This spicy vegetarian stir-fry is a great way to use green beans when they're bountiful and inexpensive at the supermarket. You can also try it with other vegetables, such as broccoli or peppers, just make sure to cut them into small pieces so that they cook quickly. Coating the tofu in cornstarch before you cook it gives it a light crust. Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2010

EatingWell Test Kitchen
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Ingredients

Directions

  • Whisk 1/4 cup water, soy sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, crushed red pepper to taste and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside. Cut tofu into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes and pat dry. Toss the tofu in a bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch to coat.

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  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and spread out across the surface of the pan. Let cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. Gently turn and stir. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.

  • Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add green beans, garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the remaining 1/4 cup water, cover and cook until the beans are crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir the reserved soy sauce mixture and pour it over the green beans. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Add the tofu and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute more.

Tips

Ingredient note: Chinkiang is a dark, slightly sweet vinegar. It is available in many Asian specialty markets. If unavailable, balsamic vinegar is an acceptable substitute.

People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition Facts

216 calories; 11.5 g total fat; 816 mg sodium. 20.5 g carbohydrates; 11.8 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (31)

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32 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 21
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
11/12/2017
This is my favorite dish. Love the sauce. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
05/30/2016
Nice way to cook but didn't love the sauce I will try cooking the tofu & beans this way again but with a different asian style sauce. This was too sweet - I don't think it needs the sugar. Pros: good way of cooking green beans & tofu Cons: sauce too sweet lacking depth Read More
Rating: 3 stars
02/03/2016
Tasty but sauce needs to be diluted The ingredients in the sauce are a good combination but the proportions are wrong and result in a very salty strong sauce. The soy sauce should be cut in half and more water or broth added in its place. I also cut the sugar to 1 tsp. Even still the sauce had a lot of flavor. I substituted sambal oelek for the chilis and used garlic/ginger paste which I always have on hand. I also added sliced mushrooms and onion to the dish. The standard way I do my tofu is first to press it in a towel for about 15 minutes to get the water out. Then I slice it into 8 slabs. I preheat a cast iron skillet and lay all the slabs in the skillet. Do not add oil. The tofu will get good and crispy if you leave it on medium heat for several minutes before turning it. Don't turn it over until it has good color. When it is as done as you want turn off the heat. Then I pour over it a little slurry of water hoisin sauce and little soy sauce maybe (about 1/4 - 1/2 cup). Whatever combination compliments the main dish. Leave it sitting in the sauce until the rest of your dish is done. Very tasty. You can cube it up if you like or serve as is. Done this way my husband loved it. Pros: Easy Cons: Too salty Read More
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Rating: 2 stars
11/26/2015
wOK bit mot outstanding I usually like EatingWell recipes but something is lacking in this one. I followed it but left out the sugar as I think the basalmic vinegar that I used adds enough sweetness. Perhaps the use of a chili garlic paste would help but none of us liked it well enough to try again. Pros: Good nourishing ingredients. Easy preparation Cons: Just not good enough to make again Read More
Rating: 3 stars
04/12/2015
Nice sauce but I have a better healthier way to make the tofu I actually made this dish with mushrooms instead of tofu which worked well (my stomach just can't have that much bean) but I saw the comments about the tofu sticking to the pan -- I always had that problem as well with tofu and coating it with cornstarch just made it worse. Now I always make tofu this way; it's best with extra-firm but firm also works: 1. If the tofu is really dripping wet give it a squeeze but it's not really all that necessary. Chop the tofu into little cubes -- I cut the block 7 or 8 slices the short way 5 the long way 3 the remaining way. Drain/blot away any loose liquid (the less you have the better). 2. Put them in one layer (best you can) in a hot NONSTICK pan. You can add a little cooking spray but you don't really need it if your pan is really nonstick. Then with the heat on high just let the water burn off -- and the tofu will begin to get a golden slightly crisp crust WITH NO OIL. This will take several minutes depending on how wet the tofu is. During this time deal with your other vegetables rice etc. and every couple of minutes shake the tofu around the pan and toss it so all the sides get brown. They should look a little like cubes of an omelet. At the most it will take 7 or 8 minutes. 3. (Optional) As the tofu cubes are getting brown shake just a little soy sauce into the hot pan and toss the tofu cubes in it. This soaks up flavor Read More
Rating: 3 stars
04/05/2015
Too sweet This could be tasty but next time I will use 1/2tsp or possibly no sugar at all. It was too sweet for me and it covered up the other flavors in the dish. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
10/02/2014
Wow! Love how this turned out. Next time I'd press the tofu before rolling it in cornstarch as the water made it stick a little. Pros: quick & easy Read More
Rating: 5 stars
07/15/2014
Very good & super quick Just made this (halved) for dinner tonight over with brown rice. Very tasty! Will definitely make again. Used the low amount of the cayenne -- and it was right at our heat tolerance level. I think next time we may add water chestnuts carrots and sprinkle with a few peanuts. SO GOOD!! Pros: healthy tasty quick Cons: um.... Read More
Rating: 4 stars
04/05/2014
Great Recipe I made this for the first time for dinner tonight and served it with brown rice. It was very good but next I would use a little less soy sauce as it was a little salty. Also I would use a non-stick skillet or wok. Over all it is a good recipe. Pros: healthy quick easy Cons: a little salty Read More
Rating: 4 stars
02/24/2014
I made a few changes accidentally and it was still delicious. I used tofu that I had coated with garam masala for a different recipe and that definitely added some spice. I subbed garlic-ginger paste for the garlic and ginger and tomato powder for the paste. A delicous dish of bold flavors that still does not overpower the beans. Next time I think I'll add some button mushrooms and/or red pepper strips. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/06/2013
Love this! VERY good! I am REALLY happy with this recipe. I read some of the reviews prior to making this which helped. Here are my tips below: Skip the 2 teaspoons sugar its not needed Let the tofu drain for at least 5 mins prior to cooking to get some of the water out I cooked the tofu for about 6-8 mins instead of the recipe recommendation amount I cooked the green beans for about 5-7 mins instead of the recipe recommended amount I added zucchini to the recipe - very good addition! Complement this dish with a side of white or brown rice Enjoy! Pros: Simple minimal ingredients healthy & ready in under 30 mins Cons: It definitely has a kick to it at the end in a good way though! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
03/02/2013
Yummy Meatless Meal This was very good... Added shitake mushrooms and a little broccoli too..... Ate with brown rice... Very satisfying... Will make again... Read More
Rating: 5 stars
08/29/2012
Highly Recommend this one I'm not the kind of person to eat tofu but my wife's recent conversion to vegetarianism has forced me to change the way I cook. Tried this last night and thought it was fabulous! I used balsamic vinegar which I had in the pantry and it was fine. Two points to make: when dustig the tofu with cornstarch do a few pieces at a time maybe in a pie plate for more even coating it was a bit of a sticky mess when done in a bowl. Then I would cook the tofu in 2 batches instead of all at once. You will not be disappointed in this recipe! Pros: The depth of flavor of the sauce Cons: None Read More
Rating: 2 stars
02/11/2012
Gluten Free? I haven't tried this recipe but reading through it I noticed that even though it's labeled as gluten free one ingredient is soy sauce. Unfortunately soy sauce is not g-free so this recipe as is should not be tagged as such. There are alternatives however so anyone needing to stay away from gluten should be aware of that. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/13/2012
Great with Cabbage too! I used this recipe using a head of cabbage (I made 1.5 times as much sauce since the cabbage yielded more than 4 cups.) It worked brilliantly and I will certainly be trying this sauce with other veggies in the future. Especially since I ended up with most of a can of tomato paste at the end which I froze in plastic-lined ice cube trays for future use. Because no one can ever use a full can of tomato paste before most of it goes bad. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Very yummy! Great way to use green beans from the garden. I cut the prep time by using peeled garlic and powder ginger. Love this way to use tofu. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I made this recipe tonight and it was quite tasty! I did add some sesame oil and fresh Thai basil at the end for additional flavor. I'd also like to mention that it took more than 30 minutes to put this together; just prepping the green beans ginger and garlic took at least 30 minutes so overall this was more like a 60 minute recipe. I mixed in some cooked udon noodles at the end which absorbed the sauce well and added a nice starchy element to the dish. I'll definitely make it again especially since it's a great way to use up all the great summer green beans I've got. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
i made this with yellow beans and carrots from the garden. I thought the sauce was good and the carrots were a nice addition. It does take about an hour to make. I like to eat it with equal parts rice to stir fry. Pros: Cons: Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I absolutely loved this recipe. The sauce was fantastic. I used ginger powder (mostly out of laziness) and it worked quite well. Next time I think I'll add other fresh vegetables like maybe some matchstick carrots and broccoli.. Maybe even some thinly sliced onions too. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I thought the sauce had a fantastic flavor! I have never cooked tofu for my husband and he said it was a keeper! I doubled the sauce and added a container of mushrooms and a small zucchini which absorbed the sauce very well. I used the firm tofu instead of the extra-firm which did not work as well so I will make sure to use the extra-firm next time. Also I did not have fresh ginger so I used a couple dashs of the ground ginger which seemed to work fine. LIke the other reviews the overall time was closer to a hour. For a starch component I used buckwheat since it holds a firm texture. I will definitely make this again and plan to use the sauce as a marinade for meat on the grill. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I've made many szechuan green bean recipes and this is the best one I've tried. I didn't have the kind of vinegar called for so I used rice vinegar and the flavor was excellent. It's great served over brown rice. I added 1/4 t. of cayenne to increase the "heat" (in addition to the red pepper flakes called for in the recipe). I also substituted homemade seitan for the tofu since I had some that needed to be used up. I sliced it into strips and stir-fried it then set aside before following the rest of the recipe. This one's a keeper. I pulled it out from the magazine and added it to my book of "favorites" to make again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
The whole family liked this one. But 2-4 minutes is really not long enough to cook the beans -- I left them for 6 minutes before continuing the recipe and everyone agreed that they were still too crunchy. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
I love cooking vegetarian and this recipe was awesome. Low in calories and I used organic green beans. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Yum excellent recipe! The sauce was really good. I am not a huge fan of Tofu but the way it was prepared in this recipe made it extremely tasty. I added more minced fresh ginger and garlic and used balsamic vinegar. I made this Sunday and liked it so much I'm making it again today (Wednesday). Will be a staple in my weekly meals. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
I love tofu so I was really excited to try this recipe but wasn't sure how the sauce would come out. Being in a bit of a week-day rush I substitued balsamic vinegar for rice vinegar and (don't laugh) a rich tomato-y salsa for tomato paste. Tossed in few extra sprinkles of crushed red pepper (b/c I like things spicy) and skipped the sugar. Results were delicious! If you want to add more texture I would suggest throwing in thinly sliced carrots but just the green beans (done extra crisp) and tofu worked for me. I might also try coating the tofu in a thin film of flour rather than corn starch next time. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
My husband is not a big fan of tofu but he will eat it prepared in this style. This is my favorite way to prepare tofu (diced tossed in corn starch and browned) and typically how we eat it with various sauces. The sauce was good - nice and spicy as I was generous with the pepper flakes. I would make this again and like other reviewers I would add other veggies too like snap peas or broccoli as we like lots of veggies. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Like many others I'm not a huge fan of tofu. This was really delicious though I loved it. I substituted rice vinegar and it was pretty quick to make. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Nearly 600 mg of sodium is far more than any human needs in one entree! That's over a third of what one should have in a day! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Super delicious and very versitile! I recomend this sauce for a variety of proteins and vegetables! I made it with chicken red and yellow peppers onions and mushrooms and it was FANTASTIC! I have tried other combos as well. The sauce is just SO good and SO easy. As long as the apprx amounts of veggies (4cups) and protein (little less than 1lb) are the same it works! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
surprisingly yummy!:) I was surprised by how tasty this recipe was given the limited ingredients. This would be good adding something likse sliced red bell pepper and/or shitake mushrooms as well for some additional intrigue. Pros: easy healthy Cons: lacking zip Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Easy Recipe Big Flavor Yum--very easy and very tasty! An easy inexpensive way to jazz up otherwise bland and boring tofu. Quick to make and packed with flavor. I love the heat that the crushed red pepper imparts but I would warn others who prefer dishes on the milder side to use the 1/4 tsp or less because it IS rather spicy. A few modifications: I skipped the sugar all together (and didn't miss it one bit!). I subbed frozen french-cut string beans and therefore skipped cooking with the second 1/4 cup water (they were already pretty wet and were precooked). Feeling a bit on the lazy side I used dried minced garlic instead of fresh--still delicious! Next time (and there will be one!): I agree with other reviewers' suggestions to try with other veggies; I look forward cooking broccoli baby corn water chestnuts red peppers and/or peas in that yummy sauce. It's easy to imagine skipping the tofu all together and creating a stir-fried veggie medley instead. Pros: quick versatile recipe Cons: watch the red pepper if you don't love heat Read More