Monday, March 23, 2009

Broccoli and Tofu with Brown Sauce

I love Chinese food. Its greasy, delicious and you eat it with sticks. Broccoli with brown sauce has always been a favorite of mine, but sadly a lot of places make it with oyster sauce which is not vegan. Super sad face, I know!

BUT there is a bright side! Its actually really easy to make at home, plus no MSG headache!

4 cups broccoli
1 block tofu, pressed.
vegetable oil

2 c broth or water
3 cloves garlic, minced (feel free to use less garlic, but I'm a fiend. I even have a garlic tattoo. Yes really.)
1 Tbsp ginger
1/4 c soy sauce or braggs
1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 c sugar


Step 1:
If you are using a steel pan, sprinkle salt into your dry pan and heat on medium high. This will stop your tofu from sticking and causing a disaster. It also seasons the tofu, which is a nice bonus.
If you're using teflon, pour in your oil before you start heating your pan. You never want to heat a teflon pan when its dry. Chemicals and whatnot. blegh.

Step 2:
Heat up enough vegetable oil so that its 1/4" deep.
Fry your tofu for about 3 minutes per side, or until they're crispy. Unless you like gooey fu, in which case, don't cook it as long. I'm a crispy kind of gal so I like to make it golden. Remember that if your oil isn't hot enough, or if you crowd the pan, you'll get greasy tofu which is no fun.
When both sides are cooked, place them on a paper bag or a draining rack with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
I took a bite for um...demonstration reasons. It was delicious.

Now is a good time to break up your broccoli.

Step 3:
mix your soy sauce, cornstarch and sugar.

Step 4:
Drain off the remaining oil**, leaving a little to fry the garlic and ginger on medium heat. Careful not to burn the garlic or it will get bitter. I burned the garlic because I was taking pictures. oops.
Once the garlic and ginger are soft, add the broth and soysauce mix.

**I'd suggest doing so into an empty coffee can or another metal pan. Don't pour it into anything that will melt or explode.

Depending on how cooked you like your broccoli, you may blanch or steam your broccoli before adding it to the sauce. If you do blanch your veg, make sure you drain it really well or the sauce will get watery. I found that out the hard way.
I steamed my broccoli this time but I found that it ended up overcooked. I usually prefer my broccoli practically raw though, so its all up to you.


Serve over rice, or in my case, rice noodles.
This could serve 3 normal people or 2 really hungry people and a Squidgy.


  1. yay, simple chinese food recipe: trying it tonight!

  2. just tried this today (i know, months after the posting) & it's amazing! really simple, inexpensive, & totally hit the spot when i had a taste for asian food. definitely will try again!

  3. I will try this tonight. One of my favs.


  4. Dear Emily Star,

    All I can say is YUM! We are a vegan family, and we love this recipe! Thank you!

    P.S. I substituted a couple of teaspoons of organic raw blue agave nectar for the sugar, and it turned out great! (We try to avoid sugar in its refined form.)

    P.P.S. I chose to fry the tofu in sesame oil, and YUM-alicious!

    Carrie Sayer

  5. This looks great. Will definitely try it!

  6. Yum! Thanks for the recipe. I was looking for a vegan Chinese brown sauce.

  7. I made the brown sauce too, so good!