This tofu stir fry is an easy and filling meal. Requiring only 45 minutes to make, it's perfect for weeknight's or meal prep when you want something delicious without spending hours in the kitchen. It also packs in 30 grams of protein making it a great source of plant protein with sources from tofu, edamame and black rice noodles!
This post is sponsored by Soy Connection.
If you've been hesitant to try tofu let me ease your fears. Soy products have a nice neutral flavor that is perfect for adapting to any dish. Tofu's texture can also change depending on how it's prepared. You can fry it, bake it, crumble it, even blend it. It nicely absorbs the flavors you add to it making it easy to incorporate into any meal.
Did you also know that soybeans in the U.S. are grown sustainably, contributing to a cleaner label and lower carbon footprint? I had the honor of attending the online event, 'Simplifying Sustainability' hosted by SheKnows and Soy Connection which shared insights from a number of experts on how to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, from the food we eat to the simple eco-minded habits we incorporate into our every day.
One of the speakers, Anne Briggs, is a farmer and influencer focused on regenerative agriculture. She explained that you can't just plant seeds and constantly take from the ground. We must leave the earth better than we found it. Bare soil is a huge problem—it can get dusty or get washed away. Regenerative agriculture is about restoring soil. This can involve things like cover crops—plants grown between crop rows to cover exposed soil, which helps suppress weeds, improve soil fertility, and fight pests all while preventing soil erosion.
Laura Isley, a corn and soybean farmer and recently elected United Soybean Board Farmer-Director, spoke about how it's a common misconception that farmers aren't consumers. They eat the same food they grow and really do care about how the crops are managed. They farm in a way that both supports the farm and leaves it better for future generations.
Sustainability of soy
I was excited to learn that U.S. soybean farmers have adopted a range of farming practices to decrease carbon emissions and make sustainability a priority. They follow several sustainable farming practices including crop rotation, reduced-till or no-till, water and nutrient management, precision farming technology and cover crops. These practices help farmers improve efficiencies and produce more crops.
Soybeans are the second largest crop grown in the U.S. With its versatility and sustainability, that makes sense.
By 2025, U.S. soybean farmers aim to further reduce land use, soil erosion and greenhouse gas emissions while increasing energy efficiency.
U.S. Soy is committed to improving the following by 2025:
- Reducing land use impact by 10%
- Reducing soil erosion an additional 25%
- Increasing energy use efficiency by 10%
- And reducing total greenhouse gas emissions by 10%
Soybean farmers employ sustainable practices such as crop rotation, reduced tillage and water and nutrient management to:
- Improve nutrient efficiency of soil
- Use less pesticides
- Boost crop productivity
- Conserve water
- Enrich soil quality
American farmers work every day to employ sustainable production practices and will grow 70% more food by 2050 to feed our rising population, which is expected to increase by 2 billion people over the next 30 years. To nourish that rising population, we need every form of U.S. protein that’s available, including soy and other plant proteins.
Protein plays a vital role in global nutrition, regardless if it’s animal- or plant-based consumption. Soy protein is a high-quality protein as it provides all the essential amino acids in the amounts needed by the body to make protein.
Is soy healthy?
I receive questions often about soy and whether it's healthy. There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about it which is a shame because it is an excellent source of several nutrients.
In fact, soy is a powerhouse of benefits and is recognized as part of a healthy eating pattern by the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Health benefits of soy:
- Soyfoods, such as tofu and edamame, pack a nutrient punch! It has fiber and protein, as well as, iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins, and soybean oil is even lower in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Soy’s ability to lower plasma cholesterol, a recognized risk factor for heart disease, has been widely studied and well established.
- Soy is a complete plant-based protein and has all nine essential amino acids your body needs in the recommended amounts - making it comparable to animal protein.
- Soy protein carries FDA’s heart health claim confirming it may be able to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
The health claim for soy that is authorized in the U.S. states: “25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
Soy comes in many different forms but these are some of the basic ones you'll find in stores:
- Tofu—a soft food similar in texture to cheese made from coagulated protein in soymilk
- Tempeh—fermented soybeans
- Edamame—soybeans harvested at a fresh green stage
- Soy milk—soybeans blended with water
- Soybean oil (commonly referred to as vegetable oil)
- Soy sauce—savory sauce of soybeans and wheat fermented with yeast
I incorporate many of these often into my weekly meal rotations and love experimenting with different flavor and texture profiles of soy.
Today I'm going to use three different soy foods to make a delicious and easy stir fry!
This recipe uses simple ingredients to make it as easy as possible!
What you'll need:
- Black Rice Noodles—or soba noodles, whole grain spaghetti, or even rice
- Frozen Edamame—shelled
- Frozen Stir-Fry Vegetables
- Extra firm tofu
For the stir fry sauce:
- Soy Sauce
- Maple Syrup—or agave syrup
- Rice Vinegar—or apple cider vinegar
- Ground Ginger
- Garlic Powder
- Cornstarch—or arrowroot powder to thicken
How to make an easy tofu stir fry
Drain the tofu and press out excess water by wrapping in a clean lint-free cloth or paper towel and setting a plate or cutting board on top with weighted objects. Allow the tofu to press for at least 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions. This recipe also pairs well with brown rice. When noodles are finished, drained and spray with cold water to prevent further cooking. To keep noodles from sticking together, add ½ teaspoon of oil such as soybean oil (commonly labeled as vegetable oil), for a neutral flavor, and mix. Set aside.
Mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. When the tofu is ready, cut into cubes and place in a shallow dish. Add ¼th of the sauce to the dish and allow the tofu to marinate for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway.
Preheat oven or air fryer to 400F degrees. If using an air fryer, evenly spread out the tofu and cook for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway. If using an oven, place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden, flipping halfway.
Meanwhile, cook your stir fry vegetables. Add the veggies and the edamame to a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally.
Add the sauce and stir to coat. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken. Add in the cooked noodles and roasted tofu and toss to coat.
Serve with sliced greens onions on top if desired.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of soy and its sustainability, make sure to check out Soy Connection and sign up for their newsletter here!
Easy Tofu Stir Fry
- 16 oz extra firm tofu
- 8 oz black rice noodles , or soba noodles or whole grain spaghetti
- 2 cups frozen edamame, no shell
- 4 cups frozen stir-fry vegetables
- green onions, sliced, optional for topping
For the sauce:
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or agave syrup
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Drain the tofu and press out excess water by wrapping in a clean lint-free cloth or paper towel and setting a plate or cutting board on top with weighted objects. Allow the tofu to press for at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions. This recipe also pairs well with brown rice. When noodles are finished, drained and spray with cold water to prevent further cooking. To keep noodles from sticking together, add ½ teaspoon of oil such as soybean oil (commonly labeled as vegetable oil), for a neutral flavor and mix. Set aside.
- Mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. When the tofu is ready, cut into cubes (about ½-1 inch) and place in a shallow dish. Add ¼th of the sauce to the dish and allow the tofu to marinate for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Preheat oven or air fryer to 400°F (205°C). If using an air fryer, evenly spread out the tofu in cooking basket and cook for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway. If using an oven, place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden, flipping halfway.
- Meanwhile, cook your stir fry vegetables. Add the veggies and edamame to a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sauce and stir to coat. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken, stirring occasionally.
- Once sauce has thickened, add in the cooked noodles and roasted tofu and toss to coat. Divide into bowls and serve with sliced greens onions on top if desired.
Nutrition Per Serving
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This healthy stir fry is just what I was looking for to round out this week's delicious meal plan. My sister-in-law shared the recipe with me. It's a huge hit with her family!
Oh yum! I love the color on this tofu. Such a great option for meal preps. It looks amazing paired with the edamame.
I Made for a gathering and it was a hit, everyone loved it! Will definitely make it again!
Such a simple recipe with big flavors! A perfect simple dinner.
A tofu stir fry is exactly the kind of thing my roommates and I like to make! I've never cooked with black rice noodles before though, so I'm definitely excited to try this out!