Tofu Stir-Fry Even a Carnivore Can Love

I have to admit: This is the first time I cooked tofu at home! Ooh, and it was delish! Even my meat-loving hubby enjoyed it. I read some articles, skimmed many recipes, and then decided to make my own.

You might wonder what the heck FODMAPs are. No worries—I’m not going to label another food or food group as toxic! FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides And Polyols. They are all carbohydrates that, in some people, are not absorbed in the small intestines. They travel to your large intestines where they meet the healthy bacteria in your gut. And these bacteria are happy to ferment, or eat, those carbohydrates for energy. The result, for some people, is not so happy–they suffer from gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, lose stool, and/or constipation.

If you have these symptoms, know that you don’t have to live with the pain, embarrassment, or hassle of finding a bathroom everywhere you go! Low FODMAPs diet to alleviate IBS symptoms is one of my specialties.

Low-Sodium Tofu Stir-Fry with Low-FODMAPs Modifications

Recipe by Nour Zibdeh, MS, RD, CLT

Serves 4 

3 Tbsp. cornstarch, divided
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp cashew butter (or peanut or almond)*
1 15-oz. package low-sodium extra firm tofu
1 Tbsp. peanut oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped*
1½ cup sliced carrots
2 cup chopped bok choy, pressed
1½ cup chopped broccoli*
2 Tbsp. raw, unsalted cashews, chopped and divided
Sriracha sauce or red pepper flakes, optional
Cooked brown rice or rice noodles


  1. Combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch, chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar and cashew butter in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cut tofu into 3/4-inch cubes. Pat dry with a paper towel. Toss with 2 tablespoons corn starch in a medium bowl.
  3. Heat tablespoon peanut oil in a wok. Add tofu and leave for 3 to 5 minutes unstirred to form a crispy layer. Stir after 5 minutes and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure all sides are crispy. Remove from wok and set aside.
  4. In the same wok, sauté the garlic for 30 seconds (add 1/2 tablespoon peanut oil if there wasn’t more oil left in the wok after cooking the tofu). Add broccoli, carrots and one-quarter the amount of broth-soy-sauce-cashew-butter sauce. Stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add broccoli, carrots and one-quarter the amount of the sauce. Stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add bok choy and the remaining liquid. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cooked tofu.
  7. Serve immediately with rice noodles or brown rice. Top each serving with chopped cashews. Sprinkle Sriracha sauce or red pepper flakes if desired.

Recipe Tips

  • I decided to go with extra-firm tofu. I found an organic, low-sodium brand from Trader Joe’s. Make sure you read labels. Some tofu products can be loaded with preservatives and salt, and for a stir-fry to be low-sodium, you really need to start with low-sodium tofu.
  • Brown the tofu to give it a crispy texture. It softens a little after you mix all ingredients together, so leave it alone in a wok or sauté pan to brown. I like to add nut butters to a stir-fry, and this time I went with cashew butter and cashews as garnish. Feel free to use any nut you like or can have.

*Low-FODMAPs Modifications

  • Omit the garlic. Or, if you’d like the garlic flavor, wipe the wok dry after browning the tofu. Add fresh oil and whole garlic cloves. Sauté for 2 minutes then remove the garlic cloves from the oil before adding any water, broth or vegetables.
  • The updated (December 2012) FODMAP list from Monash University considers half a cup of broccoli to be low in FODMAPs. The amount in this serving should be okay. If fructans or broccoli don’t sit well with you, replace broccoli with bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, bell peppers, green beans or water chestnuts.
  • Do not use cashew butter or cashews. Use peanut and peanut butter instead of cashew butter.
Nour Zibdeh, MS, RD, CLT on Blogger
Nour Zibdeh, MS, RD, CLT
Nour Zibdeh, MS, RD, CLT, is a Northern Virginia-based registered dietitian who specializes in weight management, cardiovascular disease, food sensitivities and digestive conditions. Read her recipes and nutrition advice on her blog,