Kung Pao Tofu is a vegan variation of the popular Chinese stir-fried Kung Pao Chicken, made with stir-fried tofu and vegetables tossed with a flavorful sauce.
Kung pao is a popular class of recipes originating from the Sichuan province of south-western China. The classic recipe for the dish makes use of Sichuan peppercorns for the flavor.
What is Kung Pao Sauce made of?
The main flavour of the dish comes from the savoury, sweet, salty and moderately spicy kung pao sauce. The main ingredients of the sauce are soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and chili paste.
You can prepare a chili paste at home by soaking dried red chillies in water and then grinding them. But here I have used sambal olek for the chili paste. Sriracha is also a great alternative to use instead of sambal for the recipe.
Prepping the tofu for stir frying
Since we are stir frying the tofu in this recipe, extra firm tofu works best for it as it does not crumble. Pat dry the tofu with paper towels thoroughly before stir frying to drain the excess water.
It’s also best to used pressed tofu. You can place it under a plate and place a heavy object on top for around 20 mins to press it.
Healthy & nutritious
Kung pao tofu is a perfect light and healthy dish which combines tofu and tonnes of vegetables in a delicious dish. The toasted cashew nuts or peanuts also impart a crunchy delicious texture to the dish.
Nutrition wise tofu is low in calories, while it contains relatively large amounts of protein. It is also high in iron, calcium and magnesium. The tossed up vegetables and ingredients in this recipe are tasty to the extent that even the children happily eat the veggies & other ingredients.
Kung pao tofu goes quite well with brown rice, jasmine rice or even with noodles. It is best served hot with cooked rice and can be accompanied with other dry vegetables as well.
This vegetarian recipe is a quick, easy and nutritious meal that can be made with very low effort and is perfect for a sumptuous weeknight dinner.
To make kung pao tofu at home, follow the detailed step by step recipe with photos posted below.
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Kung Pao Tofu Recipe
Ingredients For Kung Pao Tofu Recipe
For the sauce
- 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Chili Paste (Sambal Olek) or Sriracha
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
For the stir fry
- 1 Block (400 gm) Extra Firm Pressed Tofu
- 1 Small Red Onion
- 2-3 Green Onions
- 1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
- 1 Teaspoon Minced Ginger
- 4-5 Mini Sweet Peppers
- 1 Head Celery
- 2 Cups Broccoli Florets
- 8-10 Toasted Cashew Nuts
- 2-3 Dried Red Chili
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt, or to taste
- 3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
Step By Step Instructions for Kung Pao Tofu Recipe
- Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili paste, brown sugar and cornstarch in a mixing bowl to make the kung pao sauce.3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce, 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar, 1 Tablespoon Chili Paste (Sambal Olek) or Sriracha, 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar, 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- Pat dry the pressed tofu with paper towel and dice it into cubes. Then add it to a wok or pan with 1 tablespoon hot oil.
- Cook the tofu for 3-4 minutes on medium height heat till lightly browned.
- Add 2 more tablespoons of oil along with minced ginger, garlic as well as diced onions and spring onions to the pan and saute for a minute.
- Then add sliced sweet peppers and diced celery.
- Also add broccoli florets to the wok.
- Add dried red chilis as per your desired heat level.
- Stir together and cook for 5 mins. Then add the kung pao sauce prepared earlier.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add in the toasted cashew nuts to the stir fry. Stir together and cook for 2 mins till the sauce has reduced.
- Kung Pao Tofu is ready. Serve it hot along with brown rice or jasmine rice.
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