Szechuan Tofu & Green Bean Stir-Fry

Szechuan Tofu & Green Bean Stir-Fry

30 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine September/October 2010

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.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Chinkiang vinegar (see Note) or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 4 cups green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  • 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 information

  • Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
  • Per serving: 216 calories; 12 g fat(1 g sat); 5 g fiber; 21 g carbohydrates; 12 g protein; 55 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 2 g added sugars; 864 IU vitamin A; 12 mg vitamin C; 256 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 816 mg sodium; 352 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (26% daily value), Vitamin C (22% dv), Vitamin A (17% dv).
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 plant protein, 1 1/2 fat

Reviews 30

May 30, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
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
February 03, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
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
November 25, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
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
April 12, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
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 ,
April 05, 2015
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By: andria.m
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.
October 01, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
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
July 15, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
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....
April 05, 2014
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By: Mary
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
February 24, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
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.