Amaranth flour and sesame seeds give the perfect nutty crunchy coating to fried tofu in this easy string beans stir fry.
amaranth-crusted tofu with string beans and forbidden rice

This is dude proof tofu.

Also: tofu haters proof tofu, tofu disbelievers proof tofu, tofu unenthusiasts proof tofu….you get the picture.

It’s tofu for the people! ALL the people. Yes, even you.


The secret? Obviously it involves oil. The best things in life always do!

But it also has to do with the nutty crunchy salty amaranth and sesame crust that gives both flavor and texture to what would otherwise be a block of cold grey-blue mush. I love that stuff.

The tofu is really the main squeeze here if you ask me, but the stir fried green beans and onions do a good job of playing second fiddle. They’re lightly seasoned with chilis, ginger, garlic, and tamari sauce and yet they are so full of flavor! I don’t know how it happens, but it does. Then all of a sudden your husband is digging into his second helping and saying this is one of the best things he’s ever eaten. I can’t claim to understand him, but I’ll take it!


I discovered this recipe in one of my current favorite cookbook go-tos called Grains as Mains. Written by two of my favorite bloggers, Sarah from Sarah’s Cucina Bella and Jodi of What’s Cooking Good Looking, this cookbook does a great job of taking ancient grains (spelt, quinoa, buckwheat, farro, polenta…the things we know we should be eating more of) and making them exciting again by incorporating them into modern recipes that you can’t help but want to eat. Featuring stunning photos of almost every recipe, I flip through it’s pages on an almost-daily basis and every time I do, I stumble across a new recipe that I want to make.  Some examples? The Soaked Buckwheat Pancakes with Cherry Almond Sauce, the Caprese Farro Salad, or the Ratatouille Casserole with Farro and Feta. All happening in my kitchen. And soon.

If you’re looking to incorporate more whole grains into your life, then this is definitely a cookbook you need in your wheelhouse. And even if you’re not…you probably still need it. Because it really is that awesome.


Amaranth-Crusted Tofu with String Beans and Forbidden Rice
Amaranth flour and sesame seeds give the perfect nutty crunchy coating to fried tofu in this easy string beans stir fry.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 1⅔ cup black rice
  • 14 oz extra firm tofu, drained
  • ¼ cup amaranth flour
  • 3 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • peanut oil, for frying
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 spicy red chili, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp tamari sauce, plus extra to serve
  • 2 scallions, cut into 1-inch long pieces
  1. Place the rice in a large saucepan and cook according to package instructions. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside.
  2. Pat the tofu dry with paper towels and cut into 16 triangles. Set aside.
  3. Place the amaranth flour and sesame seeds in a shallow dish. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Place the egg in a small bowl. Dip the tofu into the egg and then toss in the amaranth flour mixture until lightly coated. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with remaining tofu.
  4. Heat peanut oil in a medium cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the tofu and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until evenly browned, making sure not to crowd the skillet. Remove with a slotted spoon or skimmer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining tofu.
  5. In a wok, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the onions, ginger, and chiles. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Add teh garlic and cook for another minute. Add teh green beans and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add the tamari sauce and scallions. Season with pepper and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  7. Divide the rice between 4 serving plates. Top with the green bean and onion stir fry and the tofu. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, sesame oil, and tamari, as desired. Serve warm.
Recipe from Grains as Mains
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe

 More stir fries!

green-packed stir fry with fresh herbs

Green-Packed Stir Fry with Fresh Herbs

star anise-glazed tempeh with stir-fried peppers

Star Anise-Glazed Tempeh with Stir Fried Peppers

crispy kung pao tofu and vegetable stir fry

Crispy Kung Pao Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry

From around the web:

Soy Sauce Noodles from Love & Olive Oil

Korean Barbecue Tofu Bowls from Oh My Veggies

Sesame Garlic Stir Fry Noodles from Delish Knowledge

Stir-Fried String Beans from Lemon & Anchovies

Crispy Honey Lemon Cauliflower from Closet Cooking


amaranth-crusted tofu with string beans and forbidden rice
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36 Responses to Amaranth-Crusted Tofu with String Beans and Forbidden Rice

  1. Sune Moolman says:

    I am loving these photos Joanne! The colours are so striking!
    Will definitely be trying this dish – and Grains for Mains sound awesome!

  2. Monica says:

    This bowl is so striking, Joanne. I’m really drawn in by the colors – love the dark bed of rice and the pop of color from those string beans, which look so crisp and fresh. Great idea to crust the tofu this way. Looks delicious all-round.

  3. I just don’t understand the tofu nay-sayers. It’s delicious!

  4. SallyBR says:

    Did you write this post with my beloved husband in mind?

    I might just have to “test drive” this tofu on him… 😉

  5. Okay, I will admit Joanne, I am a little hesitant because of the tofu. But you always have amazing food so I may give it a try.

    Kay of Pure & Complex

  6. Heather says:

    The more tofu recipes you do, the more tempted I am to finally go out and give it another try. I’m also intrigued by the book – I never really know what to do with ancient grains and get bored with the few things I can think of.

  7. Trisha says:

    My love of tofu has been rekindled as of late, so I can’t wait to try this version. The hubs normally swears it off as gross and jiggly, but I KNOW he would appreciate this crispy version pan friend in oil. The healthy ancient grains are just an added bonus!

  8. mira says:

    I like tofu, but the idea of amaranth crust sounds awesome! Great dish!

  9. Zainab says:

    I think you wrote this post with me in mind? People who just can’t find tofu they like. These pics by the way are stunning! I want to lick my screen…but that will be awkward in a lab setting.

  10. I love a more crisply cooked tofu so this recipe was made for me. Love everything about this dish, Joanne.

  11. Great idea for this!! Like Sesame crusted tuna, but vegetarian!

  12. Walter says:

    Sounds delicious ! Reminds me of a similar recipe I found “Forbidden Tofu Strings with Bean-Crusted Amaranth Rice.

  13. Katerina says:

    This is totally for my son, he is a big tofu lover!

  14. Serena says:

    Tofu is a main ‘squeeze’ around our house too. I keep trying to convince my hubs it’s ‘dude-food’ too. Question: Is the “sweet black rice” I bought at an Asian grocer the same as this black rice?

  15. Joanne – I am so digging this Amaranth-Crusted tofu! I completely understand the.boy going back for seconds – I would’ve gone back for thirds!

  16. Julia says:

    This dish looks so fresh and healthful! I have about zilch experience with tofu and have been meaning to make one of your tasty tofu recipes. I’m totes ready to get my amaranth crust on. Love that forbidden rice!

  17. you might have just this non-tofu eater into a tofu lover!

  18. I grew up eating tofu. This looks so tasty with black rice.

  19. Kate says:

    Everyone loves crispy tofu

  20. Amaranth crusted tofu—what a great idea! It gives that tofu a lovely golden brown color I covet too. Wish I had this for lunch instead of my soup and salad!

  21. Kelly says:

    These photos are stunning girl! I love that you coated the tofu in amaranth flour and sesame seeds! It looks absolutely delish with the black rice! *drools

  22. Asha says:

    That is a bowl I would definitely finish up. Love the crust and the black rice. I saw this on insta and had to come down to check it out. Lovely lovely. The pictures and the recipe here are amazing.

  23. Aww girl, this sounds incredible!! I love a good tofu recipe!

  24. Eileen says:

    You have to love sesame oil! Especially when combined with crispy crunchy tofu This sounds excellent!

  25. I love the colors in this dish. Sounds like a dish I should try.

  26. Kathleen says:

    Oh my gosh your photos are so so stunning!!!

  27. Hotly Spiced says:

    Now I want to rush out and buy amaranth flour. It’s always good when you make something and your husband loves it. This is a pretty dish too with lots of colour xx

  28. I must look out for this recipe book 🙂

  29. What beautiful colors! I have never eaten amaranth before; I’ll have to keep a lookout for it!

  30. This looks lovely! Totally love that black rice and amaranth on tofu is genius! Just last night I went out to this awesome Asian fusion restaurant where I had crispy tofu that was crusted in panko and I think cinnamon! So yum 🙂

  31. […] black rice is pretty and tofu is so good, okay? (haters pls […]

  32. I am a little late to the party, but wanted to thank you for this! I am so happy you liked my cookbook.

  33. Elena Shetty says:

    Love how colorful this dish is. Not a big fan of tofu but the overall taste seems good. Do you have any tips on how to reduce the tofu’s smell dear?

    • joanne says:

      My husband doesn’t love tofu either, but he REALLY loved this!! I’m not really sure what smell you’re talking about. Is it past the sell-by date on the package? You can try rinsing it with cold water, but make sure to pat dry before frying.

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