This delicious Weight Watchers-friendly recipe sweet and spicy Asian tofu is a fast and satisfying lunch or dinner.
Today I’m sharing a delicious, vegetarian Weight Watchers recipe. This Sweet and Spicy Asian tofu has been an obsession of mine lately, and since I love it so much I figured it was worth sharing.
I swear I’ve been eating it almost every day. I crave it. It has everything I want in a weekday recipe: flavor, texture and it’s incredibly fast and easy to make. I can have a home cooked lunch ready in less than 10 minutes, and it scales up very easily for two when making dinner.
I typically buy fresh, pre-cut stir fry veggie mixes to save time. However, fresh vegetables work great as well, though! I use whatever I happen to have on hand. Green beans, onions, bell peppers, and broccoli work especially well here.
If you’re not sure how you feel about tofu, give this a try. It’s pan-fried and I honestly feel like I’m eating fried cheese. It soaks up the delicious sauce and is filling without being overly heavy. It’s also very budget friendly! Swapping out meat dishes for tofu is a great way to save on the grocery bill.
Tips for Cooking Tofu
- There are numerous types of tofu available, including silken, soft, firm, and extra firm. Extra firm is what you want for sautéing and pan-frying, though firm tofu will work as well. Avoid anything labeled silken or soft. Those are good for pureeing into sauces, desserts, dips, and various dairy replacements. Firm tofus have a spongey texture and are great at absorbing flavors.
- Because extra firm tofu is stored in water, you want to press as much liquid out as possible before using it. The easiest way to do this is to wrap it the tofu block in a few layers of paper towels and then press it between two dinner plates for 20-40 minutes. You can add a weight (something like a can of beans) on top of the plate to assist with pressing the water out. After that, you’re ready to go!
Looking for more tofu recipes? Be sure to check out my Sesame Crusted Tofu Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing and Crispy Baked Tofu with Broccoli!
Sweet and Spicy Asian Tofu
- 7 ounces extra firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil (I use regular olive oil)
- cooking spray
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 cups assorted stir-fry vegetables
- 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce (I recommend Mae Ploy)
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- optional: a few drops of fish sauce
- 2/3 cup brown rice, cooked
- An hour before cooking, wrap the tofu in paper towels and place between two plates to help press out the liquid. I like to change the paper towels once during this process. Slice the tofu into even cubes.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, add the tofu cubes and allow them to pan fry until golden on one side and then use tongs to turn the pieces. Brown at least 4 sides for the best texture.
- Set the tofu aside and if the pan is no longer oily, add some cooking spray. Saute the garlic and vegetables over medium-high heat with a bit of salt. I prefer my veggies slightly crunchy.
- While the tofu and vegetables are cooking, stir together the sauce ingredients.
- Serve the tofu and vegetables with the sauce over brown rice.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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Julie @ Table for Two says
For time management, I basically have to write it all down and just try and get through it one by one, however long it takes. I mean, that’s not really a “tip” cause I’m sure all of us “try” to get through it and not all make it, but I find that having a list, I can usually push myself to do it more than having it all written out in my head.
I love this spicy tofu dish – I’m all about tofu! I don’t understand people who don’t like it :) good luck with weight watchers, i’m intrigued by it so i’ll definitely be keeping an eye for your progress & posts!
Anna @ hiddenponies says
Argh, there is never enough natural light in a day! My way of time management is to just avoid twitter more than once a day max, but I know I miss out on so much with that decision, so that’s not good advice :) Time management is HARD, and my eating habits are often what suffers too.
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
There really is not enough time in the day! I think for the most part, I sacrifice sleep to get posts done. I’ve been waking up at 4AM almost every day this week to ensure a post going up. It has not been fun.
Anyway, this tofu dish – love it! I’ve put on some holiday weight as well so this here is just what I need :)
Savory Simple says
I can’t believe you’re getting up at 4am. THAT is dedication.
I’m the last person you should ask about time management skills! Although I swear by my To Do list – if it’s not written down and staring me in the face, it’s not likely to happen. And to accommodate my schedule, about a year ago I stopped photographing in natural light, and am now using studio flash (particularly useful in the winter when it gets dark so early). With the proper modifier, you can’t tell the difference between artificial and natural light (in every movie that you see where a scene is shot outdoors, the actors are lit by big lights, not by natural light, although the background is usually largely natural light). Anyway, nice recipe. Tofu marries so well with Asian flavors, and this is a particularly nice recipe. Good stuff – thanks.
Ashley - Baker by Nature says
I’m no pro on time management, but I have learned the less I totally freak out about “not having enough time to do everything!” the more I actually get done. Love the look of this healthy meal
Love this spicy tofu recipe, I almost never eat tofu but definitely would love a spicy version. I also find the time change and getting darker earlier affect my work and photography in particular. I am in dire need of dieting too and I sometimes go days if not weeks without posting. This time of the year particularly is so busy and if you got small children, it’s no wonder. I don’t think it’s about time management. Life is just hectic!
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) says
Great recipe! I feel you on the short days and lack of natural light – I live in Seattle so I often find myself at odds with mother nature. Something that works really well for me is to have a post queue of at least 3 to 4 completed recipe posts (with photos). That way I feel much less pressure and stress and can work with the weather and light with a bit more flexibility.
Savory Simple says
Thanks, Alyssa! I really need to get some more recipes in the queue if I can find the time to jump ahead. I was able to do that this summer and you’re totally right- it was a huge stress reliever.
I struggle with time management issues daily. I honestly have been feeling so much stress from all the stuff I’ve had in my head to do I was losing sleep for the past month. I finally broke down and put myself on a 1-notebook diet (because I had a million lists in notebooks floating around house) & have been attached to it for almost a week. I’m writing a reasonable to do list daily, written the night before so I already have a plan when I wake up next day. The worst for me was figuring it all out on the same day, then getting side tracked…I need a plan (loose is ok :) )
Social media is a pit for me. I’m avoiding it right now because it’s just doing me no good. Huge time waster & at end of day I’m feeling way more productive and accomplished without it.
Not sure those were tips but, just wanted you to know you’re not alone :)
As for this dish, looks awesome. I’m still slightly intimidated by tofu, but pan fried is my favorite. Good luck with WW, helps me every time!
Savory Simple says
Thanks Aggie! It sounds like you and I are on the same page with time management. I can’t survive without to-do lists but I might have too many of them. I’m so scatterbrained that I feel dependent on them. I spent much less time on social media today and felt twice as productive. It can be fun but in the end it’s only so helpful and then it just becomes a distraction.
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
I’m with you about time management — been away from social media for almost a week now and it’s so refreshing to get things done on my to-do list.
Love tofu in every way imaginable :)
Spices of India says
Photography is nice. Dish which you have been served is delicious.
Denise Wilson says
Great recipe! It’s a bit spicy for me, but my husband loved it.
Julia Stearns says
That sweet and spicy Asian tofu looks absolutely fantastic. Beautiful photos, too. I look forward to trying this, thx Jennifer!