Marinated Tofu, Asparagus & Portabella Mushroom Stir-fry

Tofu, a bland product, will take on the flavor of whatever food it is cooked with. It is happy with any meat, poultry, seafood or vegetables as its partner. Because it is bland, it will absorb whatever seasonings used to flavor it making it the ideal food product to experiment and have fun.

The tofu pieces in the photo at left were marinated using 2 different kinds of soy sauces. The pieces on the left side of the photo were marinated with dark soy sauce, the pieces on the right of the photo were marinated using regular (or light in color) soy sauce.

You can also see a difference after they were pan-fried, photo above right. The dark soy sauce contains molasses, food marinated in it will brown more and faster.

Marinated Tofu, Asparagus & Portabella Mushroom Stir-fry

8 – 12 ounces extra firm tofu, drain and cut into about ¼ inch thick bite-sized pieces
1 – 1½ tablespoons soy sauce, regular, dark or gluten free
¼ teaspoon honey, optional
¼ teaspoon ground black or white pepper or to taste
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Combine all the above well. Can be done the day before and kept refrigerated.

1 pound asparagus, peeled and slant cut into about ½ inch thick slices
½ red onion, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 portabella mushroom, remove and discard stem. Scrape away (optional) and discard gills (see NOTE). Cut cap into bite-sized pieces.
1 tablespoon fermented black beans (optional)
1 – 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
¼ – 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce or to taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
2 – 3 tablespoons oil
½ – ¾ cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons broth or water. Stir well before adding to wok or frying pan.

1. Drain marinated tofu. Pat dry with clean paper towels.
2. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons oil to preheated non-stick (or well-seasoned cast iron) wok or frying pan. Heat to near smoking. Add tofu pieces and brown. Remove browned pieces to a clean plate and set aside. Discard oil if desired.
3. Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok ro frying pan, if needed. Add fermented black beans and garlic. Stir fry until fragrant. Mix in chili and salt.
4. Add Asparagus, onion and mushroom. Stir-fry until asparagus becomes bright green. Adding broth 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed, if wok or frying pan is dry and to prevent burning.
5. Add tofu and broth. Mix well. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook until vegetables reach desired doneness. Thicken with cornstarch mixture, adjust taste and serve.

NOTE: Removing the gills from portabella mushroom before slicing is purely for aesthetic reason. The gills break apart from the cap during stir-frying giving the finished dish a not so nice looking appearance.

You may also like the following asparagus recipes:
Click here for Asparagus Salad
Click here for Shrimp & Asparagus Stir-fry

Copyright © by Norma Chang

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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38 Responses to Marinated Tofu, Asparagus & Portabella Mushroom Stir-fry

  1. ChgoJohn says:

    This is another great recipe, Norma, making a wonderful trio of asparagus recipes! I could make any one of the 3 and be very satisfied. Thanks for the tips on tofu & the soy sauces, as well as about removing the gills from portabella mushrooms.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Removable the gill from the portabella may be an overkill, as the gills do add quite a flavor to the dish, but it is just one of those things that I have a hang up about.

  2. Thanks for the recipe Norma. I never thought about experimenting with different kinds of soy sauce before when marinating my tofu so that has given me some ideas!

  3. cocomino says:

    Tofu is a great ingreidient. Great recipe.

  4. Kristy says:

    My daughter love tofu and I’m always at a loss for how to cook it. This looks delicious and flavorful. I love portabello mushrooms!

  5. Norma,
    Another delicious looking dish! I’m making this today as I have all the ingredients on hand. Asparagus was cheap this week and I stocked up.

  6. Perfect timing, Norma. I’ve decided to have a meatless week next week, so I’ll be looking around for some tasty, satisfying meals (trying to lose a couple of pounds…story of my life!) Your tofu stir fry looks delicious!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Join the club. I finally lost 2 pounds but unfortunately regained it, the chocolates on the table keep calling my name each time I pass by. Seriously, I should remove them from the table, but ….. they are still in house.

  7. That day I had seen some tofu in the market, they had tofu for frying, tofu for salad etc., I didnt get any because I dont have many ideas on how to use it well. Looking at your tofu Veggie stir fry I feel like trying it as soon as possible.

    By the way, my sweet potatoes are growing. One is having greenery already on top and they have all roots. thanks again for your tips!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Helene,
      Do give it a try, I think you will like it.
      Glad your sweet potatoes have rooted and sprouted. What growing zone are you in? I cannot put mine in the garden until June 1.

  8. Squish says:

    oh Norma!! A lady with a key to my heart…I LOVE Tofu. I get sad when people insist that they HATE the stuff 😦

  9. Looks delicious. I’m running out to buy more tofu right now!

  10. Lou Murray's Green World says:

    Great springtime combination- portabello mushrooms, asparagus, snow peas and tofu. Yum. Thanks for posting a recipe using seasonal foods.

  11. Great minds think alike Norma! I love your tofu recipe – I will try it next time I marinate some tofu – thanks 🙂

  12. That looks really delicious…and quite spring-like with that beautiful asparagus!

  13. I have always thought about removing the gills but it seemed sinful. If you do it, so can I. 🙂

    This dish is beautiful.

  14. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I can eat this everyday with a bowl of rice and miso soup. Looks so easy to prepare it and perfect for week night meal. Ingredients can be versatile too. Our family loves tofu dish so we pretty much eat everyday. 😀

  15. Diana says:

    This look delicious. I will have second serving with warm rice.

  16. samology says:

    mmmm! I really love chinese stir fry dishes. It’s what I grew up with!! Ultimate comfort food!

  17. Dahlia says:

    I’d love to try this with noodles. Any suggestions for the right balance of sauce & noodles?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dahlia,
      Yes, use the following (This is the variation from the Shrimp, Asparagus & Pasta Stir-fry).

      Additional Ingredients
      12 – 16 ounces gemelli pasta, cooked al dente according to package directions
      1 – 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
      ¼ – 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce or to taste (optional)

      Additional Preparations
      ∞ Add oyster sauce and chili sauce (if using) to broth. Do not use cornstarch mixture.
      ∞ Cook pasta and drain.
      ∞ While pasta is cooking, prepare Tofu, Asparagus & Portabella Mushroom Stir-fry as per recipe.
      ∞ During Step 5, after broth comes to a boil, add drained pasta, mix well, adjust taste and serve.

      The goal is to have the pasta cooked when you reach step 5. That is the ideal situation, but if it is not possible do not stress yourself out. Pasta can be made ahead of time, even the day before, zap in the microwave to reheat, then add during step 5.

  18. Sophie33 says:

    What a truly amazing, colourful & tasty dish, Norma! I love it so much that I already made it twice!

    A real Delight in every sense!

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