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Pan-Fried Tofu With Ginger Spinach and Mushrooms [Vegan]

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I had never tried pan frying tofu before. There was something about this moist, soft creature and a pot of oil that intimidated me. I also somehow felt that frying tofu entailed a lot of oil, something which in my mind defeated the purpose of eating tofu in the first place. I did, however, so love lightly fried tofu, braised or stir fried in a myriad assortment of sauces. I was finally emboldened by this post.

In this recipe, I did use a good hard anodized pan and used more that the tablespoon of oil, but not a whole lot more. I think the key to getting this right was actually the blotting of the tofu. The vegetables in this dish, pack a lot of good flavor from a light spark from the ginger and the woody softness of the mushrooms folded into the wilted spinach.

Pan Fried Tofu With Ginger Spinach and Mushrooms [Vegan]

This Recipe is :

Dairy Free Vegan


4 servings

Cook Time



  • 1 pound of extra firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil
  • For the base
  • 3 plus 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or water
  • 2 cups of baby spinach leaves
  • 2 fresh or 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered or chopped into a large dice
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut the tofu into 2 inch pieces, place on a plate and sprinkle with the salt and set aside to release water for about 20 minutes.
  2. Blot the tofu gently but thoroughly to absorb as much water as you can.
  3. Add the oil for frying on a large hard anodized skillet and heat for 1 and a half minutes on medium heat.
  4. Carefully place the tofu in a single layer, the tofu starts heating up and makes spluttering sounds. Leave the tofu undisturbed for 5-6 minutes before turning. Carefully lift a piece to see that the tofu has formed a golden crust. Cook on the other side for another five minutes.
  5. Remove the tofu and place on a plate, or add to the spinach mixture and toss.
  6. While the tofu is cooking, add the 3 tablespoons of oil in a separate pan and heat for a minute of medium heat.
  7. Add in the shallots and the cumin seeds and cook on medium heat until the shallots wilt and begin to turn golden.
  8. Add in the ginger and sauté well.
  9. Add in the mushrooms and stir well. Add in the two additional tablespoons of oil and the white wine or water and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  10. Mix in the spinach leaves, the tomatoes and red chili powder and the agave.
  11. Cook for 2 minutes, until the tomato begins releasing its moisture.
  12. Stir in the salt if using and gently fold in the tofu and serve hot.





Rinku Bhattacharya is a creative Indian cooking teacher and writer, who began teaching Indian cooking almost a decade ago, to share the culture and home flavors of her native India.  Passionate about a conscious lifestyle and seasonal living, she shares her recipes and experiences are chronicled on her blog Spice Chronicles. This concept has translated to two cookbooks. The first is a part memoir, part narrative-style cookbook, "The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles," which was the winner of the 2013 Gourmand Awards for Best Indian Cuisine cookbook. In her second cookbook -- "Spices and Seasons, Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors" -- Rinku offers recipes inspired by the local bounty of the Hudson Valley. The book also offers tips and ideas on creating a green kitchen and reducing your food footprint!



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2 comments on “Pan-Fried Tofu With Ginger Spinach and Mushrooms [Vegan]”

Click to add comment
Lynn Jenkinson
4 Years Ago

Who put that recipe together? Did you proof read it before you posted it? In the first part you have the reader cooking the tofu to the point of mixing it w/ the salad. You follow that with..."while you're cooking the tofu...." you go on to say to start the salad, but how can the salad need to be started, if you already placed the finish tofu on it in the the first few steps?

Valerie Pegg
6 Years Ago

Yum yum. Thank you!!! I have everything I need for this recipe. Dinner tomorrow!


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