Mushroom and Tofu Stir Fry

Kieran and I had the pleasure of taking a hike this past weekend. Reconnecting with nature was one of the many reasons we decided to move to this outdoor’s lovers paradise.

K and I currently reside in an Airbnb on the SW side of Portland. We’re looking to buy a house on the NE, SE, or N side of town. So Saturday we viewed open houses, grocery shopped, and accomplished other “move to Portland” type of work. We piled our Saturday with these types of chores so Sunday could be reserved for nothing but fun.

Sunday afternoon, we set out for our first hike. The plethora of outdoors activities in and near Portland will make your head swim. Luckily, we found a great hike, near Pittock Mansion, which was only a 10 minute drive from our Airbnb! You can learn more about the location of our hike here.

I misread the information about the hike and told Kieran we would be walking 3.8 miles round trip. Unbeknownst to me, the hike was 3.8 miles one way! Whoops! Hahahaha! Fortunately, the weather was perfect, so Kieran and I were content roaming the trails and spending quality time in nature.

Mushroom and Tofu Stir Fry

A 3.8 mile walk in Chicago would be a piece of cake, since the state is flat. Oregon, however, is nothing but hills, and this particular hike has an elevation gain of 900 feet! My legs and calves were SCREAMING by the time we reached Pittock Mansion yet I was sooooo happy! It felt tremendous to be in the fresh air and sunshine getting an ample dose of exercise.

After we explored the views around Pittock Mansion, which are positively awe-inspiring, we headed back to our car, and trecked downhill for another 3.8 miles. By the time we returned to our car our feet were spent, but our mood was joyous. Kieran and I gleefully and wearily looked at each other as we picked our next Portland exploring activity…!!!! After a 6 mile hike, we wanted to nosh on some beef, so we did a search for restaurants on our map and found Dick’s Kitchen.

I was completely enamored with Dick’s Kitchen. It’s everything I wanted in a Portland dining experience. The ingredients were local, sustainable, and unique. Kieran and I savored hibiscus mojitos, buffalo burgers, kale salads, and no-fry french fries (they were baked and very delicious). Our cute, bubbly server told us they don’t use butter at Dick’s, instead they use healthier oils to cook with. The menu boasted many vegan and gluten-free options too! Kieran and I will absolutely be back to dine at Dick’s!

Kieran and I have been in Portland for 3 weeks and this town has already inspired me to eat better.

mushroom and tofu stir fry eating well

I’ve talked about being a meat eater before….which I still am…..but I feel a stronger urge to connect with nature’s goodness, and eat vegetarian and vegan more than ever. I’m certain living in Portland has everything to do with it. I was craving mushrooms and spinach for dinner, so to keep with the vegan theme I chose tofu as my protein. Honestly, I’ve always like tofu, but never cooked with it before. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to prepare.

Now, for this dish I kept the flavors simple, my goal was to let the taste of the vegetables shine through. I didn’t want to mask the freshness with an overpowering stir fry sauce. After the stir fry was complete, I added a few dashes of soy sauce, siracha, and lemon juice to brighten the veggies up. For me, it was all the veggies needed, but get down with your sauce-y self if you need more fancy flavors.

You could make an outstanding sauce by mixing soy sauce, honey, and rice vinegar. Or you can use your favorite store bought brand.

If you prefer a fresher approach like me, be sure to really season the tofu or the recipe will be…..meh.

I salted that tofu son of a bitch like it was my day job. Shit, you could probably even marinate the tofu in soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic before you stir fry it. Damn…..that sounds good now. Maybe next time. 😀

Ooooooh, I bet topping this off with a drizzle of sesame oil and sesame seeds would be off the damn taste chain!

This recipe is simple..the longest part if prepping your veggies, garlic, and ginger. The moment you have the prep work done, it cooks quickly. Every time you add another veggie, add a small pinch of salt, rather than throw a bunch of salt at the beginning or end, of the recipe. You’ll have WAY more control of the salt content if you add a little with each added ingredient, rather then big clumps of salt at the beginning and the end.

I look forward to what Portland’s food scene has in store for me and sharing more Portland exploring experiences along the way!

Mushroom and Tofu Stir Fry

Mushroom and Tofu Stir Fry


Stir Fry:

  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained, and cut into 3 equal slabs
  • 4 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoon sliced garlic (approx 4 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup green parts of green onion
  • ¼ cup white parts green onion
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce (optional):

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey


Optional Sauce:

  • Heat the soy sauce and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the honey is dissolved, then add the rice vinegar.
  • Let the mixture simmer and reduce for 1-3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Stir Fry:

  • Drain the tofu and slice into 3 equal parts. Pat the tofu dry, carefully, on both sides. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt on each side of the tofu, gentling patting the salt into the tofu. Tear off a little piece of tofu and taste it. If it's bland, add more salt. Cut the 3 slabs of tofu into cubes.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium-high heat, in a large skillet.
  • Add the tofu and cook until the tofu is nicely browned on each side, approx 5-7 minutes (depending on how hot your pan is). Gently move the tofu around with a spatula, frequently, to ensure even browning and no burning.
  • When the tofu is nicely browned, put it on a paper towel lined plate, and let drain.
  • Heat another tablespoon of coconut oil in the same skillet (no need to wipe out the pan). Add the mushroom in a single layer…if you can and cook, without stirring, for 5-7 minutes, so the mushrooms can caramelize. Stir the mushrooms and add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir.
  • Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
  • Add more coconut oil, if needed, once it's melted, add the garlic and ginger. Turn the heat down to medium. Constantly stir the ginger and garlic until they become fragrant, which will take approx 30 seconds.
  • Now add the red pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the red pepper is soft, approx 5-7 minutes. Turn down the heat if need be to prevent burning the garlic and ginger.
  • When the rep pepper is almost cooked to your liking…add the white parts of the green onion and cook for another couple of minutes.
  • Now add the spinach, in small batches, and stir until ALL of the spinach is wilted.
  • Add the tofu, mushrooms, and green onion. Add the optional sauce..if using…and mix everything together. Cook a few minutes so the sauce and ingredients can marry a bit.
  • Before adding salt, squeeze lemon juice, from half a lemon, into the pan. Stir and taste… adding more lemon juice or salt and pepper to taste.
  • Finish the dish by stirring in a big handful of cilantro, if using
  • Serve stir fry over rice or quinoa.
  • Add additional soy sauce and Sriracha as you see fit, and enjoy!


For best results….cut your tofu into 3 large slabs. Put them on a cutting board and cover them with a paper towel. Place a cookie sheet on top of the sliced tofu, then put a heavy object, like another pot or books, on top of the cookie sheet.
Doing this will drain liquid from the tofu, resulting in crispier tofu for this dish.
I personally like to “drain” my tofu for an 1-2 hours before I start cooking.
Remember to add a small pinch of salt after you add each ingredient. It’s easier to control the salt content when you add a little at a time, throughout the meal, rather than adding big clumps of salt at the beginning or the end of a recipe.

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