Kung Pao Tofu

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If you like Chinese food, you should really try this sweet, salty, and spicy Kung Pao tofu. It takes less than 30 minutes to make and it’s such a great weeknight dinner!

Kung Pao Tofu over rice in a white plate with chop sticks

Why This Recipe Works

Kung Pao Tofu is the vegetarian version of Kung Pao chicken that is a popular dish in Chinese restaurants. It’s a very flavorful Chinese stir-fry made with tofu, peppers, and peanuts

We absolutely love this recipe and it always hits the spot. It’s the perfect comfort food and it’s perfect if you’re craving Chinese takeout. 

To make the tofu extra crispy, it’s first rolled in corn starch and then pan-fried in sesame oil. The sesame oil gives it a unique flavor and the corn starch makes it super crispy. If you’ve got more time, you could also deep fry the tofu if you want. 

For the sauce, I used a combination of soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, water, and corn starch. The soy sauce adds a lot of flavor and saltiness, the maple syrup sweetness, and the rice vinegar gives the sauce a little tang. 

Paired with sautéed green onion, garlic, and, ginger, the sauce is super flavorful while being really easy to make. 

This dish is very high in protein and it’s delicious served over white or brown rice. If you feel like having Chinese food, this is the right recipe for you!

What Goes Into This Recipe:

the ingredients that go into this recipe on a marble countertop with labels

  • Soy Sauce – use tamari for a gluten-free version. Use low-sodium soy sauce if you like. 
  • Tofu – you need firm or extra-firm tofu for this recipe. The recipe doesn’t work with soft tofu. 
  • Garlic & Ginger – both fresh. 
  • Bell Pepper – red and green. 
  • Peanuts – roasted and salted. 
  • Corn Starch – rolling the tofu in corn starch is essential to this recipe as it makes the tofu super crispy. 

How To Make This Recipe 

a collage of four photos that show how to make this recipe

1. Step: Cut the tofu into cubes and put it in a bowl. Add two tablespoons of corn starch. Make sure all cubes are covered in corn starch.

2. Step: Dice the bell peppers. 

3. Step: Cut the green onions into rings and finely chop the garlic and the ginger. 

4. Step: Heat some sesame oil in a large pan. Cook until lightly browned and crispy. 

a collage of four photos that show how to make this recipe

5. Step: In the meantime, make the sauce. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until combined. 

6. Step: Once the tofu is crispy, set aside. 

7. Step: Heat some more sesame oil in the same pan and add the garlic, the ginger, and half of the green onions. Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat. Stir constantly.

8. Step: Then add the remaining green onions and the bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir a few times. Then add the tofu, the peanuts, and the sauce and stir carefully. Season with red pepper flakes. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens. 

9. Step: Serve the kung pao tofu with rice and sprinkle with more green onions. 

Recipe Notes

  • Tofu: You need firm tofu for this recipe. The firmer, the better. If the tofu you are using is not firm enough, you could press your tofu with a tofu press or a stack of cookbooks and paper towel for 30 minutes before starting with the actual recipe. Check out my tips on how to press tofu. 
  • Spiciness: I made my Kung Pao tofu relatively mild by only seasoning it with red pepper flakes. If you’re looking for a spicy version, you could fry up some roughly chopped dried red chilies together with the green onions, the garlic, and the ginger. This will make it really spicy! You could also fry up some dried chilies in sesame oil first and then remove them before adding the other ingredients. This way the oil will become a bit spicy. 

Kung Pao Tofu with white rice in a white bowl with green onions and peanuts on the side

FAQs:

How Long Does This Recipe Last? 

Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, you can keep leftovers for 3-5 days in the fridge. 

Is This Recipe Gluten-Free? 

To make this recipe gluten-free, you have to replace the soy sauce with tamari. 

Related Recipes 

  • Teriyaki Tofu 
  • General Tso Tofu 
  • Tofu Stir Fry
  • Tofu Marinade 
  • Air Fryer Tofu 

I Love To Hear From You! 

I hope you like this kung pao tofu as much as we do around here.

If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to know what you think about it. Just leave me a comment and a star rating below. Your comments really make my day!

You like my recipes and want to see more? Then follow me on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest

Sina

Kung Pao Tofu over rice in a white plate with chop sticks

Print

Kung Pao Tofu

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If you like Chinese food, you should really this sweet, salty, and spicy Kung Pao tofu. It takes less than 30 minutes to make and it's such a great weeknight dinner!
Course Entrées
Cuisine American, Chinese
Diet Vegan
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 145kcal
Author Sina

Ingredients

For the Tofu:

  • 14 oz firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • sesame oil

Vegetables:

  • 5 green onions, cut into rings
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • red pepper flakes, to taste

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • Cut the tofu into cubes and put it in a bowl. Add two tablespoons of corn starch. Make sure all cubes are covered in corn starch.
  • Dice the bell peppers. 
  • Cut the green onions into rings and finely chop the garlic and the ginger. 
  • Heat some sesame oil in a large pan. Cook until lightly browned and crispy. 
  • In the meantime, make the sauce. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until combined. 
  • Once the tofu is crispy, set aside. 
  • Heat some more sesame oil in the same pan and add the garlic, the ginger, and half of the green onions. Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat. Stir constantly.
  • Then add the remaining green onions and the bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir a few times. Then add the tofu, the peanuts, and the sauce and stir carefully. Season with red pepper flakes. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens. 
  • Serve the kung pao tofu with rice and sprinkle with more green onions. 

Notes

  • Tofu: You need firm tofu for this recipe. The firmer, the better. If the tofu you are using is not firm enough, you could press your tofu with a tofu press or a stack of cookbooks and paper towel for 30 minutes before starting with the actual recipe. Check out my tips on how to press tofu. 
  • Spiciness: I made my Kung Pao tofu relatively mild by only seasoning it with red pepper flakes. If you’re looking for a spicy version, you could fry up some roughly chopped dried red chilies together with the green onions, the garlic, and the ginger. This will make it really spicy! You could also fry up some dried chilies in sesame oil first and then remove them before adding the other ingredients. This way the oil will become a bit spicy. 

Nutrition

Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 765mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1191IU | Vitamin C: 65mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 2mg

The post Kung Pao Tofu appeared first on Vegan Heaven.





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