Tofu & Pepper Stir Fry in Mango Sauce – Mango Madness Month

stir fry

This entree dish for the Mango Madness Month was a bit of a challenge  although at the end I was very happy with the way this dish turned out. My initial fear was that it will taste very mango-y, but it didn’t which was great! The stir fry sauce is thick and has a very subtle underlying flavor of mango which compliments the sharp flavors from the peppers really well. The sauce turns out to be quite thick so there is no need to use cornstarch or any other thickening agent.

The inspiration behind this recipe are various dishes like Ma Po Tofu served at P.F Chang’s, which happens to be one of my favorite dishes and Orange Chicken (from my chicken eating days) served at Panda Express. The concept is the same – to add tofu fried crispy to a tangy and thick sauce. Now, a healthy spin on this recipe would be to skip the deep frying part and add the tofu as is – it can be done but in that case I would suggest that you use silken tofu and add it towards the end, almost when the dish is ready or else it will break and lose its shape. I personally like the tofu fried because that gives it a firm shape and a great texture.

I also added a handful of cashews in the stir fry, but if you suffer from any kind of allergies, feel free too skip it. I added cashews just because I like emm. Other than that its a pretty simple recipe that is broken down into three main steps – preparing the tofu, preparing the sauce and stir frying the veggies to put it all together. Serve the stir fry over some steamed rice or rice noodles.

stir fry

Thai Sweet Basil

Serving for 3 

Cooking time 30 to 40 minutes

Things you will need:

tofu, cut into cubes

1 egg

½ cup all purpose flour

1 tbsp rice flour, can be substituted with cornstarch

Salt & pepper

oil for frying tofu + 2 tbsp more oil

1 firm mango, cut into small pieces

1 medium onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch sticks

1 green bell pepper, cut into ½ inch sticks

¼ cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce

Scallions cut into 1 inch pieces

handful of cashews

3 tsp – a mixture of minced garlic and ginger

1 green chili chopped (optional)

few sprigs of Thai sweet basil

  1. Dab tofu in a paper towel lightly to get rid of any excess water. Don’t press it too much as the tofu might break.
  2. In a large bowl add tofu, egg, salt and pepper. Mix till the tofu is coated evenly with egg. Keep aside.
  3. In another bowl mix together the flour and rice flour.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok for frying.
  5. Place tofu in the flour mixture, turn it around so that its coated with the flour mixture evenly. Fry on medium high till it turns golden brown. Take out on a paper towel to absorb access oil. Keep aside.
  6. In a saucepan heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Add onions and 2 tsp ginger garlic mixture – cook on high till the onions start to turn golden.
  7. Add mangoes and cook till the fruit starts turning soft.
  8. Add 1 tbsp of tamari sauce and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the mixture cool.
  9. Puree the mixture to form smooth paste. Add a little water if its too thick. Keep aside.
  10. In a large wok heat 1 tbsp of oil and add 1 tsp ginger garlic mixture. Cook for a few seconds and add both kind of peppers and green chili (if using) and stir fry on high heat till the peppers are slightly cooked.
  11. Add scallions, cashews and tofu and toss to mix it well.
  12. Add the rest of tamari sauce and continue to cook till it coats everything evenly.
  13. Add the mango sauce and mix well. If it looks too thick add a little warm water till you reach the consistency of your preference.
  14. Add basil leaves, stir and turn the heat off. Taste to check for seasoning.
  15. Serve over steamed rice.