Try this easy and fast recipe for vegetarian Thai basil tofu stir fry aka Tofu Pad Krapow. Stir fried ground tofu with garlic, ginger, and veggies in a spicy, savory soy sauce!
This vegetarian Thai basil tofu stir fry is so freaking delicious! Can you believe this is made with tofu? I usually make this dish when I’m rushed for time. As in, I’m about to head out to the nearest fast food joint and order something ungodly bad for me. That’s when I realize, I can whip up this amazing Thai basil tofu in no time. I’m talking 15 minutes start to finish for an amazing, protein packed meal ready in no time!
This is a dish I frequently order at Thai restaurants and it’s called Pad Krapow, Pad Kra Pao. It’s usually made with ground meat, but tofu is an excellent substitute because it acts as a sponge and absorbs all of that savory, spicy soy sauce.
Top with a crispy fried egg for extra goodness. The egg yolk adds a richness to the dish and melds all the flavors together. Mix it all together with rice and chow down. I promise this will be a favorite you’ll come back to over and over again.
Tips for Vegetarian Thai Basil Tofu Stir Fry (Tofu Pad Krapow)
Start with extra firm tofu. This is crucial because it holds less water and its texture is most similar to ground meat for stir fries. Soft tofu will be too watery and it’s a completely different texture, almost pudding like. There are amazing things you can do with soft tofu but stir frying is not one of them!
When you remove the tofu from the container, squeeze out as much water and you can. Really give it a good squeeze. Then grab some paper towels and press out some of the water even more. Your tofu will start breaking apart during the squeeze and that’s totally fine. Next you want to break the tofu apart with your hands or fork to get ‘ground’ tofu.
Add your ground tofu into a hot pan with oil and stir fry it until it becomes dry.
Then add your veggies and sauce and stir fry some more.
Turn off the heat and add in your Thai basil. Give it a good stir in the pan to let the Thai basil wilt a bit before serving.
And there you have it, Thai basil tofu stir fry ready in under 15 minutes! Make this today for a quick and easy meal.
I hope you make this Thai basil tofu stir fry, tofu Pad Krapow! Please share, rate, and comment below.
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15 Minute Thai Basil Tofu Stir Fry (Pad Krapow)
- 1 packet extra firm tofu 16 oz (454 g)
- 3 Tablespoons avocado oil
- ½ large red bell pepper sliced
- ¾ cup green beans cut to ½ inch long pieces
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- ½ medium onion chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ginger grated
- 3 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 cup Thai holy basil
- 1 teaspoon Thai chili pepper flakes optional for spice, or add fresh Thai chili peppers
- 2 large eggs optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- Take your extra firm tofu and squeeze out as much water as you can with your hands and some paper towels. Next crumble it up with a fork or your hands to get 'ground' tofu.
- Add the ground tofu to a hot pan with oil and saute until it becomes dry, about 5 minutes. Optional: meanwhile in a separate pan, cook two eggs sunny side up over high heat until the edges become crispy.
- Leaving out the basil, add the rest of your ingredients to the tofu, including the dark soy sauce and brown sugar. Saute everything together for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are cooked but still crispy.
- Season your tofu mixture with salt & pepper to taste. Tofu is pretty bland so it will need a pinch of salt. I added about 1/3 teaspoon.
- Turn off the heat and stir in your Thai basil and mix it together until the basil wilts.
- Serve over rice and top with the crispy fried egg.