Bok Choy stir-fry with Crispy Tofu

5 from 6 votes
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Bok Choy Stir-Fry with Crispy Tofu |

A super flavorful vegan dish that tastes almost as good as meat. No, it tastes even better!

Bok choy stir-fry with crispy tofu is one of my favorite vegan dishes. You only need a few spices – green onion, soy sauce and sugar, to create a flavorful sweet savory sauce. The cooking is quick, simple and straightforward. The dish has a great texture. The bok choy is cooked until slightly charred and meaty in texture. The rich fried tofu absorbs the sauce well and almost tastes meaty. It’s a great way to get a good amount of green in your weekday dinner.

If you’ve never tried deep fried tofu before, I highly recommend you give it a shot. In Chinese cooking, fried tofu is usually used as an alternative to meat, in order to turn a dish into a vegetarian one. It is a bit greasy by itself but works like magic with veggies, both in stir fried dishes and in stews. Functioning similarly to meat, the fried tofu adds richness to a light dish. Plus, because of its fluffy texture, it will absorb tons of flavor from the sauce it’s cooked in. That’s why it tastes even better than chicken in a noodle soup, such as laksa.

Bok Choy Stir-Fry with Crispy Tofu |

The Art of Stir-Fry

In the video below, I asked for my mom’s help in cooking the dish while I shot the video. We have very different styles for cooking stir fried dishes. She grew up using a wok and feels most comfortable with it. For me, I really prefer to use a nonstick skillet (you can find the reason here).

Watching her cook is really enjoyable. I’m always amazed by the high heat she uses when cooking such a simple vegetable dish. She always turn the heat to the almost highest setting, so you can hear a vibrant sizzling all the way through the stir fry. You’ll get the idea when you watch the video or from the thick wok hei (or wok air) in the cooking process pictures below.

Bok Choy Stir-Fry with Crispy Tofu |

In this case, the cooking is finished quickly, within 4 minutes. On the other hand, if you prefer to use a normal skillet, especially a nonstick one, you might want to lower the heat a bit and prolong the cooking time, because a nonstick skillet cannot handle high heat for too long. You will move more slowly too, since the skillet is shallower and you’ll need to stir carefully to keep all the ingredients in the skillet (otherwise you’ll need to clean the floor instead of the plate afterward).

Always judge carefully with your eyes and ears during cooking. If you see too much smoke above the skillet, or the food gets charred too quickly, you need to lower the heat. On the other hand, if the sizzling sound disappears, turn it back to high heat.

Stir-frying is an art and takes a bit time to master. But you’ll be hooked once you get the idea, because you can get a plate of super flavorful food in a very short time.

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Bok Choy stir-fry with Crispy Tofu

Bok Choy stir-fry with Crispy Tofu

5 from 6 votes
A super flavorful vegan dish that tastes almost as good as meat. No, it tastes even better!

Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Side
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 500 grams (18 ounces) bok choy (*see footnote 1)
  • 1 cup (60 grams / 2 ounces) deep fried tofu , halved
  • 2 tablespoons scallion , chopped (or green onion)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce


  • Rinse bok choy. Tear apart the large leaves and remove tough ends (*see footnote 2). Wash carefully and drain in a colander.
  • Chopped deep fried tofu and scallion, set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over medium high heat (highest heat on an electric stove) until hot. Add scallion and stir a few times until fragrant. Add bok choy, stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bok choy is half cooked.
  • Add sugar and swirl in light soy sauce. Immediately stir a few times to mix well the sauce. Add deep fried tofu, stir to mix well, about 20 seconds.
  • Cover and lower to medium low heat (medium heat for electric stove). Cook for 30 seconds. Uncover and stir to check, 20 seconds. Cover and cook for another 10 to 20 seconds again, if necessary, until bok choy is cooked through and slightly caramelized on the edges. Stop heat and transfer everything to a plate.
  • Serve warm over rice.


  1. Make sure to pick a larger head of bok choy to cook this dish.
  2. If the bok choy is very large, cut the large and thick leaves in half lengthwise, so they are easier to stir fry and will cook evenly.


Serving: 311g, Calories: 191kcal, Carbohydrates: 12.3g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 13.3g, Saturated Fat: 2.1g, Sodium: 1070mg, Potassium: 725mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6.2g, Vitamin A: 11250IU, Vitamin C: 155.9mg, Calcium: 380mg, Iron: 3.8mg
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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Kathleen | HapaNom says:

    5 stars
    I LOVE the video of your mom cooking! That must have been so much fun! This dish looks absolutely fabulous and delicious. Btw, that is probably the thickest scallion I’ve ever seen!

  2. mira says:

    5 stars
    This stir fry looks so easy to make and delicious! I like fried tofu! Love the video! Pinned!

  3. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    5 stars
    This is one of my favorite combination. I like veggies and my son loves tofu… so we like to put them together in one dish. I will make this very soon – I need authentic recipe! 😉

  4. K / Pure & Complex says:

    I am such a HUGE fan of stir fry and this looks amazing.

  5. Kelly says:

    Love everything in this stir fry! Tofu and bok choy are my favorites! Looks so fresh and delicious!

  6. 5 stars
    I ADORE deep fried tofu. I love it especially in laksa because of the way it sucks up the soup!! Always looking for interesting ways to eat veggies and this is a perfect one. Thanks Maggie!!!

  7. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits says:

    I know so many people who say that they don’t like tofu, but they really haven’t tried all the different kinds yet. They only think of tofu as the solid white block. If only they would branch out! This dish definitely looks fantastic!

  8. Amy V says:

    Maggie, I cooked this tonight and it was fantastic. Just wanted to let you know. I’m working in China right now and and just love Asian-style vegetable dishes. I ate a huge plate of this and thought about having seconds–not something most people would say about vegetables!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Amy, I’m very very glad you like this dish! You’re living in China now, so you’ve probably found out this kind of simple dish is the thing we cook and eat everyday. I like it a lot too, although I always prefer meat over vegetables. lol
      Hope you have a wonderful time living in China. And please feel free to drop me a message if you’re looking for a recipe. I’d like to create it for you 🙂

  9. Kim Grey says:

    Hi Maggie, This recipe looks so delicious and easy! I’m definitely going to try it soon. I’m always looking for quick, delicious recipes for my family. I just hope my 2-year-old soon will eat the bok choy. I’m trying to get him interested in greens.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Kim, I’m so glad you found my recipes helpful! This is a recipe my mom told me and I love it a lot. The sauce will be infused into the bok choy and the crispy tofu, so the dish will be very flavorful. I hope your 2-year-old son will like it! 🙂

  10. Kimi Wei says:

    Maggie, what does a charred vegetable look like? I am thinking that once a veggie is mixed with sauce, it will not develop a char.

    • Maggie says:

      My previous description was not very accurate and I just changed “charred” into “caramelized”. After pouring into the soy sauce and sugar, they will caramelize immediately due to the high heat of the wok.

  11. Elise says:

    5 stars
    This was super easy. I wasn’t sure it would be flavorful enough since there were so few ingredients, but this really surprised me! I was able to whip it up in about 20 minutes, and I’m usually pretty slow in the kitchen. It was also great as leftovers! Giving it a little more time to sit in the sauce made it almost better.

    I think next time I might add some ginger. It just seemed to be missing a little something.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Elise, I’m so glad to hear you like the dish! Yes, some ginger or garlic will definitely make it more flavorful. I usually just chop up whatever I have at home to make this one and it always turns out great. Happy cooking and hope it turns out even better the next time 🙂

  12. Susan says:

    5 stars
    I didn’t have deep fried tofu, so I fried mine in avocado oil. I followed the recipe for the rest and it was YUMMY! This has now been added to my go to recipes. I will also be adding a little bit of sugar to my soy sauce recipes as it reduced the bite of the soy sauce. YUM!

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