Tag Archives: sesame seeds

(Sort of) Spicy Green Beans and Tofu

The challenge was to turn these:

into a dish that Lupe would eat.

Here’s my solution:

This is fast and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Here we’ve got 1 14-ounce package of tofu, cubed and patted dry, about 1 1/2 cups of trimmed, chopped green beans, and a sauce made of soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, and Sambal Oelek chili paste (found at Asian markets as well as many grocery stores). If you don’t have the ingredients for this sauce, it’s fine to substitute with teriyaki or some other sauce.

I had an instance of Mommy Brain and forgot to pull the sesame seeds for this picture.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil and carefully put the tofu in the pan once the oil is hot. Stir it around often. After a few minutes, it’ll start to brown on all sides. Add the green beans. I try to use fairly thinnish green beans, which is hard because the kids are tempted to pick the biggest, plumpest green beans they find on the vines. Cook, stirring frequently, until the green beans are cooked but still crisp.

Add the sauce and stir constantly, about 30-60 seconds, about enough time to cook the garlic and season the tofu and green beans, without overcooking the vegetable.

Meanwhile, heat a second, smaller skillet over medium heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and toast for just a few minutes. Move them around the pan often. Sprinkle over the green beans and tofu. We like to eat this over rice.

But it’s also pretty tasty straight out of the pan.

(Sort of) Spicy Green Beans and Tofu

serves 4


1 14-ounce package of tofu (we prefer firm or extra-firm), cubed and patted dry

1 1/2 cups of trimmed and cut green beans

1 tablespoon canola oil for frying

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

scant 1 tablespoon sugar

1 clove of garlic

1/2 tablespoon-1 tablespoon of ground fresh chili paste

1 tablespoon sesame seeds


1. Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, and chili paste together in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil.

3. When the oil is hot, add the tofu, being careful not to cause the oil to splatter. Stir frequently until the tofu begins to brown on all sides, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Add the green beans and stir often.

5. After about 2 minutes, or when the green beans are done but still slightly crunchy, add the sauce. Stir constantly, until all the tofu and green beans are coated.

6. Remove from heat after about 30-60 seconds.

7. In the meantime, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Toast the sesame seeds until lightly browned. Sprinkle over the green beans and tofu.


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