Zucchini Tofu

Meatless MondayHere is my favorite tofu recipe.  Although it’s sort of Chinese-like, I cook it more slowly over lower heat than an authentic Chinese stir-fry, which gives the onions a very different flavor.  Quantities are very approximate; basically it’s “season to taste”.  When zucchini is not in season, you can use frozen zucchini, thawed and drained–but it should be cut in wedges or slices, not shredded, to work well in this recipe.  Yellow summer squash with a soft peel, or with the peel removed, can be substituted for zucchini.
When Nicholas was a baby, I used to put this (complete with rice, but without nuts) through the food grinder for him.  He loved it! [UPDATE: Our second child, Lydia, is the self-feeding type, so we don’t even have to make “baby food” for her.  She LOVES zucchini cooked this way!]

To make about 6 servings, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup juice (You can use apple juice, orange juice, white wine, rice vinegar, or cider vinegar.  Obviously, which one you choose will affect the flavor of the sauce.  If using vinegar, increase the honey by 1/2 Tbsp.)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 1 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. oyster sauce (from Asian store–optional, but it adds a nice smoky flavor)
  • 1 pound firm tofu
  • 1-3 zucchini, depending on size–about 2 1/2 cups diced
  • 1/2 large or 1 small onion, or 3 green onions (use both white and green parts)
  • optional additions: 1 red pepper and 1 cup unsalted peanuts, or 1 cup mushrooms and 1 cup cashews
  • cooking oil (I like to use half sesame oil and half sunflower oil.  The flavor of sesame oil is great, but it’s strong!  Peanut oil is another good choice.)

Remove tofu from package and drain off the water.  Fold a clean cloth towel around the tofu and squish it to remove as much water as possible.  (This helps it to soak up the sauce.)

Mix soy sauce, juice, garlic, ginger, honey, and oyster sauce in a bowl.  Cut tofu into bite-size pieces and put it in the sauce.  (You can do this up to 48 hours ahead of time and refrigerate it, covered.)

Start cooking some rice.  Meanwhile, cut zucchini and onion (and optional pepper or mushrooms) into bite-size pieces.

Heat some oil in a wok or large skillet.  Add onions and stir, over medium-high heat, until slightly browned.

Add zucchini and stir until that is slightly browned.

Add tofu, sauce, and optional pepper or mushrooms.  Keep it at a high simmer (lots of bubbles), stirring occasionally, 7-10 minutes or until zucchini reaches desired softness.  Add optional nuts after about 5 minutes.  If you like a thick sauce, add some cornstarch dissolved in cold water after about 7 minutes.

Serve over rice.  Both the tofu and the zucchini soak up the sauce and become fabulously delicious!!

Check out this linkup of tofu recipes and the Summer Squash Recipe Round-up and another linkup of zucchini recipes!  Visit the Hearth & Soul Blog Hop for more recipes of all kinds!  Visit Works-for-Me Wednesday and Waste Not Want Not Wednesday for great tips on many topics!  Get more recipes and tips for Asian-style cooking in my article at Kitchen Stewardship!

10 thoughts on “Zucchini Tofu

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  5. Well hello again! Always love seeing you on our linkup! I need more tofu recipes, I just had it for lunch and it reminded me that I need more in my life! Great recipe! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. I love stir fry, I make some version or other at least once a week, and this looks great! I’d sub the soy sauce for some gluten free Tamari or Bragg’s and do away with the oyster sauce (it’s not usually gluten free), but you can’t go wrong with that combo and ginger and garlic! Thanks for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday 🙂

  7. Your Zucchini Tofu sounds delicious. I love the flavours you have used, especially the ginger. It’s so good when you can make a kid friendly meal that is this wholesome and nutritious! Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul hop.

  8. Pingback: Asian Ingredients for Every Kitchen | The Earthling's Handbook

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