Soy-Braised Tofu With Bok Choy

Soy-Braised Tofu With Bok Choy

This Chinese-style braised tofu is an ideal midweek dinner over rice or noodles. Shallow frying the tofu first makes it sturdier and prevents it from breaking apart in the sauce. (You could also deep-fry or use an air fryer.) Cutting the tofu into thicker pieces means that each mouthful is crisp yet plump, with a soft interior. This is an adaptable dish; when adding the bell peppers, you could add more vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, snow peas or whatever you have on hand. Those familiar with restaurant-style braised tofu may expect more sauce, but in this homestyle version, the seasoning sauce delicately coats the tofu and vegetables without drowning them. That said, double the sauce if you prefer.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Cut tofu across into ¾-inch-thick slices, then cut each slice in half so you have roughly 12 squares.
  2. Step 2

    Heat a large (12-inch), deep-sided nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet on medium-high. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the base. Place the tofu in a single layer, season each piece with a little salt and black pepper, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes until golden and crispy. Flip and cook on the other side for 3 to 4 minutes more, adding more oil if needed. Remove tofu from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
  3. Step 3

    Make the sauce: Combine the soy sauce, vegetarian stir-fry sauce or oyster sauce, cornstarch and sugar with ⅓ cup of water. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Step 4

    In the same skillet over medium heat, add the doubanjiang or chile oil (if you’re using doubanjiang, add about 1 teaspoon of neutral oil) and stir for 15 seconds. Add the garlic, ginger and white parts of the scallion, and toss for 1 to 2 minutes, until the scallions are softened and everything is fragrant. If the pan starts to look dry, add a drop of oil.
  5. Step 5

    Add the bell pepper and Shaoxing wine, if using, and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly softened. Pour in the seasoning sauce and let it sizzle for 30 seconds, stirring once or twice.
  6. Step 6

    Add the baby bok choy, tofu and green parts of the scallion, toss gently to coat the tofu. Let it simmer on low heat for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce thickens, the baby bok choy is wilted but still green and crisp-tender, and the tofu has absorbed some of the sauce. Serve with rice or noodles.