Tomatoes & Tofu


Tomatoes and tofu are a popular pairing. Remember to squeeze the water out of the tofu and season aggressively. This dish is served lukewarm, with rice, and serves 2.


  • 1 block firm tofu, about 16 ounces, drained

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (For arrowroot and whole wheat flour, see note below.)

  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil

  • 1 medium red onion, diced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped in large dices

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (optional)

  • 2 scallions, chopped

  • Fresh ground black pepper or chili pepper to taste


  1. Cut the tofu into one-inch cubes, wrap in a clean kitchen towel, and gently press out liquid by setting it under a skillet or other heavy weight while you prep the other ingredients.

  2. Dust tofu with cornstarch and shake off any excess. Sauté in a non-stick skillet in 2 tablespoons peanut oil for 5 to 6 minutes, turning with a spatula as cubes turn golden.

  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a heavy two-quart pot and sauté onion, ginger, and garlic slowly until they become translucent, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer until they begin to soften and give up some juice.

  4. Add tofu to tomato mixture, then add soy sauce and black pepper, and mix well. Do not overheat or the dish will become soupy.

  5. Top with additional pepper or chilis, chopped scallions, and a squeeze of lime juice if desired.

Arrowroot may be used instead of cornstarch in this recipe; however, another popular substitute, whole wheat flour, will become gummy and cause tofu cubes to stick together.

About the Teacher

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John Kochevar
John J. Kochevar has contributed many articles on flavorful vegetarian cooking to Yoga International. Read more