Note: Look for dry tofu, or "tofu gan" in Asian groceries, often labeled "spiced" or "five spice tofu." The extra firm, pressed tofu is often steeped in a five-spice broth for flavor.
About the author: Cathy Erway is the author of The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove. She blogs at Not Eating Out In New York and hosts the weekly podcast, "Eat Your Words" on Heritage Radio Network.
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- 8 ounces dry five-spice tofu (see note above)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable, peanut, or canola oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and sliced to matchsticks
- 1 to 2 fresh small chilies, such as Thai (optional), thinly sliced
- 8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili sauce, such as sambal olek (optional)
- 2 scallions, sliced thinly on a bias
Slice the dry tofu blocks into thin, roughly 1/8" rectangular slices. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add the tofu slices and stir-fry until just crispy on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a plate.
Add remaining tablespoon of oil and heat until lightly smoking. Add the ginger and optional chilies. Stir fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the green beans along with a pinch of salt. Stir fry for until the green beans are lightly softened, deeper green in color, and a little seared on their sides, about 30 seconds
Return the dry tofu to the pan and stir with the green beans. Add the soy sauce and optional chili sauce and stir immediately to incorporate evenly. Stir in the scallions and cook, stirring, for another minute. Season with more salt if desired, and serve.