Are you looking for an easy and delicious stir-fry vegetable? This stir-fry gai lan or Chinese broccoli with tofu is a must-try!
There are so many ways to enjoy green vegetables. You can use them in a salad, stir-fries, blanched, or as wraps. The weather usually determines how I like my greens prepared. What about you?
For example, if the weather is cooler, I love to stir-fry my greens. On the other hand, salad or blanch green is my favorite when the weather is warmer. This recipe is my vegan take on gai lan with beef but instead, I’m using marinated tofu.
How to Make Gailan with tofu stir-fry
In today’s recipe, I’m using baby gai lan so I didn’t separate the stem and leaves. If you are using the more mature gai lan, you’ll remove the leaves and then cut the stem into smaller pieces.
Next, marinate the tofu slices. This is to give the tofu extra flavors and colors. Simply coat the tofu with a thin layer of cornstarch. Then, rub the slices with the prepped sauce.
Heat a large non-stick skillet with a little oil. Pan-fry the tofu slices until golden brown on both sides, then set aside.
Now, heat a large wok and add a splash of oil. While the wok is hot, quickly toss the gai lan for a few seconds until they just turn darker green. Season with a pinch of sugar and salt. Transfer to a plate.
Using the same wok, add a little more oil and sauté ginger until aromatic. Continue to sauté garlic and chile for a few more seconds.
Then, add the veggies back in and a swirl of Shaoxing wine, then toss to combine.
Once the vegetables are fully cooked through, fold in the tofu. Right before serving, swirl in a thin cornstarch slurry and cook for another few more seconds. Serve warm.
How to properly cook gai lan
1. Baby gai lan vs normal gai lan – I like to separate the stems and leaves when using normal gai lan. Since baby gai lan is usually small and tender, I serve them as a whole with the stem intact.
2. Sugar and Shaoxing wine – Because gai lan has a tad of bitterness, a little sugar goes a long way. Shaoxing wine is what my mom likes to add to bring out the gai lan flavors more. If I have to choose one between the two, I will pick sugar.
3. I have shared a version on blanching the vegetables first as in Bok Choy stir-fry recipe before adding the sauces. This recipe uses another method to cook the greens that is to quickly stir-fry it to lock in the moisture and keep the vibrant dark green.
Why You need this Gai lan with tofu stir-fry
- Quick and Easy
- Easily customizable – use gluten-free sauces
- Best way to add more greens to your meal
- Perfect side dish with a bowl of rice
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Gai lan (Chinese broccoli) with tofu stir-fry
- 1 lb baby Gai lan (Chinese broccoli) cleaned and trimmed off the ends
- 4 slices ginger
- 2 garlic cloves sliced
- 1 red jalapeno sliced
- 5 oz tofu sliced
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 1 teaspoon salt separated
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- neutral oil
- ½ tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon warm water
- Combine all the tofu marinade ingredients in a bowl and stir until the sugar has melted.
- To prepare the tofu, coat the slices generously with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Then, pour the marinade over and coat the tofu slices evenly with it.
- Next, heat a non-stick skillet and add 2 teaspoons of oil. Pan-fry the tofu slices until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set it aside.
- Now, heat a large wok and add 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the gai lan and quickly toss until the leaves are covered with oil. Season with ½ teaspoon of salt and sugar. Transfer to a bowl for later.
- Meanwhile, mix together 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and ½ teaspoon of salt in ⅓ cup of water until well-combined.
- Using the same wok, add another tablespoon of oil and sauté the ginger slices until aromatic.
- Continue to cook the garlic slices and chile for a few seconds. Place the gai lan back in and add a swirl of Shaoxing wine, then toss to combine.
- Next, fold in the tofu and add in the cornstarch slurry. Toss all the ingredients until all incorporated or until most of the sauce has been absorbed.
- Turn off the heat and serve this dish warm with a side of rice.
- I’m using baby gai lan in this recipe, for other types of gai lan, please check “How to properly cook gai lan” above.
This was so easy and so delicious! It came together quickly which was such a wonderful surprise! I used broccoli instead and just slices it to have long stems and it came out great! Thanks for another amazing recipe!
Thanks so much, Natasha. So glad it turned out amazing for you. I hope you get to try other recipes soon. Best, WoonHeng
Simple, delicious dish. It was also forgiving of substitutions. You have a new follower, Thank you.
You make everything seem effortless. Do you use firm tofu for this?
Hey Jill, thanks so much. Yes, I did. 🙂
Another winner, Woonheng! This one can’t get much tastier and easier. Keep making the videos. Those help me way more than written instructions. I could only find Gai LON and not LAN. Is there a big difference?
Hey Keith, thanks SO much again! It’s Gai Lan and haven’t seen it spelled with an ‘a’. I am pretty sure it refers to the same vegetable. Thanks a lot. Best, WoonHeng