Spicy Sambal Tofu w/ Broccoli & Peanut Sauce

Spicy Sambal Tofu w Broccoli & Peanut Sauce

If you like a little spice with your tofu, then you’ll love this dish! It’s simple, filling, inexpensive and super-quick to pull together.

This was the first way I have ever had tofu prepared for me. I enrolled in a county sponsored, volunteer nutrition certification class, whereby, once I was certified, I could go teach people how to prepare and cook the SAD diet. Another story for another post, I assure you, but just know, it was about 6 years ago, circa 2013 and pre-me-vegan.

As part of our last assignment in class we had to complete a food presentation of our choice and one of my fellow classmate volunteer-hopefuls, Helen, who was vegan, decided to cook for us. We loved Helen. She whipped up a simple tofu “stir-fry” right before my eyes, in a just a matter of moments! Like many non-tofu eaters at the time, I was skeptically.

Since that day, this has become one of my go-to, tofu dishes. I have tweaked the recipe for my tastes (we like spicy!), and I hope you enjoy all these scrumptious flavors that I find a tad addicting.

Looking back, Helen was the first vegan I had really gotten to know. We had food in common. I was not even vegetarian at the time and even though I thought of myself as a good cook, she was way better than I, for the simple fact that she knew how to develop great flavors using simple, plant based ingredients. When she cooked for me, it was usually tofu and usually prepared in a cast iron skillet.

Sadly, I’ve since lost touch with Helen, but, I am forever grateful that she introduced me to tofu and veganism and how not to be afraid of cast iron. All life-changing in more ways than I can count.

I hope you think this dish is as simple and easy as it is spicy and pleasing. Let me know how you made it your own in the comments below!


Spicy Sambal Tofu w/Broccoli & Peanut Sauce

Jennifer Markell
A simple tofu broccoli stir-fry, using a just few ingredients and a hot cast-iron skillet. Cast-iron seriously does add iron to your diet, so think of it as a good-for-you pan. And the tofu in this dish loves that cast iron heat! Be sure you press out the water from the tofu, then watch the sambal hug the chunks of tofu as it sears in the pan. Add more samabal oelek for more heat. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian
Servings 6


For the Tofu

  • 1 block extra firm tofu -pressed and cubed
  • 2 tbsp sambal oelek
  • 2 tbsp organic tamari reduced sodium
  • 3 - 4 cups steamed broccoli I usually use one head of broccoli
  • 2 cups organic basmati rice uncooked

For the peanut sauce

  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 3 tbsp organic tamari reduced sodium
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil (if NOSS, use tahini)
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter I use the crunchy kind for more texture


  • chopped scallions
  • toasted sesame seeds


  • Cook rice. While rice is cooking, press the water out of the tofu and cube. Toss cubed tofu with the sambal and tamari and let sit for a few minutes. Steam broccoli.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-medium/high heat. Add the tofu and sear until a nice warm color develops. While tofu is searing (about 10 minutes) make the sauce by whisking all ingredients together. Set aside.  
  • Add the broccoli to the tofu and toss so the sambal oelek is coating the tofu and the veg. Add a little more sambal if you can handle the heat!
  • Once the tofu and broccoli are completely heated through (after about 6-8 min), add a handful of chopped scallions and let cook for another minute or two.
  • Remove from heat. Scoop the spicy tofu and broccoli mixture over your cooked rice and spoon the peanut sauce over the dish. Top with more chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Keyword samabal oelek, Stir Fry, tofu

Note: Nutrition Facts on all recipes are an approximation only, using the Very Well Fit recipe nutrition calculator.


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Meet Jennifer

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I'm Chef Jennifer! A trained and certified personal vegan chef, offering delicious and nutritious animal-free food through personalized, weekly meal-prep services. I also love advocating for the plant-based lifestyle. Changing lives, saving animals and veganizing the planet with REAL food, one plate at a time.🍎🥦🥕

Learn about me, why I started VIR and why I believe food is medicine...for real!


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