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Tofu and sesame stir-fry

Looking to boost your intake of plant-based protein? Add this tasty tofu and sesame stir-fry to your regular dinner rotation.

  • L/D Lunch/Dinner
  • Ve Vegan
  • CA Calcium-rich
  • Prep time 10 mins
  • Cook Time 20 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Difficulty medium


  1. To prepare the marinated tofu, combine the tamari (2 tablespoons), sesame oil and ginger in a bowl. Add the tofu and toss until coated. Leave to marinate.
  2. Next prepare the stir-fry sauce. In a small bowl, combine the tamari, stock and honey. Set aside.
  3. Heat a wok or frying pan over a medium-high heat and toast the sesame seeds, stirring regularly until they are brown, about 2 minutes. Remove seeds from the wok and set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the wok. Using a slotted spoon, add the tofu and fry for 3 minutes before turning the cubes and frying for a further 3 minutes. Tip: If the ginger in marinade is sticking, add some water.
  5. Remove tofu from the pan and set aside. Remove wok from heat, allow it to cool down, then carefully wipe it with paper towel to remove any ginger that has stuck to the pan.
  6. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the wok. Add the vegetables and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes, adding a splash of water as needed if sticking. Add ginger, garlic and any remaining tofu marinade and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  7. Add the tofu and stir-fry sauce to the wok and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened and the tofu is heated through.
  8. Serve topped with toasted sesame seeds.

Nutritional information

By Jean Hailes Naturopath Sandra Villella

Tofu provides an excellent source of complete protein. This means it contains all the essential amino acids – the building blocks of protein.

Many people are now looking to up their intake of plant-based protein, rather than animal-based protein, for health and environmental reasons. Tofu, which is made simply with soy beans and water, is an obvious choice and much less processed than many of the ‘fake meat’ alternatives.

My patients and colleagues are often asking for tofu recipes. This one is simple and tasty, and can be added to the weekly menu.

Because soy is rich in plant oestrogen, some people mistakenly believe that it’s a hormone disruptor and that it can have harmful effects on hormonal health. There’s also a lot of misinformation online and confusion in the general population about its safety in relation to breast cancer.

However, research overall shows that eating whole soy foods, such as tofu and tempeh, in amounts similar to traditional Asian diets is safe.

Eating soy in this way is also linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer, especially if consumed regularly before puberty. It’s also not linked to an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence in breast cancer survivors. Read more about soy here.

Tamari or soy sauce can be used in this recipe. For those not familiar with tamari, it is similar in colour and flavour to soy sauce but is made without wheat. (However, if you’re avoiding gluten, always double-check the label to confirm.) Soy sauce does contain wheat. I often opt for tamari as the taste is more balanced and less salty than traditional soy sauce.

For those not keen on tofu, marinate diced chicken in a similar marinade and cook separately. Mix it in with the stir-fry at the end and then everyone can pick out their protein of choice.