu and the sauce.
  • Cornstarch: This helps to create a crispy coating on the tofu when cooked, giving it a satisfying texture. It also helps to thicken the peanut stir fry sauce. Potato starch is a good alternative if needed.
  • Oil: Use a mild oil like canola or vegetable oil for sautéing the tofu and vegetables.
  • White Onion: Adds a sweet and savory base flavor to the stir-fry. Yellow onion would be equally delicious.
  • Mixed Vegetables: A mix of vegetables such as cauliflower, bell pepper, and asparagus adds color, texture, and nutrition to the dish. Feel free to use your favorite vegetables or whatever you have on hand.
  • Peanut Butter: Creates a rich, creamy texture and nutty flavor that makes the sauce irresistible. Use all-natural peanut butter for the best flavor.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil: Adds a deep, nutty flavor and a silky mouthfeel to the sauce.
  • Brown Sugar: Balances the savory and tangy flavors with a touch of sweetness. You can also use maple syrup or agave nectar.
  • Rice Vinegar: Adds a tangy note that brightens the overall flavor of the sauce. You can use apple cider vinegar in a pinch.
  • Minced Garlic and Ginger: Both add strong notes that complement the other flavors in the sauce.
  • Sriracha: Adds a spicy kick to the sauce. Feel free to use your favorite hot sauce.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make This Peanut Sauce Stir-Fried Tofu

Making this peanut stir fry is easy peasy! Grab your sauce ingredients, tofu, and whatever vegetables you have on hand and let’s get cooking!

Cubed tofu in a glass container with soy sauce being poured over it.
Tofu in a glass container, coated in soy sauce, with cornstarch being sprinkled over it.

Step 1: Wrap the tofu in a lint-free towel and press gently to remove excess water. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and place them in a container with a lid. Pour soy sauce over the tofu, cover, and shake gently to coat. Add the garlic powder and cornstarch, cover, and shake again until evenly coated.

Marinated tofu cube sauteeing in a nonstick pan.

Step 2: Heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the tofu cubes and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.

Mixed vegetables cooking in a nonstick pan.

Step 3: In the same pan, heat the remaining oil. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the mixed vegetables and garlic, stirring and cooking until tender but still slightly crunchy, about 5-7 minutes.

The stir fry peanut sauce being mixed together in a small bowl.

Step 4: While the vegetables are cooking, whisk together the peanut stir fry sauce in a bowl until smooth. Taste and adjust flavors as needed adding more soy sauce for a salty, umami flavor, more brown sugar for sweeter, or more Sriracha for spicier.

The peanut stir fry sauce being poured over the stir fried tofu and vegetables in the pan.

Step 5: Once the vegetables are ready, return the tofu to the pan and turn off the heat. Pour the sauce over the tofu and vegetables, stirring to coat everything evenly. Serve the stir fry over warm brown rice, garnished with diced green onions, chopped peanuts, and an extra drizzle of Sriracha if desired.

How to Serve Up Your Stir Fry Tofu With Peanut Sauce

There are endless ways to add or subtract from this recipe to make it your own. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Not Hot About Heat? – If you love veggies but not the spice, just leave out the Sriracha. Super easy. On the other hand, if you love all things hot and spicy, add more Sriracha, crushed red pepper, and/or cayenne pepper. That’ll give you a kick!
  • Pick Another Protein – Not a tofu lover? How about adding some crispy air fried tempeh instead? A cupful of roasted chickpeas or edamame is also a great option to add into your stir-fry.
  • Waiting for Rice Is Not So Nice – If you’d rather not use frozen cooked rice and time is of the essence, feel free to serve your vegan peanut stir fry with some healthy noodles instead. This dish would be delightful with soba noodles, ramen, or udon noodles. You could even enjoy it with penne pasta or over a sweet potato. Go wild!
  • Pass on the Peanuts – We know that peanuts are not the best for everyone. You can simply substitute any nut butter for the peanut butter––almond, cashew, or tahini would taste delicious. Sprinkle on chopped cashews or toasted sesame seeds instead of the peanuts as a garnish.
  • Free Up the Fridge – Perhaps your fridge is bursting with limp lettuces and on-the-edge veg. It’s okay, we don’t judge. If that’s the case, use whatever you have on hand to make up your savory meal. Broccoli, sliced carrots, zucchini, and green beans are all fantastic choices for your stir fry.
Tofu stir fry with peanut sauce and vegetables served on a plate with a side of rice.

Storing Your Stir Fry Tofu With Peanut Sauce

Any uneaten stir fry would be best stored in separate containers to keep every ingredient fresh. Place the leftover veggies, rice, and sauce in glass covered glass containers in the fridge. Everything should last for about 2-3 days.

If you run out of any particular portion of the stir fry tofu with peanut sauce, feel free to make more. Especially the sauce or brown rice. Either of those would be easy to whip up ahead of time and be ready for the next meal. Use this opportunity to experiment with different veggies or swapping out sides for your meal (maybe noodles instead of rice?).

Leftover rice or sauce that is separated can also be frozen for up to 2-3 months. I wouldn’t recommend freezing any cooked veggies that are mixed with sauce, though. Cook up a new batch when you’ve got the craving.

Tofu stir fry with peanut sauce and vegetables on a plate, topped with peanuts and sliced green onion.

If you make this peanut sauce stir fry tofu recipe, please leave a star rating and let me know what you think in the comments below! I love reading your comments! 

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The Best Damn Peanut Stir Fry

5 from 8 votes
This is truly the best damn peanut stir fry! Creating the perfect peanut sauce is my go-to method for transforming end-of-the-week vegetables into a fabulous and simple stir fry. The peanut sauce comes together quickly with pantry staples for a silky sauce with the perfect balance of salty, sweet, tangy, umami, and spicy.
A plate of tofu peanut stir fry served with a side of rice.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, potato starch would also work
  • 1 tablespoon oil, + 1 teaspoon, divided
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 3 cups mixed vegetables, such as chopped cauliflower, bell pepper, asparagus, etc.
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced

Peanut Stir Fry Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce, or tamari
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch, or potato starch
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha, and more for garnish

For Serving

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice, see Fresh Tips!
  • 3 stalks green onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped peanuts

Instructions

  • Wrap the tofu in a lint-free towel and gently press to remove excess water. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Place the tofu cubes in a container with a lid. Pour the soy sauce over the tofu, cover, and shake gently to coat. Add the garlic powder and cornstarch, cover, and shake again to coat evenly.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the tofu cubes and cook until browned on all sides, about 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove tofu from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat the remaining oil. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened; about 3 minutes.
  • Add the mixed vegetables and garlic to the pan. Stir and cook until the vegetables are tender but still slightly crunchy, about 5-7 minutes.
  • While the vegetables are cooking, whisk together the soy sauce, peanut butter, warm water, toasted sesame oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, minced garlic, minced ginger, cornstarch, and Sriracha in a bowl until smooth.
  • Once the vegetables are ready, return the tofu to the pan and turn off the heat. Pour the sauce over the tofu and vegetables, stirring to coat everything evenly. Serve the stir fry over warm brown rice, garnished with diced green onions, chopped peanuts, and an extra drizzle of Sriracha if desired.

Notes

Fresh Tips!

  • Feel free to use other vegetables that might be hanging out in your fridge, like snow peas, broccoli, or mushrooms.
  • Since brown rice can take up to 45 minutes to cook, I recommend prepping a batch ahead of time or using frozen brown rice for convenience.

Nutrition

Calories: 789kcal | Carbohydrates: 98g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 2607mg | Potassium: 973mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 9367IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 5mg
Course — dinner
Cuisine — asian
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5 from 8 votes

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Recipe Rating




8 comments
  1. Leanne Harrison says:

    5 stars
    Delicious stir-fry. Love the sauce!

  2. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    This looks so so tasty! Can’t wait to try it out!

  3. 5 stars
    Yummy 😀 looks amazing!

  4. 5 stars
    Yes!! Love peanut butter and this sauce is amazing. This dish is so easy to create and I love that it is so healthy and loaded with veggies.

  5. 5 stars
    Sooo delicious! I love stir fries and this one is especially yummy. The sauce is to-die-for…I love anything with peanut butter. lol! Really satisfying and colorful, too.

  6. 5 stars
    This looks absolutely delicious! Stir-fries are staples in my life!

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