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4.78 from 18 votes

Spicy Thai Basil Tofu

Need an easy and quick recipe? Then, try this Spicy Thai Basil Tofu! It is simple, vegan, and packed with the aromatic Thai Basil with a savory sauce that goes very well with any grain for a delicious meal.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, southeastasian, thai
Keyword: Thaibasil, tofu
Servings: 3 people
Author: woonheng


  • 14 oz [397g] firm tofu pressed
  • 1 large shallot chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 Thai chilies chopped
  • 1 cup packed Thai Basil leaves
  • oil for cooking salt to taste


  • ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce thick
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce please see notes
  • cup vegan 'fish' sauce homemade or store-bought (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • cup water or vegetable broth


  • Mix the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl until well-combined and set aside.
  • In a heated non-stick pan, add the tofu in and using a potato masher, mash tofu into crumbles.
  • Cook the tofu crumbles until slightly dry. Then, add about 1 tablespoon of oil and continue to cook until tofu turns golden brown.
  • Push tofu aside, and add a little more oil and sauté shallots until translucent.
  • Continue to sauté garlic and chili for another 30 - 45 seconds. Then, bring all the mixture together and give it a quick stir.
  • Add in the sauce and sugar and cook down the mixture a little.
  • Finally, add the Thai basil and toss everything until all incorporated.
  • Turn off the heat and serve warm.


  • Vegan 'fish' sauce - store-bought or use this Easy 5-minute Vegan 'Fish' Sauce. If using store-bought, taste test as you go as some brands' sodium level is higher than others. [added notes 1/27/22] If you are unsure about the saltiness of the sauce you have mixed, please add half the sauce before and taste test as you are making the dish. 
  • Dark soy sauce in this recipe is for color which I used the thick version, please see video for the texture. 
  • Cornstarch substitution - Since this ingredient act as a thickening agent, arrowroot starch, tapioca starch, or potato starch can be used instead.