Thai Basil Tofu

4.7 from 7 reviews

An easy recipe for Thai Basil Tofu that is ready in under 30 minutes. Easy swaps are available to make this Thai Tofu vegetarian and whether or not you can find Thai Basil doesn’t matter much for a delicious dinner the whole family will love.


  • 1 1/2 cups dry brown rice
  • 14 oz package extra firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch or flour (can also use cornstarch)
  • pinch of salt + pepper
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 12 tbsp chili paste (sambal oelek)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil (can also use olive oil or a more neutral oil)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 large red or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 head of broccolini or broccoli, ends trimmed or cut into florets
  • 1 cup fresh Thai or regular basil, roughly torn
  • 1 tbsp raw sesame seeds
  • optional toppings: cashews, scallions, additional basil, cilantro etc…


  1. Make rice according to package instructions.
  2. Place tofu block in a dishtowel or paper towel and squeeze to remove moisture. Cut into 1-inch cubes.
  3. In a large bowl combine tofu, tapioca starch, salt and pepper to coat tofu.
  4. In a small bowl make sauce by combining soy sauce (or tamari), fish sauce, chili paste, rice wine vinegar and coconut sugar. Set aside.
  5. Add sesame oil to a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Drop a splash of water into the skillet and if the oil simmers it is ready.
  6. Add the tofu, flipping occasionally until brown all over and crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  7. Add the garlic, ginger, and peppers, and broccolini or broccoli to skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water and cover skillet with a top or tin foil. Allow veggies to steam for 2 minutes. Remove top and cook until veggies are slightly browned and cooked through.
  8. Add the tofu back to the skillet and pour in the pre-mixed sauce to bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 3 minutes or until sauce has thickened to preference.
  9. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and sesame seeds.
  10. Serve over rice with optional toppings.

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