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Bowl of rice served with stir-fried peppers and tofu and topped with cilantro and peanuts.

Garlic Pepper Tofu Stir-fry

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  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This Garlic Pepper Tofu Stir-fry combines strips of pepper and tofu together in a savory, glossy stir-fry sauce. Easy to prep and cooks in less than 30 minutes. 


  • 3 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • Juice of 1 lime or 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 lb block super firm (vacuum sealed tofu) or extra firm tofu (press this style tofu before using)
  • 12 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce (choose gluten-free)
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sriracha or less based on preference
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable bouillon paste or vegetable paste
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/4 medium red onion, sliced into strips
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

To serve: Cooked rice or quinoa, minced herbs, nuts or seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Pat the tofu dry and cut into thin strips (thick tofu like super firm tofu will crumble less when thinly cut). Place the strips on a large parchment lined baking tray or between 2 trays if needed.
  2. In a large measuring cup whisk together 2 tbsp of tamari, 1 tbsp of oil and the lime juice. Using a brush, brush the top of the tofu slices with some of the sauce. Reserve what remains in the cup and place the tofu in the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Flip the tofu and brush the opposite side with the same mixture and again reserve the contents of the measuring cup. Bake the tofu agai for 10 minutes then set aside.
  3. To the measuring cup add the remaining tbsp of tamari maple syrup, hoisin sauce, mirin, sriracha, bouillon, water and cornstarch then whisk to combine and set aside.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot add the peppers and onions with a pinch of salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, sauteing until fragrant then lower the heat to low.
  5. Add the tofu strips and sauce to the pan and stir everything together with tongs until the sauce thickens and coats everything well, about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Serve with rice or quinoa then garnish with fresh herbs, nuts or seeds based on preference and enjoy.


Cut the tofu how you like. I like to thinly slice the tofu to help provide more surface area for flavor. However, you can cube your tofu, or cut it into squares or triangles. If using cubes, squares or triangles, you can add the tofu to a baggy and pour the tamari and oil over it, seal and shake to coat before baking.

Meal prep smarter not harder. To help cut a lot of prep time, I’ll press and pre-slice the tofu ahead of time. Pressing tofu in advance will save you at least 30 minutes and if you pre cut your tofu you can store it in an air tight container and pull it out when you are ready to use it during the week. I find this better to do on a Sunday ahead of the week and means you can eat freshly made food more efficiently.

Tips for prepping tofu. If using a super firm tofu that is vacuum sealed, you don’t need to press it. Remove it from it’s packaging and pat dry. For other kinds of tofu stored in a tub of water, I recommend pressing your tofu to remove excess water before working with it.

Taste the sauce before adding the cornstarch. At this point you can modify and adjust the ingredients to your preference. The amount of ingredients I shared was just my personal preference. Feel free to add more sweetener, more lime or vinegar to achieve the flavor balance you prefer.