Thai Vegetable Tofu Stir Fry Recipe | Thai Veg Recipes

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Thai Vegetable Tofu Stir Fry Recipe – I am increasingly becoming fond of Thai Food and I do try to make Thai Recipes at home like Veg Thai Red CurryThai Veg Green Curry and Thai Lemon Grass Rice.

Thankfully, I have a nice shop close to my place, which sells a small kit made of essential thai herbs. Its called as the Thai kit,  but for a frugal housewife like me, its pretty expensive.  Yet, since both of us like thai food, I do make sure I get this thai kit sometimes, when I go to this shop. They also sell many fresh herbs like sage, parsley, italian basil, thai basil, thyme, rosemary etc.

This time when I went there I picked up a pack of fresh Thai Basil – Bai Horapa in Thai language. It has a sweet taste and flavor. The aroma of Thai Basil is amazing and reminded me of the Indian basil (sabja) plant which I have seen growing at my grand mom’s place. Basically, it is from the same herb family, but a different specie.

By the way, we used to have the sabja seeds (basil seeds) in the cool rose and rooh afzha drinks in the indian hot summer. I also think we are all familiar about using these basil seeds in falooda.

Its ages, I have not had nor made falooda at home. The basil seeds reduce body heat and I think that since the temperature is rising in the area I stay, I should start using the basil seeds.

The Thai basil has greenish leaves but the stems, new leaves and flowers have a purple color. See the pic below. I still have a lot of them left at home and will use them in making thai veg red curry. It infuses such a wonderful aroma in your food, that once you like it, you will try to include it in many other recipes you make. Read more about Thai Basil here.

thai basil leaves

OK….. enough of my blah blah. Moving on to the recipe now…. I checked so many recipes on the internet for making thai basil stir fry….. that I got fed up. Most of them used fish sauce and shrimp paste and there were many made with chicken, beef etc, etc, etc.

Finally, I came up with my own feeling and intuition to make this stir fry recipe. I do not know if it is authentically Thai or not. I liked it so much that I will keep on making this recipe again and again. This Thai Basil Veg Stir Fry Recipe is here to stay.

It had a lovely texture as different veggies were added along with tofu, a lovely color and an awesome taste.

thai veg stir fry with basil leaves and tofu

In this thai basil recipe I have added, some of the typical ingredients that are used in Thai cuisine:

Thai ChiliesPrik Kee Nuu in Thai or Bird’s eye chili
Thai Basil Leaves
Garlic
Black Peppercorns
Cashewnuts

Yes……… no galangal, no kaffir lime leaves, no lemon grass stem….and no fish paste or shrimp paste….

Since I have not used fish sauce or shrimp paste, I have used dark soy sauce. Instead of Thai Chillies, you could also use fresh green chillies and instead of thai basil leaves, you could use the regular basil leaves.

I have used extra firm silken tofu, but you can use regular tofu. If you want, you could fry or saute the tofu first and then add it to the veg stir fry. You could also use our own indian paneer instead of tofu. You could use your own choice of vegetables for the stir fry.

Thai Basil Vegetable Stir Fry with Tofu: Serves 3-4

Preparation Time: 15-20 mins
Cooking Time: 20-25 mins

Ingredients:

For the stir fry:

  • 5-6 stalks of scallions, chopped
  • 3-4 small carrots, cut into roundels
  • 7-8 button mushrooms, chopped
  • 9-10 baby corns, sliced or chopped
  • 1 block of silken tofu, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp roasted or fried cashew nuts
  • 2 tsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or sesame seed oil or any vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped thai basil
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

For the stir fry paste:

  • 1/4 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 thai chillies

Method to make Thai Basil Vegetable Stir Fry Recipe with Tofu:

  • First of all clean and chop all your veggies and keep aside.

mixed chopped vegetables for thai veg basil recipe

  • In your mortar and pestle, take the ingredients for making the paste.

ingredients for thai paste

  • Crush, crush, crush and make a coarse paste…. you will need a little muscle power to do this activity ;-)

making thai veg basil tofu paste

  • Heat up the kadai or wok. Add the oil and let it become hot. Add the coarse paste and fry it for a few seconds on a high or medium heat, taking care it does not burn. Immediately add the veggies and stir fry. You could stir fry on a medium heat.

stir frying veggies for thai veg basil

  • In the meantime slice the tofu and keep aside.

tofu cut in blocks

  • Keep on stir frying for 7-8 minutes. Now add the dark soy sauce, brown sugar, tofu and sesame seeds. You cannot see the soy sauce and brown sugar in the pic below as I added them first and then the tofu. The tofu covered them all.

adding sugar soy sauce to thai veg tofu

  • Stir fry for 6-7 minutes more. Now add the chopped basil leaves.

adding chopped basil leaves

  • Stir fry till the leaves just become soft… thats it…. takes about 1 or 1.5 minutes. Check for salt. Add more if required. Garnish with roasted cashew nuts.

ready thai fry tofu veg with thai basil leaves

  • Serve immediately with rice or noodles. Whilst serving you could garnish it with some thai basil leaves or the scallion greens.

Few points for this thai veg basil recipe:

While stir frying, the mushrooms will leave water, but still continue to stir fry. On high or medium heat, eventually the liquids will evaporate. To get a varied texture, you could use different varieties of mushroom in the recipe.

This recipe is spicy and hot. So have it with something very mild and non spicy like plain boiled rice or plain noodles. Some of the recipe was left over and later we had it with our regular chapatis.

I have always had problem handling silken tofu. It is so soft and slippery. Chop it carefully. Even when I was stir frying the mixture, the extra firm silken tofu was breaking. So I had to be extra careful while I was stir frying…. taking care that the tofu does not break into pieces. I have never had this issue with regular tofu.

Actually, I was suppose to make this recipe in sesame oil only. Both my coconut oil and sesame oil bottles are from the same manufacturing company, and they look same.

I thought, I was adding sesame oil, but in actuality, I was adding coconut oil. When I realised, I added coconut oil, I was like…. how could I do this? To balance the error, I added the sesame oil too. So my veg stir fry recipe was made in both coconut and sesame oil.

In retrospect, I think adding coconut oil was not a mistake. The recipe had a subtle coconut flavor to it. If you want a slight gravy and more coconut taste and flavor, you could add some coconut milk or coconut cream to this recipe.

if you are looking for more tofu recipes then do check tofu bhurji, thai veg tofu soupscrambled silken tofu with vegetables and pan fried tofu with peanut sauce.

Thai Vegetable Stir Fry with Tofu recipe below: 

Thai Basil Vegetable and Tofu Stir Fry Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Thai
Ingredients
  • For the stir fry:
  • 5-6 stalks of scallions, chopped
  • 3-4 small carrots, cut into roundels
  • 7-8 button mushrooms, chopped
  • 9-10 baby corns, sliced or chopped
  • 1 block of silken tofu, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp roasted or fried cashew nuts
  • 2 tsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or sesame seed oil or any vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped thai basil
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • For the stir fry paste:
  • ¼ tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 thai chillies
Instructions
  1. First of all clean and chop all your veggies and keep aside.
  2. In your mortar and pestle, take the ingredients for making the paste.
  3. Crush, crush, crush and make a coarse paste.
  4. Heat up the kadai or wok. Add the oil and let it become hot. Add the coarse paste and fry it for a few seconds on a high or medium heat, taking care it does not burn. Immediately add the veggies and stir fry. You could stir fry on a medium heat.
  5. In the meantime slice the tofu and keep aside.
  6. Keep on stir frying for 7-8 minutes. Now add the dark soy sauce, brown sugar, tofu and sesame seeds. You cannot see the soy sauce and brown sugar in the pic below as I added them first and then the tofu. The tofu covered them all.
  7. Stir fry for 6-7 minutes more. Now add the chopped basil leaves.
  8. Stir fry till the leaves just become soft… thats it…. takes about 1 or 1.5 minutes. Check for salt. Add more if required. Garnish with roasted cashew nuts.
  9. Serve immediately with rice or noodles. Whilst serving you could garnish it with some thai basil leaves or the scallion greens.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4



{ 6 Responses }

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  1. Laura says

    Delicious! Tastes like the dish from the restaurant down the street. Thanks for the recipe- I’m excited to try more!

  2. Neha says

    Thanks for this post. It helped me throw together a great stir fry, with my own variations.

    I loved the use of the mortar and pestle to make the paste! Although I substituted sea salt for regular salt and thai chilli for a little bit of regular red chilli powder (for want of those ingredients) and added dry thai basil leaves (coz I didn’t have fresh ones to put in the end), it turned out pretty well. I’m inspired to use the mortar and pestle more!

    On the tofu: I used silken tofu too. I used paper napkins to absorb a lot of the water from it. And then i sauteed it lightly and kep it aside. After frying the paste and veggies, I added this pre-sauteed tofu along with the soya sauce and brown sugar. It didn’t break as much then as it has when i have cooked in the past.

    And lastly, I wanted to share about the oil: I didn’t have sesame, coconut or vegetable oil; only olive oil. I decided to give it a try and it turned out pretty good.

    Thanks again!

    • says

      thank you neha…

      one can always have one’s one variations while making stir fries.

      making fresh paste using the mortal and pestle gives a wonderful aroma, taste and flavor to the food. i have even made fresh spice powders and pastes in the mortal and pestle for indian foods too and they taste very good… thousand times better than using ready made powders and pastes.

      thanks for the tip on silken tofu. its has always been a problem for me to use silken tofu while sauting or frying. i will try your technique the next time i use silken tofu for sauting or frying.

      and the stir fry can be made in any oil. in fact i am i am very fond of olive oil and i use olive oil often in the foods i make.

  3. says

    hi Dassana .. thanks for dropping by my blog . I loved your blog and this thai recipe with cashew nuts n veggies looks awesome. I grow this purple thai basil and the regular basil ( subza) in my garden and both are terrific in flavors…
    Loved your galangal tea too. I like lemon grass in tea but never tried galangal…

    • says

      thanks sangeeta. its nice… that you grow both the thai basil and the regular basil in your garden. you could just add these to your recipes…. whenever you want.