Three-Alarm Tofu and Mushroom Stir-fry

Preparation info

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    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

Tofu (soybean curd) is an excellent and inexpensive source of protein, iron, and sometimes calcium. You shouldn’t make the mistake, however, of thinking that because it’s a meatless food, it is low in fat. Tofu is, actually, moderate to moderately high in fat, though still considerably lower than beef or other red meats. This is a basic tofu preparation and a good illustration of how tofu absorbs and carries the flavors it is cooked with.


  • ¼ cup Chicken Broth or reduced-sodium canned broth, fat skimmed
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
  • ½ pound tofu, preferably soft, drained, cubed (½ inch), and patted dry 10 ounces white button mushrooms, wiped clean and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 7 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps cut into ½-inch dice 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño or serrano chili
  • ½ cup diced red (bell) pepper
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green scallion tops
  • Salt (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


    1. Combine the broth, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, cornstarch, and red pepper in a small bowl. Stir until the cornstarch has dissolved. Set aside.
    2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry, adjusting the heat to maintain a lively sizzle, until the cubes are golden on all sides, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the tofu to a plate and set aside.
    3. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Gradually add the button mushrooms and the shiitakes and stir-fry, adjusting the heat to between medium-high and high, to maintain a steady sizzle. Stir-fry until the mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the ginger, garlic, and chili and stir-fry 1 minute longer. Add the reserved tofu, the red bell pepper, and the scallion tops and stir-fry 1 minute longer. Add salt, if desired, and a grinding of black pepper.
    4. Stir up the broth mixture and over high heat stir it in. Stir-fry just until liquid thickens and glazes the mushrooms and tofu, about 30 seconds. Serve at once.