Stir-fried Garlic Scapes with Pork & Tofu
This Stir-fried Garlic Scapes with Pork & Tofu is quick and easy to make in 20 minutes, and jam-packed with flavor! Tender pork slices, tofu, and garlic scapes get tossed with fragrant aromatics in a delicious spicy Sichuan-style sauce!
You guys, I have a wicked delicious stir-fry for you today! And it boasts the most incredible, spicy and mouthwatering sauce!
This Stir-fried Garlic Scapes with Pork & Tofu is super easy to make, and full of fragrant aromatics like garlic, ginger, and fresh red chilies. It’s also loaded with sweet and mellow garlic scapes (more on them later), thinly sliced pressed firm brown tofu (which, by the way have the most AMAZING texture and mouthfeel once stir-fried), and juicy and tender marinated pork fillet slices. Everything gets tossed together with Sichuan dou ban jiang (chili bean sauce) and a fragrant salty-sweet sauce with a hint of sesame flavor!
Not going to lie, I literally licked the dish the first time I made this stir-fry. I then made a vegetarian version (details are in the ‘Variations’ section below) for my parents (who’re both vegetarians) a few days later and they proceeded to lick the dish clean too! Needless to say, this stir-fry has been a BIG hit in our homes, and I guarantee that you and your family will love it too!
If you’re looking to add an easy weeknight stir-fry to your repertoire, you’re going to want to bookmark this one. People will be coming back for seconds when you make it, and you personally will want to make it over and over again!
Why This Recipe Works
- It’s super quick and easy to whip up on any given weeknight, and is ready in just 20 minutes inclusive of prep time!
- You can customize it with different/additional veggies, as well as use chicken/beef if pork is not your thing.
- Pixian dou ban jiang, a spicy, salty, and slightly sour paste made from fermented broad beans and chili peppers adds wonderful big and bold flavors to this dish!
- Garlic scapes lend sweet and mellow notes, and they balance out all the spicy elements.
- Pressed firm brown tofu has a wonderful chewy and firm texture that will please your palate.
- The Sichuan-style sauce is incredibly tasty and addictive, especially when eaten with a bowl of steamed rice!
- Marinated Pork: I used pork fillet, which is also known as pork tenderloin. But you can use pork loin too, or other meat such as chicken or beef. (See ‘Variations’ below for more tips on customizing this stir-fry.) The pork is marinated with ground white pepper , soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, sesame oil, and corn starch.
- Garlic Scapes: Also known as garlic shoots or sprouts. They are sold by the bunch and can be found in farmer’s markets, grocery shops in Chinatown if there’s one near you, as well as in wet markets and Asian supermarkets during spring and summer. They look like Chinese chives (Garlic chives), but have yellow tough bottoms and bulb at the top. Although they can be eaten raw, they will be tough and have a strong garlicky flavor. Once cooked, they become sweet and mellow, and taste fantastic in stir-fries, soups, fried rice, pizzas, frittatas, omelettes, etc. See FAQs below to find out how to prepare garlic scapes for stir-fries.
- Chilies: I used Bird’s Eye red chilies, but any small hot red chilies that you can get in your area will work. Adjust the quantity to taste based on your heat level preference.
- Tofu: I used pressed firm brown tofu squares here. You can find them in wet markets in Asia, stores that specialize in the making and selling of tofu, and in Asian supermarkets if you’re based in the US. If unavailable, use extra firm tofu instead.
- Dou Ban Jiang (Chili Bean Sauce): This is a piquant chili sauce/paste made with fermented beans. I highly recommend using a Sichuan Pixian dou ban jiang (which is easiest to find online) for this recipe, but Lee Kum Kee’s Chili Bean Sauce will work if that’s what you have on hand. Keep in mind that Lee Kum Kee’s chili bean sauce is sweeter and has several additional flavoring ingredients as opposed to authentic Pixian dou ban jiang. You may need adjust the quantity to taste if using LKK’s version of the sauce.
- Oil: I used canola oil for cooking, but any neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point will work.
- Peppercorn Chili Oil: This adds to the Sichuan flavors in this dish. It’s made of Sichuan red peppercorns. But since this dish only calls for a small amount, it won’t give the dish the same numbing properties like the actual Sichuan peppercorns do in Kung Pao Chicken. It simply helps boost the spicy flavor in the sauce and gives it an extra kick. Seek it out in Asian supermarkets or online, or leave it out if you wish to make this dish mild.
- Chili Oil (optional): This is a pure Chinese chili oil without any chili flakes or seeds. You can also use a Japanese version (La-Yu) if you wish, or omit if you’d like to make this dish milder.
- Shao Xing Rice Wine: This is a fragrant Chinese cooking wine that can be found in Asian supermarkets and online. You can use dry sherry as a substitute if unavailable.
- Oyster Sauce: Another staple sauce in Asian cooking which can be found in Asian supermarkets and some large supermarkets. While it’s made from oyster extracts, it does not taste strongly of oysters. It has a salty-sweet flavor profile, and is very thick and viscous. I used a Chinese one (not Thai) by Lee Kum Kee’s Panda brand for this recipe.
Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.
How to Make Stir-fried Garlic Scapes with Pork & Tofu
- Cook the marinated pork. In a tablespoon of oil in a large wok (or large frying pan) over high heat. Get the slices nice and seared on all sides, then transfer to a clean bowl and wipe out the wok.
- Sauté onion and aromatics. Heat the remaining oils in the wok and add the dou ban jiang and onion. Sauté until slightly softened, then add the aromatics and stir-fry briefly until fragrant.
- Cook the garlic scapes. Add the garlic scapes, a bit of water to help them cook and soften, and the tofu. Toss and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the pork and sauce. Stir-fry until combined well and the sauce has thickened. Then stir in the spring onion and switch off the heat.
- Serve! Transfer to a serving bowl/dish, and garnish with more chopped spring onion if desired. Serve immediately with some warm steamed rice!
Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Don’t overcrowd the wok. Use a nice large wok or large frying pan so that the ingredients can cook quickly over the heat and not expel too much liquid.
- Cook over high heat. It’s the best way to get things to sear instead of stew.
- Have all your ingredients prepped before you switch on the stove. This stir-fry is ready in under 10 minutes, so it’s best to have everything ready and by the side of your wok before you start cooking.
- Make it gluten-free. Use a gluten-free soy sauce (or Tamari), gluten-free oyster sauce, and dry sherry instead of the Shao Xing rice wine.
- Make it vegetarian. Omit the meat and marinade ingredients. For the sauce, whisk together 1.5 teaspoon corn starch, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon vegetarian mushroom flavored oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon low sodium light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Shao Xing rice wine, 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. For veggies, you can use yellow onion, thinly sliced Asian brown mushrooms (such as shitakes – I used 3 medium-sized pieces), more pressed firm tofu (I used 4 blocks), and half of a small red bell pepper (thinly sliced).
- Heat the oils in the wok, then stir-fry the dou ban jiang with the onion until slightly softened.
- Then add and stir-fry the garlic, ginger, and red chilies until fragrant.
- Add the mushrooms and bell pepper and toss until the mushrooms have slightly softened.
- Next, add the garlic scapes, ¼ cup of water, and the tofu. Toss for a minute to combine, then pour in the sauce. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
- Stir in the spring onion, then switch off the heat and serve!
- Use a different non-veg protein. Feel free to swap the pork fillet for thinly sliced boneless and skinless chicken breast or thighs, or flank steak.
- Use different veggies. You can use sliced bell peppers (any color), matchstick cut carrots, celery, snap beans, mushrooms, etc.
- Make it milder/spicier. As always, feel free to tone down/up the heat level by reducing/increasing the number of fresh red chilies you use. You can also omit the chili oil if you prefer a milder dish. If you’re after an even spicier dish, toss in some Sichuan or Thai dried red chili peppers when stir-frying the aromatics.
More Easy Weeknight Stir-fries
- Spicy Kung Pao Chicken
- Yu Xiang Qie Zi (Fish-Fragrant Eggplant)
- Taiwanese Lamb and Water Spinach Stir-fry
- Thai Eggplant Stir-fry
- Peanut Sauce Ground Pork Stir-fry
- Or browse the entire Sichuan and Stir-fry recipe collections.
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Stir-fried Garlic Scapes with Pork & Tofu
Garlic scapes, tender pork slices, and tofu get stir-fried with fragrant aromatics in a spicy Sichuan-style sauce in this easy 20 minute weeknight one wok wonder!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stir-fry
- Cuisine: Sichuan
For the Pork:
- 200 grams / 7 ounces Pork Fillet (pork tenderloin) – excess fat removed and thinly sliced
- ¼ TSP Ground White Pepper
- ½ TBLS Low Sodium Light Soy Sauce
- ½ TBLS Shao Xing Rice Wine
- 1 TSP Corn Starch
- ¼ TSP Sesame Oil
- 1 TBLS Canola Oil (or other cooking oil with a high smoke point)
For the Sauce:
- 1 TBLS Oyster Sauce
- ½ TBLS Low Sodium Light Soy Sauce
- 2 TSP Shao Xing Rice Wine
- ½ TSP White Sugar
- 1 TSP Sesame Oil
- 1 TSP Corn Starch
- ¼ cup Water
For the Stir-fried Garlic Scapes with Pork & Tofu:
- 2 TBLS Canola Oil
- 1 TSP Peppercorn Chili Oil
- ½ TSP Chili Oil (optional)
- 1 TBLS Dou Ban Jiang (Chili Bean Sauce) – Sichuan Pixian Dou Ban Jiang preferred, but Lee Kum Kee’s Chili Bean Sauce will work. (see notes)
- ¼ medium Yellow Onion – sliced into ¼-inch thick strips, then sliced in half widthwise
- 3 Garlic Cloves – minced
- 1 TBLS minced Ginger
- 2–8 Red Chilies (Bird’s Eye preferred, but any small hot red chilies will work), to taste – chopped
- 150 grams / 5.3 ounces Garlic Scapes – bottom tough yellow-green ends and top bulb trimmed off and discarded, then sliced into 1.5-inch pieces
- 2 squares (50-60 grams each) pressed firm Brown Tofu – thinly sliced
- 1 Spring Onion (Scallion/Green Onion) – sliced into 1.5-inch pieces
- To Serve (optional): Chopped spring onion greens, steamed white rice
- Marinate the pork: Thinly slice the pork against the grain. Then add to a bowl, along with the ground white pepper, low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, corn starch, and sesame oil. Mix well to coat, then set aside.
- Make the sauce: Which together the oyster sauce, low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, sugar, sesame oil, corn starch, and water in a measuring cup (for easier pouring) or bowl until combined well, then set aside.
- Prepare the fresh ingredients: Chop/prepare the onion, garlic, ginger, red chilies, garlic scapes, tofu, and spring onion as indicated in the ‘Ingredients’ section.
For the Stir-fried Garlic Scapes with Pork & Tofu:
- Cook the pork: Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large wok (or deep frying pan) over high heat. Once hot, add the marinated pork and spread the sliced out in the pan. Allow to sear for 1 minute, then stir-fry for 30-60 seconds, until the pork is just cooked. Transfer to a clean bowl using a slotted spoon. Wipe out the wok with a paper towel and set it back on the stovetop.
- Sauté onion and aromatics: Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil, 1 teaspoon peppercorn chili oil, and ½ teaspoon of chili oil (if using) in the wok over medium high-heat. Once hot, add the dou ban jiang and onion, and sauté for a minute until the onion has slightly softened. Add the garlic, ginger, and red chilies, and stir-fry for another 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Cook the garlic scapes: Add the garlic scapes, 2 tablespoons of water, and the tofu. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, until the garlic scapes have slightly softened.
- Add the pork and sauce: Give the sauce a quick stir with a spoon (the corn starch will have settled at the bottom). Then add the cooked pork back into the wok and pour the sauce on top. Stir-fry for 1 minute, until combined well and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the spring onion, then switch off the heat.
- To Serve: Transfer to a serving bowl/dish. Garnish with more chopped spring onion if desired and serve immediately with warm steamed rice.
Ingredient Notes, Cook’s Tips, and FAQs
- Dou ban jiang: I used a Pixian dou ban jiang, which is more authentic and stronger in flavor than other types of chili bean sauces/pastes. If you’re not based in Asia, the easiest way to find Pixian dou ban jiang would be to order it online. However, if can only find (or already have) Lee Kum Kee’s version of the sauce on hand, you can use it instead as the dish will still be tasty.Keep in mind that Lee Kum Kee’s Chili Bean Sauce is sweeter and has several additional flavoring ingredients as opposed to Pixian dou ban jiang. You may need adjust the quantity to taste if using LKK’s version of the sauce.
- Garlic Scapes: These are also known as garlic shoots or sprouts. They are sold by the bunch and can be found in farmer’s markets, grocery shops in Chinatown if there’s one near you, as well as in Asian supermarkets and wet markets during spring and summer.
- What to serve with this stir-fry? A bowl of steamed rice is a must to soak up the delicious sauce. You can use brown rice or cauliflower rice if you prefer. A simple side dish of stir-fried or steamed veggies such as bok choy, broccoli, Chinese broccoli, choy sum, or water spinach would pair well with this stir-fry too.
- See post above for tips and variations if you’d like to customize this stir-fry.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 308
- Sugar: 5.8g
- Sodium: 497.4mg
- Fat: 16.8
- Saturated Fat: 1.8
- Unsaturated Fat: 13.6g
- Trans Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 23.5g
- Fiber: 2.3g
- Protein: 15.1g
- Cholesterol: 32.5mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.
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