Thai-Style Basil Tofu and Asparagus

by on June 22, 2006
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We’re a family of basil lovers. I’ve found that I can get my daughter to eat just about anything if it tastes like “pesto” (witness the miracle eggplant and squash quinoa from a few days ago). So each year I plant as much basil as I can find room for. This year I have a bumper crop, so don’t be surprised if you see a lot of basil in the next couple of weeks.

One of my favorite non-pesto ways to use basil is in Thai dishes. This one is an adaptation of a Vegetarian Times recipe that uses green beans. I didn’t have green beans, but I did have loads of asparagus since it’s been so inexpensive lately. I was considering substituting it when I just happened upon a Thai recipe that used asparagus and basil, posted by the very creative Barbara at Tigers and Strawberries. Well, that sealed the deal! If Barbara said the combination was delicious, that was good enough for me. And she was right–the asparagus was crisp and tender, and the basil and lime leaves gave it just the right peppery tang. I went easy on the chiles, but for a true Thai taste, add more and really heat it up.

Thai-Style Basil Tofu and Asparagus


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kamisbutterfly September 3, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I just made this and WOW amazing. I modified a few things, including omitting the chilies since I'm sensitive to spicy food but I did notice the end result could have used a little more kick, do you think I could accomplish this by using ginger?

And side note of sorts I love LOVE this blog. I have a youtube channel where I do mostly makeup and beauty videos but plan to branch out and do cooking videos as well. I wanted to post your blog and mention it in my intro cooking video and link back to it (and credit you of course!) for every dish I make that is modified from one of your recipes. I just wanted to know if you'd like to see a link to where I am doing this and if it's okay with you! :] I really want to share your great blog with all my subscribers.


2 SusanV September 3, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Hi Kamisbutterfly! I'd be honored for you to mention my blog in your cooking video. Please do send me a link so I can check it out.


3 SusanV September 3, 2009 at 2:25 pm

P.S.–Yes, I think ginger would be a good choice to perk up the flavor without adding heat.


4 kamisbutterfly September 4, 2009 at 11:27 am

Great, I'll try some ginger next time!

Here is the link to the video where I make your recipe:


5 KZ September 21, 2009 at 2:53 am

I made this tonight.
It was awesome.


6 Midnight Rose November 9, 2009 at 6:12 pm

I made this tonight and it was amazing. It didn't take me very long (great, because I'm pretty inexperienced when it comes to cooking and I get flustered easily) and my friend also came over and loved it – which is surprising since she hates tofu, asparagus and pretty everything else included in this dish. I'll def. be making this again πŸ™‚


7 Emily July 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Always love your recipes, and I stumbled on this one tonight when looking for a way to use up some aging basil. I substituted green beans for the asparagus, used a generous amount of chilies, and left out the bell pepper (simply because I didn’t have any) and it was delicious! Thanks!


8 Kellie August 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Have you tried Thai Basil?? I got a plant at the beginning of summer from my local CSA this year and I am having a great time cooking up Asian dishes with it. It taste very different than regular basil but grows even better. I haven’t had the pest problems that often happen with my regular basil. Try planting some next year.


9 anthony August 17, 2010 at 12:58 am

Very interesting. I will have to give this a try soon.


10 Lil fruit Bat June 4, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Mmmm I have made this twice already and I absolutely love it! My Mom isn’t a veggie but she loves vegan food and she also thought it was terrific πŸ™‚ Susan I praise you for another wonderful recipe and this great blog πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for bringing us such delicious vegan recipes πŸ™‚


11 Arleen March 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Made this today and it is wonderful! I do think that next time I make it (and there will be many next times) I will bake the tofu then add it to the stir fried veggies. Thank you for another great recipe!


12 marcia June 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm

I’ve given up trying to plan meals in advance- I often end up making whatever you’ve posted for the day! Made this tonight—- delicious! Used tofu I had frozen/thawed. After cooking the tofu, I removed it from the pan to cook the other vegies, returning it with the asparagus ( so it wouldn’t fall apart as much). Added shaved carrots and ginger root. Served over brown/wild rice. Definitely a keeper!


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