Recipe: Crunchy Tofu with Chilli and Green Beans

This crunchy tofu with chilli and green beans dish is seriously tasty. A good amount of heat, a serious amount of flavour and yet it’s super easy to make! This has fast become a go-to dish for dinner for me!

Crunchy Tofu with Chilli and Green Beans | I Spy Plum Pie

I slightly tweaked a recipe from the Vegan With Bite cookbook

Ingredients List

For the Crunchy Tofu

  • 900g extra firm tofu
  • 4tbs oil
  • 6tbs cornstarch
  • 1tsp onion powder
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 2tsp salt

For the Dish

  • 9 garlic cloves
  • 4-8 bird’s eye chillies (to taste)
  • 500g green beans
  • 4tbs soy sauce
  • 2tbs mushroom oyster sauce
  • 2tbs vegan fish sauce
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 1tbs caster sugar
  • 2tbs cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • Bunch of Thai basil


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray
  2. Press the tofu and then cut into 2cm cubes
  3. Place the tofu cubes in a bowl and pour over the oil, tossing to coat
  4. Add the cornstarch, onion and garlic powders and salt and toss well to coat
  5. Place on the baking tray in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes, then turn and bake for a further 15 minutes until golden and crispy
  6. Meanwhile, mince the garlic and finely chop the chillies
  7. Combine in a mortar and pestle until you have a paste
  8. Top and tail the beans and cut until 5cm pieces, set aside
  9. Combine the sauces, sugar and cornstarch in a jug and set aside
  10. When the tofu is ready, heat the oil in a wok or large fry pan then add the garlic and chilli paste and cook for 10-15 seconds
  11. Add the tofu and beans and toss to coat
  12. Pour in the combined sauces and stock and toss regularly for 1-2 minutes, then add most of the Thai basil leaves and combine
  13. Serve with rice and top with remaining basil leaves

Crunchy Tofu with Chilli and Green Beans | I Spy Plum Pie

Ok so I know that looks like a lot of steps for this crunchy tofu with chilli and green beans dish but I promise it’s not difficult or time consuming! Most of the time is in the baking of the tofu – once that is done it’s on the table in no time at all! I love how crunchy the tofu stays even when coated with all those delicious sauces – you end up with such a great combo of textures and flavours.

Crunchy Tofu with Chilli and Green Beans | I Spy Plum Pie

If you haven’t pressed tofu before it is very easy, but does need some forward planning. Basically, you want to place the tofu between some paper towel, or a clean tea towel, and weigh it down with some tins or bowls. I like to place a heavy chopping board on top and then place some tinned beans on top – no need for anything fancy. The longer you can leave it to press the crunchier the tofu will end up, but it will still be delicious if you don’t have lots of time on your hands.

Crunchy Tofu with Chilli and Green Beans | I Spy Plum Pie

I highly recommend you give this crunchy tofu with chilli and green beans dish a try!

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3 Comments on Recipe: Crunchy Tofu with Chilli and Green Beans

  1. Jake
    December 19, 2020 at 7:59 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Liz,

    I am just making your tofu recipe now. Thanks for the inspiration.

    In the recipe it calls for 200mls of Veg stock. But, in the instructions there is no mention of the stock.

    I hope you have survived the Melbourne madness. I am in Perth, but my bro is in Melbourne and he and his family struggled big time.

    Anyway, thanks again. I will take a guess and add the stock with the beans and see how we go.

    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      December 19, 2020 at 8:02 pm (3 years ago)

      It goes in with the sauces, I will update now – sorry about that!

  2. Jake
    December 19, 2020 at 9:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Liz,

    Just finished making this. It was very good.

    I must confess to going a bit rogue on the ingredient front.

    To start with I misread the instructions and added a tablespoon of onion powder. Not a teaspoon. But, it had no effect on the flavour so the more the better.

    Because it was a last minute decision to make this, I also discovered that I didn’t have any Oyster Sauce. I used Hoisin sauce that I had in the fridge. Hoisin was a perfect replacement. I am not sure Hoisin is truly vegan, I didn’t look closely at the ingredients.

    I had no Thai basil, so I just used fresh coriander. Coriander worked really well.

    I didn’t have any birdseye chillis. So, I just used about 1 heaped tablespoon of chilli flakes. The flakes we have are not too hot, so it was fine for my kids to eat. They enjoyed the tofu as well.

    I didn’t bother to use the mortar and pestle. I just minced the garlic and added the chilli flakes and cooked that off for 10-15 seconds.

    Sauces were great.

    Just one little cooking tip, I cooked my tofu in the pan for obviously a little bit too long. I was just trying to cook the beans a fraction more. But, the longer you cook the tofu and beans, the thicker the sauce becomes. So, you will need to add more water or stock.

    It did become a little claggy eventually.

    Anyway, thanks for the inspiration. The flavours were excellent and the cooking effort was pretty easy.

    My vegetarian wife has given it the thumbs up.


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