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)
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
- ½ large red bell pepper - sliced
- ¾ cup green beans - cut to ½ inch long pieces
- ½ medium onion - chopped
- 1 cup Thai holy basil
- 2 large eggs - optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic - chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ginger - grated
- ½ teaspoon Thai chili pepper flakes - optional for spice, or add fresh Thai chili peppers
- 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.
- Add the sauce, bell peppers, green beans, and onions to the pan and saute everything together for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked but still crispy.
- Season your tofu mixture with salt & pepper to taste. Tofu is pretty bland so it may need a pinch of salt. I added about ¼ 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.
✎ Recipe Notes
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days
- Substitute other types of basil if you can't find Thai basil
- Low carb options:
- serve over cauliflower rice
- serve in lettuce cups
- replace brown sugar with a few drops of liquid stevia
- Additional veggies: broccoli, carrot, celery
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.
This recipe is just perfect. Loved it
Thanks Madhu! So happy to hear that! 🙂
Chiseche Rachel KapapaHey
This dish is absolutely delicious. I licked my plate clean. Thank you so much.
Thank you, so glad you enjoyed it!
I rarely rate online recipes but this recipe is so delicious that I have to give it five stars! It is so easy to make, yet packed with flavor. This is a restaurant-quality recipe. My family loves this dish. It comes out just as good as Pad Kaprow that I’ve had at nice Thai restaurants!
Thanks so much Erica! I'm so happy to hear your family loves this. 🙂
Hey Jamie, I just tried this the other night but with firm tofu cubes, and it was a hit 🙂 Already got a request to make this again. Great flavor! I also appreciate how your ingredients and directions were straightforward and unfussy, so I didn't have to keep reading the directions over and over while cooking. Thank you 🙂
Thanks Christina! So glad you liked this recipe! 🙂
I tried this with Impossible meat, and it was wonderful. Thank you.
Thanks Seems, glad you liked it! 🙂
Outstanding dish. Simple to make with a great flavor profile. I will be making this one again.
My Mum was given some tofu to try (a new brand!) and we were looking for some creative ways to use it. This dish was definitely my favourite - I think tofu needs a great flavour base, and this was the dish that really won me over. Thai basil is so delicious - I need to use it more!
Thanks Aubrey! This is definitely my favorite way to prepare tofu too! So happy you enjoyed it!
I made this last night using Trader Joe's Super Firm tofu, which worked beautifully. I'd never used tofu to create a "ground meat" texture - so yummy! Thank you for this quick and easy recipe!
Thanks Christine! I'm so glad you gave this a try! 🙂
I just made it and I love it! even my boyfriend who doesn’t like tofu loved it, he says it tastes like fried rice 😉 I was even more shocked when he asked me “do we have leftovers for dinner? wow, he really liked it. Thank you for this wonderful recipe 🌺
Thank you Rita! I'm so glad you and your boyfriend loved this! 🙂
ABSOLUTELY delicious and so easy to make! Minimal number of ingredients with maximum taste! I'll certainly be making it again. So Yummy! I highly recommend anyone trying it.
BTW, I used the basil flowers to make a tea - so delicious basil meal all the way around!
I am growing Thai basil and was looking for a recipe. Based on the reviews, I thought I would give this recipe a try. OMG! I didn't know something so simple could taste soooo good. I made it two days in a row. Simply delicious. Thank you for sharing.
I am growing Thai basil and was looking for a recipe. Based on the reviews I thought I would give this recipe a try. OMG! I didn't know something so simple could taste soooo good. I made it two days in a row. Simply delicious. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Noel! So glad you enjoyed the thai basil tofu! It's one of my go to meals for something quick and delicious! 🙂