Sesame-Ginger Tofu and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Sesame-ginger tofu and broccoli

This stir-fry is inspired by General Tso’s Tofu, but dispenses with the cornstarch-battered, deep-fried tofu. I’ve tried it that way and find this version, with pan-sautéed tofu, plenty of broccoli, and a savory, sweet, and spicy sauce even more appealing. It’s easy and fast, too. 

Sesame-Ginger Tofu and Broccoli Stir-Fry
Recipe type: Tofu main dish
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 to 4
This stir-fry is inspired by General Tso’s Tofu, but dispenses with the cornstarch-battered, deep-fried tofu.
For the tofu
  • 14- to 16-ounce tub extra-firm tofu, drained and well blotted or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1½ T chili oil, or 1 tablespoon sesame oil plus sriracha sauce to taste
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, or more, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or other mild vinegar
Everything else
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Large broccoli crown, cut into bite-sized florets
  • Sesame seeds
  • Dried red chili pods or red pepper flakes, optional
  • Cooked brown rice for serving, optional
  1. Cut the tofu into 6 slabs crosswise. Blot well on paper towels or clean tea towels (or use the a tofu press ahead of time for making the tofu nice and firm), then cut into dice.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the tofu and and sauté over medium-high heat until golden and crisp on most sides, stirring often. This will take from 8 to 10 minutes or so. Remove the tofu to a plate and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the arrowroot or cornstarch with ¼ cup of the water in a small mixing bowl. Stir until dissolved, then add the remaining sauce ingredients. Stir together and set aside.
  4. Wipe out the pan in which you sautéed the tofu. Add the garlic and just a little water, and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the broccoli and just enough additional wanter to keep the pan moist; cover and cook over medium-high heat until bright green and tender-crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Stir the tofu and sauce in with the broccoli and cook until the sauce thickens. Taste to see if you’d like more soy sauce.
  7. Garnish with sesame seeds and the optional chili pods or chili flakes, and serve at once on its own or over hot cooked rice.


Sesame-ginger tofu and broccoli recipe

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  • Reply
    September 4, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    I’ve made this several times and it always turns out delicious! My new favourite way to prepare broccoli. It’s best over rice but it’s also good over noodles.

    • Reply
      September 7, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you for weighing in; so glad you enjoy this!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    I like tofu but have never prepared it myself. What kind of tofu do we buy? There are so many choices at the grocery store I have been intimidated. This recipe looks like a winner and I would love to try it.

    • Reply
      October 15, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      Sorry for the delayed response, Kassie. I see that I neglected to specify the type of tofu, and I apologize for that. It has been amended. For this recipe, the best type to use is the extra-firm that comes in 14-to 16-ounce tubs. I hope that helps!

  • Reply
    January 28, 2016 at 6:27 am

    I like to freeze the tofu and thaw it before I use it. Improved texture for me.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2016 at 11:33 am

    I am featuring this in my Food from Around the World class in March (crediting you, of course). Thanks for another great recipe, Nava!!

    • Reply
      March 5, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing with your class, Mimi! I hope they enjoyed it (or will enjoy it if forthcoming) …

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