Spicy mango tofu stir-fry

Things have been quiet around here. I’ve been busy studying for the Psychiatry Board certification exams (in one week), fretting over my presentation at the APA annual meeting (in ten days), and finding a house to move in (in the next few months).

Or maybe its just the evil influence of Twitter.

Last weekend, a long rainy day of house-hunting led us to a cute Thai restaurant, where the dish of the day was the aptly named Mango Tango. Whoever came up with the idea of using ripe, sweet mangoes in a spicy orange sauce along with fried, crisp tofu is a mad genius, and should have made it to the TIME top 100 list.

I had to recreate it at home.

Spicy Thai Mango Tango

There aren’t many prototypes online, but I’d like to think that the recipe does justice to its namesake in that tiny New England town.


2 tsp oil (canola)

1 large green onion (This is different from a scallion, and looks more like a leek. You can use a bunch of scallions, or 1 leek, instead), sliced, white and green parts separated

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

1 medium carrot, sliced thin, on the bias (about half a cup)

2 celery ribs, sliced thin, on the bias (about half a cup)

florets from two small heads of broccoli (about two cups)

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1 inch cubes from two medium-sized mangoes (Sweet, ripe ones)

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chiffonaded

16 oz (1 block) firm tofu, pressed for about two hours, then diced into 1/2 inch cubes. (To press tofu, wrap the block in a couple of paper towels, sandwich between two flat plates, and put a heavy pot/large can of something on top of the plate. Don’t use an iron skillet like I once did- something that heavy will tear the tofu apart. It has to do with shear forces. Trust me.)

1 tbsp soy sauce

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp roasted cashews (optional)

For the orange sauce, mix together:

1 cup orange juice

1 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp soy sauce

1-2 tbsp red curry paste (use chilli-garlic paste if you don’t have red curry paste lying around)

– Heat a large iron skillet to medium heat. Add 1 tsp oil, let it heat up, then spread the diced tofu in a single layer. Let it brown for a couple of minutes, then turn the cubes over with a flat spatula and brown the other side.  After a couple of minutes, sprinkle 1 tbsp soy sauce over the cubes, and toss gently to coat. Let them stay in the skillet, and turn off the heat.

– Start the stir fry in a large wok/nonstick skillet. Heat the remaining 1 tsp oil almost to smoking point, and start by frying the white parts of onions.

– Add the other vegetables in this order- garlic, ginger, celery, carrots, broccoli, bell pepper, mangoes. The skillet should be large enough for you to toss the veggies around. Do this until the veggies are al dente. (I test this with the broccoli- it should be bright green, slightly tender but still crisp.)

– Now add the green parts of onion, cilantro, tofu and the sauce. Let everything come together for a couple of minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Turn off the heat.

– Serve over plain boiled rice, garnished with the mint and roasted cashews.

This is a fabulous recipe, and I take no credit for it. It combines all the flavors and all the textures of Thai goodness and makes them dance on your tongue. Oh, and it serves four, which suits me just fine because I intend to eat nothing else for the next two days.

About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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24 Responses to Spicy mango tofu stir-fry

  1. mizunogirl says:

    Looks very very yummy. I’d like something like that, but I am unsure if I can prepare it!!!!!

    Best wishes with your exam and presentation!

  2. Yum! But I prefer buying my tofu pre-fried. Tofu causes hot oil to spatter, even after drying it out for a day, and the results aren’t consistent—some days it’s tough and has a styrofoam texture, other days the exterior is leathery and the inside soggy. I asked a friend from Hong Kong to teach me how to fry tofu well, but she never had the time before she flew home to look after her father. I do like the idea of mixing mango with cilantro and fresh vegetables. Maybe this recipe will give me the courage to try frying tofu at home again.

    • purplesque says:

      I hear you on the tofu- I’ve only had ‘good’ fried tofu once in my life. Most of the times, its leathery and oil soaked and has little flavor left. That’s why I just browned it in the pan instead of deep frying.

  3. Brown Suga' says:

    Ooh, this sounds divine! I’m gonna have to do without the celery and tofu. Will paneer be a good substitute?

    • purplesque says:

      Oh yes, the celery can easily be done away with. Paneer would make a fabulous substitute for tofu. Also, if you can’t get red curry paste, one of Maggi’s/Ching’s Secret’s red chilli-garlic sauce would work just fine.

      • Brown Suga' says:

        I’m planning on making it this weekend. Just one more q – can I subsitute the chilli-garlic with Ching’s Schezwan sauce? Or would that alter the flavour completely?

        • purplesque says:


          I haven’t used Schezwan sauce, so I’m not sure- it seems to have red chillies and garlic as the two main ingredients, so go ahead and try it. It should still make for a nice stir fry even if the flavors are different. You may need to use more or less depending on how hot the sauce is.

      • Chingssecret says:

        U can use Ching’s Secret Red Curry Pastes itself. Available at all Supermkts like Big Bazaar, Reliance Fresh, Dmart etc thx Team Ching’s

  4. robpixaday says:

    That’s GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!
    But oh, my goodness, you’ve got a lot on your mind right now!


    I’m sending you a HUGE bunch of good-vibes for your exams, presentation, and decisions…..

  5. Good luck with the exam and presentation!

  6. Vijay says:

    Mayan (thx Jabulani), I’ve got a few things to say about this.
    1. You’ve become a master procrastinator.
    2. This looks and sounds delicious. And I can almost smell it (that explains why I’m drooling right now).
    3. You most definitely have an alternative career as a professional chef or at the very least as a professional recipe writer. I have no clue what you meant by a few things, viz., “sliced thin, on the bias,” “different from a scallion, and looks more like a leek. You can use a bunch of scallions, or 1 leek, instead,” “julienned,” and last but not least, “chiffonaded.”
    4. On top of all this, you manage to showcase your geekiness too!! It has to do with shear forces.” Indeed!!

    • purplesque says:

      1. Yes, I know. Help me!
      2. Thank you.
      3. I’m impressed that you actually read through the whole recipe. I can explain all those things to you, if you’re interested. 😉 Also, how come a radiologist doesn’t understand a bias cut? There has to be a CT equivalent.
      4. Except that its not- I put that in to see if anyone was paying attention. LOL You get the prize.

      • aubrey says:

        I thought ‘shear forces’ had something to do with a pair of strong scissors.

        I’m not really keen on rice, so I would double up on the tofu-yummy-mix. (I’m not down with pasta, either, which startles some people as I’m 1/2 Italian)

  7. Aussie Emjay says:

    You had me at “Mango Tango” ….. no, actually you had me at just “Mango” – I love them and can’t think of anything they don’t go with.

  8. this looks great! Unfortunately a long way from mango season in Australia. Will have to keep this in mind for summer. Good luck with exams. I see from more recent posts that you are still in the thick of them.

  9. Pingback: Spicy Thai Mango Tofu Curry with Vegetables | the taste space - steam, bake, boil, shake!

  10. This was great. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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