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Sauteed green beans and crispy-soft tofu tossed in savory and spicy Bicol Express sauce. Yes, it is meatless but definitely not lacking in flavor. You will not miss the meat on this one.

Tofu and Green Beans Bicol Express

This meatless Bicol Express is far from being bland and flavorless. The aromatics such as garlic, onions, ginger, and chilies are sauteed in our favorite shrimp paste or bagoong-alamang and of course the ever popular and my favorite seasoning, fish sauce.

Sauteeing the aromatics and seasoning is the secret to a flavorful Bicol Express. Don’t skip that step!



Traditionally, coconut cream is also added in Bicol Express. To make this recipe simpler, just use coconut milk. It is rich enough to balance the flavor and spice.

Bicol Express Ingredients

Frying the tofu helps absorb the Bicol Express sauce better. So before anything else, prepare the tofu. This step takes a while, so you can use the time to prepare the rest of the ingredients. We are using our time wisely here.




How to make a crispy tofu

  • Drain the water from the tofu, use firm or extra firm. Note that removing the excess moisture is the key to making good crispy tofu.
  • Press the whole block between two paper towels and top with a heavy plate to remove excess moisture.
  • Cut it in thick rectangles instead of small cubes. This makes it easier for frying as there are fewer pieces to flip. But feel free to use other cuts. It is all up to you.
  • Coat in rice flour or glutinous rice flour. It is a nice and light batter and gluten-free too (this matters to some).
  • Make sure the oil is warm enough but not too hot before adding the tofu.

Fried Crispy Tofu using rice flour coating

To maintain the crispiness, transfer the fried tofu in a cooling wire or rack while making the Bicol Express sauce.

fried tofu in rice flour



Cook the green beans just enough to retain its tender-crisp texture. Like tofu, it is versatile and goes well with almost any flavors.

Bicol Express using Tofu and Green Beans

Immediately serve with rice.

More Filipino Recipes

Watch the video on how to make Tofu and Green Beans Bicol Express (No Meat Bicol Express)




TOFU AND GREEN BEANS BICOL EXPRESS (NO MEAT BICOL EXPRESS)

Sauteed green beans and crispy-soft tofu tossed in savory and spicy Bicol Express sauce. Spicy, savory and full of flavor. Everything you love about BIcol Express!
Servings: 2 -3 servings
Author: Mella

Ingredients

  • 1 block firm tofu or tokwa cut (see video)
  • 3 tablespoons rice flour
  • 250 grams/ half pound green beans trim both ends, cut in 3 equal sizes
  • oil for frying
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/2 thumb-size ginger peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 pieces long green or red chilies deseeded, sliced
  • 1 piece bird's eye chili chopped
  • 1 tablespoon bagoong-alamang
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons water optional

Instructions

  • Press the tofu to drain excess water. To do this, place the tofu in between two folded kitchen towels (use more if needed) on a flat surface. Top with a heavy plate. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients.
  • Slice the tofu lengthwise in equal sizes (see video). Coat in rice flour or glutinous rice flour. Fry in hot oil over medium heat until all sides are brown and crisp. Let it cool, then gently cut into squares.
  • In a pan over medium heat, add oil. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and chilies. Saute until soft and aromatic, around 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.
  • Add bagoong-alamang and fish sauce. Stir for 1 minute.
  • Add the green beans. Toss well with the aromatics. Add a little bit of water and let it steam for one minute.
  • Pour the coconut milk. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until green beans are tender but not overcooked. At this point taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
  • Add crispy tofu. Gently toss in the Bicol express mixture. Turn off the heat. Pour over a bowl of rice and enjoy!

Notes

  • Before anything else, prepare the tofu. This step takes a while, so you can use the time to prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Use firm or extra firm tofu only.
  • Cut the tofu in thick rectangles instead of small cubes. This makes it easier for frying as there are fewer pieces to flip. But feel free to use other cuts. It is all up to you.
  • Make sure the oil is warm enough but not too hot before adding the tofu.
  • To maintain the crispiness, transfer the fried tofu in a cooling wire or rack while making the Bicol Express sauce.
  • You can omit the bird's eye chilies if you don't like the spice.
  • Do not overcook the green beans to maintain its tender-crisp texture.

Love this recipe? Show me what you made on Instagram or Facebook and tag me at @rivertenkitchen or hashtag it at #rivertenkitchen




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