A simple easy recipe for Five-Spice Sticky Tofu & Mushroom served in a tortilla. This Chinese five spice tofu comes together in 20 minutes or less and is also great accompanied with rice or noodles.
I make this sticky tofu & mushroom dish a couple times a week whether to go with some tortilla or homemade flatbread for brunch or over rice for a simple dinner. Because I almost always have all the ingredients on hand — they are pretty much staples — this dish doesn’t need any prior planning and it’s made in 20 minutes or less.
If you’re not familiar with Chinese five spice, it’s a beautiful spice blend of cinnamon, star anise, cloves, fennel seeds and Sichuan peppercorns (or black pepper), all roasted then ground together. Although most of these spices are familiar, when combined the Chinese five spice has a unique pungent flavour that gives certain recipes their quintessential taste. It’s not only used in Chinese cuisine but in other Asian dishes like this deeply aromatic Vegan Pho that we shared a while ago on our YouTube channel. If you haven’t made this pho already, you should as it’s totally worth the labour of love!
You can make your own Chinese five spice blend at home by combining equal amounts of each spice. Or you can also find it ready-made at Asian grocery store or online.
Five-Spice Sticky Tofu & Mushroom Wrap
You may swap the tofu for store-bought vegan chick’n strips or seitan. Feel free to toss in other veggies too like broccoli, carrots, zucchini or some bok choy. Once cooked, allow the preparation to cool a little before assembling into wraps atop a bed of salad leaves or other salad vegetables.
For a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce, you may try this homemade soy-free and gluten-free soy sauce substitute.
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- 200 g firm tofu or vegan chick'n strips or seitan
- 160 g white mushrooms [about 8 - 10 mushrooms] or rehydrated dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons spring onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (*see notes for gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon mirin or rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger root
- 1 pinch chilli flakes [ or a dash of sriracha / chilli sauce], optional or as per taste
- Salt if needed and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon tapioca starch or 1 tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 tortillas or flatbread/roti
- Assorted salad leaves + cucumber, tomato
- Lemon wedges to serve optional
Cut the tofu into irregular strips or cubes. Slice the mushrooms.
In a skillet on medium-high heat, add the oil.
Once hot, add the tofu (or vegan chick'n strips / seitan) and spring onions.
Saute for about 5 - 7 minutes while stirring occasionally. Once tofu start to become golden and slighty crispy, add the mushrooms.
Stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
In a small bowl mix the soy sauce, mirin, maple syrup, ginger, chilli flakes and five spice. Add the sauce to the pan. Stir to combine and cook for another minute or two.
Dilute the tapioca starch in the water. Add this slurry to the pan and immediately stir to combine. The sauce will thickener pretty quickly. Lower the heat and continue to stir. Add 1 - 2 tablespoons of water if the sauce is too sticky.
Taste the sauce and adjust the salt if necessary. Sprinkle some black pepper to taste.
Turn off the heat and let sit for about 5 - 10 minutes before assembling into wraps.
To assemble, place some salad leaves in the tortillas, top with the tofu and sliced cucumber. Drizzle with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and serve.
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