Fresh, vibrant, and flavorful this asparagus stir-fry is the ideal dinner when you crave something healthy but are short on time. Serve over steamed rice or noodles.
Since there is no vegetable more officially spring-y than asparagus, I decided to make this asparagus stir-fry recipe in celebration of all things green and screaming of spring.
In my opinion, asparagus is the perfect stir-fy vegetable. It requires no blanching and cooks into perfect green, tender stalks in a total of 3 minutes.
But really it’s all in the way you season it. Which is where the super-tasty, super-easy stir-fry sauce comes in. The flavors are a little sweet, a bit spicy, with a nice tang from lime zest and juice.
This vegan recipe calls for my favorite lightly-fried salt and pepper tofu that will transform any tofu-haters out there, but you could also use a different protein like chicken, shrimp, or even thin slices of pork or beef instead.
Have all the ingredients prepped and within arms reach before you begin. Let’s go!
- Hoisin sauce
- Soy sauce
- Toasted sesame oil
- Red pepper flakes
- Firm tofu
- Canola oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh asparagus spears
- Green onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- Roasted, salted cashews
- Fresh cilantro
- Fresh basil
How To Make It (Step-by-Step Instructions)
Prep! Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you begin. Once you start, the whole process goes pretty fast. Chop up your asparagus, scallions, garlic, ginger, cashews, cilantro, and basil.
Make the sauce. Whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, and the 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and red chile flakes in a small bowl (the recipe call for 1/2 teaspoon of pepper flakes but you could add more, even up to 2 teaspoons if you like things really spicy). Set aside.
Slice tofu. Drain the tofu and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1-inch pieces and pat dry again. Don’t press too hard this will make the tofu tough and chewy.
Fry tofu. Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add half of the canola oil and season the oil generously with salt and pepper. Swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the tofu in a single layer (do this in batches if all won’t fit in a single layer). Cook until golden on two sides. Remove to a plate.
Stir-fry asparagus. Add remaining canola oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add asparagus, green onions, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry until asparagus turns bright green but is still crisp, only a few minutes. Finally, add sauce and tofu and stir-fry a minute more.
Serve! Remove from heat and toss with the cashews, cilantro, and basil. Divide over rice or noodles (I use ramen noodles—yum!).
More Vegan Recipes You’ll Love!
- Vegetable Pot Pie with Herb Drop Biscuits
- Spaghetti with The Best Marinara Sauce
- Ginger Hoisin Tofu Stir-Fry
- Chipotle Black Bean Chili (from our sister site, ¡Hola! Jalapeño)
- The Best Vegetable Biryani
- Vegan Refried Beans (again, from ¡Hola! Jalapeño)
Tasty, Healthy Dinner!
What more could you ask for? You must give this asparagus stir-fry dish a try. When you try it, let me know how it went! Share a photo and tag me on Instagram using @katesbestrecipes so that I can see (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating)! Also, sign up for my weekly recipe newsletter so you never miss a thing.
TOFU AND ASPARAGUS STIR-FRY
- Zest and juice of 1/2 a lime
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 14 ounces firm tofu
- 1/4 cup canola oil, divided
- generous pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends removed and cut into 3 pieces
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated or minced peeled ginger
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted salted cashews
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- steamed rice or noodles, for serving
- Prep ingredients. Have everything chopped and ready to go before you start the recipe.
- Make the sauce. In a small bowl, combine lime zest and juice, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and red chile flakes; stir until smooth and set aside.
- Prep tofu. Drain tofu and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1-inch cubes and pat dry again. Don't press too hard, this will make it tough and chewy.
- Stir-fry tofu. Heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil over high heat in a large frying pan or wok if you have one. Season the oil with salt and pepper and swirl around so it coats the bottom of the pan. Add the tofu and spread into an even layer. Let cook, undisturbed until golden brown on two sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
- Stir-fry vegetables. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of the canola oil to pan and add green onions, ginger, chili flakes, asparagus, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until asparagus turns bright green (a couple of minutes). Return tofu to the pan along with the hoisin sauce mixture and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat and stir in cashews, mint and basil. Serve with steamed rice or noodles.
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