Stir-Fried Vegetables and Tofu with Oyster Sauce

Stir-Fried Vegetables and Tofu with Oyster Sauce



  • 1 carton (14 ounces) tofu, regular or firm
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 broccoli crown, about 5 ounces
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 green onions, white parts minced, tops sliced
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
Time estimates

Prep time: 20 min  

Cook time: 10 min 

Total time: 30 min  




1. Set a wok over the lowest heat to warm.


2. Drain the tofu. Cut the block in half lengthwise, then split each rectangle diagonally so it forms triangles when you slice it crosswise.


3. Sprinkle the tofu pieces with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce.


4. Slice across the broccoli stem where it begins to branch, then continue slicing toward the top, letting the bite-size florets fall away. Include as much of the sliced stem as you like.


5. Combine the ginger, garlic, and minced green onion (not the tops) in a small bowl.


6. Measure the stock in a 1-cup or larger measuring cup and add the oyster sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce.


7. Turn the heat under the wok to high and add the oil.


8. Add the minced ingredients and stir until fragrant, a few seconds.


9. Add the carrots and onions and stir-fry briefly to coat with the oil.


10. Stir the liquids (the oyster sauce tends to stick to the bottom of the cup), add to the wok, cover, and steam until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.


11. Drain the tofu again and add it to the wok with the green onion tops.


12. Stir gently to fold the tofu into the sauce, and cook until reheated.


13. Push the contents to the edge of the wok; stir the cornstarch mixture and add it to the sauce in the center.


14. Boil until the sauce is glossy and lightly thickened.


15. Transfer to a serving platter or shallow bowl and serve immediately.



Makes 2 to 4 servings


Good to know

Usually labeled "home-style bean curd" or something similar on Chinese restaurant menus, this is one of my family's standard choices whether we are ordering takeout or cooking our own. Restaurant versions often use fried tofu, but we like it best plain.


Which beer should I drink with this?

Just about any (let the rest of the menu guide you)



1. Only the vegetables are actually stir-fried; the tofu cubes would break apart if tossed that vigorously, so they are added last to simmer in the sauce.


2. This dish gets a lot of its character from oyster sauce (which for some reason has to be labeled "oyster-flavored sauce"), a thick, brownish liquid based on oysters, usually with some cornstarch and caramel added. The widely available Lee Kum Kee brand from Hong Kong is certainly adequate, though some of the more expensive brands sold in Asian markets offer a more intense oyster flavor.



Feel free to vary the vegetables. Substitute other green vegetables like "baby" or Shanghai bok choy or the small, white-stemmed choy sum for the broccoli. Other good additions include squares of red or green bell pepper, mushrooms (either fresh or the canned straw mushrooms from Asia), sliced bamboo shoots (ditto), and canned baby corn.



The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook 

Find the book at Amazon


From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.




Photo: B*2/Flickr