Kung Pao Tofu – Connoisseurus Veg

This Kung Pao tofu is made with chunks of gingery baked tofu tossed with stir fried veggies and peanuts in spicy sauce. A simple Chinese language-inspired vegan dinner that is higher than takeout and straightforward sufficient for a weeknight!

Plate of Kung Pao Tofu with skillet and bunch of scallions in the background.

There was a time once I ate at Chinese language vegetarian eating places continuously. I cherished these locations! Most of them have a full menu that appears like a traditional Chinese language restaurant menu, however each merchandise is completely meatless.

The kung pao tofu was my favourite! Not like lots of the dishes that had been made with fried tofu, this dish used baked tofu. It was superior! Baked tofu is scrumptious, and excellent with the finely diced and stir-fried veggies and crispy peanuts you discover in any Kung Pao dish.

So I once I went and determined to create my very own Kung Pao tofu recipe, I marinated and baked my tofu. That was an awesome resolution! This masses the tofu with taste, and once you pair it up with crispy stir-fried veggies and drench it in sauce you’ve got bought one scrumptious meal. This dish is delicious and excellent for every little thing from weeknight dinners so far nights!

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Substances You will Want

  • Shaoxing wine or dry sherry. Utilizing both of those elements will add a number of taste to your baked tofu and sauce, however be at liberty to substitute vegetable broth or water in the event you want.
  • Soy sauce. Substitute gluten-free tamari if you would like.
  • Maple syrup. You possibly can substitute with one other liquid sweetener, similar to agave.
  • Toasted sesame oil. Search for this within the worldwide meals part of your grocery store.
  • Ginger.
  • Tofu. Additional-firm works greatest for this recipe. It has one of the best texture and is nice at absorbing marinade. You will have to press it earlier than cooking.
  • Rice vinegar. You need to use one other number of vinegar, similar to white vinegar, if that is what you’ve got bought readily available.
  • Hoisin sauce. You could find this within the worldwide meals sections of most supermarkets.
  • Sambal oelek. One other ingredient to search for within the worldwide aisle! Be at liberty to substitute sriracha or one other sizzling sauce, or depart it out for a milder model of the dish.
  • Cornstarch.
  • Canola oil. Nearly any high-heat oil may be substituted. Peanut oil, vegetable oil, and corn oil are all high-quality decisions.
  • Garlic.
  • Scallions. Also called inexperienced onions.
  • Dried chile peppers. You may also discover these in Asian markets, or, in the event you’re fortunate, at your common grocery retailer (one other merchandise from the worldwide aisle). Go away them out if you would like to scale back the warmth on this dish.
  • Bell peppers. Any colour will work! I used crimson and inexperienced, however orange and yellow additionally work, in any mixture.
  • Child corn. Recent child corn is good, however canned may be substituted if recent is not accessible. Merely add it with the sauce as an alternative of with the peppers, because it will not require as a lot cooking time
  • Peanuts. Purchase ones which might be roasted and salted.
  • Cooked rice. Serve your kung pao tofu over this. Be at liberty to make use of your favourite selection — I am an enormous fan of jasmine rice.

Tip: Tip: Be at liberty to make use of your favourite stir-fry veggies instead of the peppers and child corn, conserving in thoughts that more durable veggies could take a bit extra time to prepare dinner, whereas softer veggies will prepare dinner sooner. Broccoli, carrots, snow peas, and cabbage are all nice choices!

How It is Made

The next is an in depth photograph tutorial on the right way to make this dish. Scroll all the best way down if you would like to skip proper to the recipe!

Bake the Tofu

  • Stir the tofu marinade elements collectively: Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil, and ginger.
  • Place diced tofu in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over it. Give every little thing a delicate stir and let it marinade for half-hour to 12 hours.
  • Make sure to cowl and chill it if marinating longer than 2 hours.

Tip: Though marinating the tofu is advocate, you may actually skip this step in the event you’re quick on time.

Baked tofu on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Prepare your tofu on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake it till the items shrink up and turn out to be very agency. Flip them about midway by.

Tip: To avoid wasting time the day of serving, you may put together the tofu a day or two prematurely. Retailer it in a sealed container within the fridge, and heat it up a bit earlier than including it to your stir-fry.

Make the Stir-Fry

As soon as your tofu has baked, you may transfer on to this step.

Kung pao sauce in a bowl with spoon.
  • As with every stir-fry, prep your veggies and blend up your sauce first. You will additionally need to slice open your chiles (or minimize them in half) and take away the seeds. Issues will transfer fairly rapidly when you begin cooking!
Garlic, ginger, and dried chiles cooking in a wok.
  • Warmth up some oil in a skillet or wok and begin cooking your aromatics: ginger, garlic, scallions (simply the white components) and dried chile peppers. Inside lower than a minute, the garlic and ginger ought to turn out to be very aromatic and your peppers ought to darken up a bit. Use medium warmth at this level.
Peppers and baby cork being stir-fried in a skillet.
  • Crank up the warmth and prepare to stir-fry. Add diced bell pepper and child corn. Prepare dinner your veggies simply till they turn out to be tender-crisp, stirring them continuously with a spatula. This could solely take a few minutes.

Tip: A great high quality wok is mostly one of the best vessel for stir-frying. I like to recommend utilizing a carbon steel wok like this one. In any other case, a big nonstick skillet (similar to a forged iron one) will do.

Sauce being poured into a wok full of Kung Pao Tofu.
  • Add your baked tofu to the wok, together with the peanuts. Rigorously pour the sauce in.
Kung Pao Tofu cooking in a skillet.
  • Proceed to stir-fry every little thing for a couple of minute, simply till the sauce thickens up.

Word: At all times be tremendous cautious when pouring sauce right into a sizzling cooking vessel, notably when the sauce comprises alcohol (which is flammable).

Kung Pao Tofu in a wok.
  • Prime your kung pao tofu with the inexperienced components of your scallions and serve it with rice.
White wooden surface set with plate of Kung Pao Tofu, wok and chopsticks.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover kung pao tofu will hold in an hermetic container within the fridge for about 3 days, or within the freezer for about 3 months.

Incessantly Requested Questions

Is that this recipe gluten-free?

It’s in the event you use gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce.

Is that this dish spicy?

This dish is supposed to be on the spicy facet. Should you want a milder model or simply need extra management over the warmth stage, strive skipping the dried chili peppers, or simply eradicating the seeds (the place many of the warmth is). You may also modify the quantity of sambal oelek, and in the event you’re unsure how a lot to make use of, add it on the finish, only a bit at a time.

Extra Chinese language-Impressed Vegan Recipes

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Close up of a plate of Kung Pao Tofu and rice.

Kung Pao Tofu

This Kung Pao tofu is made with chunks of gingery baked tofu tossed with stir fried veggies and peanuts in spicy sauce. A simple vegan dinner that is higher than takeout and straightforward sufficient for a weeknight!

Marinating + Tofu Urgent 45 minutes
Complete Time 1 hour 45 minutes


For the Baked Tofu

  • 2
    Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
    (substitute water or vegetable broth for a non-alcoholic model)
  • 2
    soy sauce or tamari
  • 2
    maple syrup
  • 1
    toasted sesame oil
  • 2
    freshly grated ginger
  • 1
    (14 ounce or 400 gram) bundle
    further agency tofu,
    drained, pressed for a minimum of quarter-hour, and minimize into ½ inch cubes

For the Kung Pao Sauce

  • 3
    soy sauce or tamari
  • 2
    rice vinegar
  • 2
    maple syrup
  • 2
    hoisin sauce
  • 1
    Shaoxing wine or sherry
    (omit for an alcohol-free model)
  • 1
    sambal oelek,
    or to style, elective
  • 2

For the Stir-Fry

  • 2
    canola oil
  • 3
    garlic cloves,
  • 2
    freshly grated ginger
  • 3
    chopped, white and inexperienced components separated
  • 5-10
    dried chile peppers,
    sliced open and seeds eliminated
  • 2
    bell peppers,
    any colour, diced (½ inch)
  • 2
    recent child corn,
    minimize into 1 inch sections
  • ½
    roasted and salted peanuts


To Make the Baked Tofu

  1. Stir the wine, soy sauce or tamari, maple syrup, sesame oil and ginger collectively in a shallow dish. Add the tofu and gently stir the tofu to coat it with sauce. 

  2. You probably have the time, permit the tofu to marinate for half-hour or as much as 12 hours (Word 1). If you do not have time, don’t fret about it!

  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare the tofu cubes in a good layer on the baking sheet. 

  4. Bake the tofu for 30-35 minutes, till the items have darkened and shrunken a bit, flipping them midway by.

Make the Stir-Fry

  1. Whisk all elements for the sauce collectively in a small bowl.

  2. Coat the underside of a big wok or skillet with the oil and place it over excessive warmth. 

  3. Give the oil a minute to warmth up, then add the garlic, ginger, white components of scallions, and dried chili peppers to the pan. 

  4. Stir-fry the elements till the garlic and ginger turn out to be aromatic and the chili peppers darken a bit, about 1 minute.

  5. Add the bell peppers and child corn. Stir-fry the veggies till they’re tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. 

  6. Decrease the warmth a bit, then rigorously add the sauce, tofu, and peanuts to the pan (Word 2). Proceed to stir-fry simply till the entire elements are sizzling and coated with sauce, about 1 minute. 

  7. Take away the pan from warmth and stir within the inexperienced components of scallions.


  1. Divide onto plates and serve with rice.

Recipe Notes

  1. Cowl and refrigerate the tofu if marinating it for greater than 2 hours.
  2. Be tremendous cautious when including sauce to a sizzling wok or skillet and understand that alcohol is flammable. Be careful for sputtering.
  3. That is meant to be spicy! Should you aren’t into that, skip the dried chiles and the Asian chili paste. Should you aren’t positive of simply how into that you’re, simply skip the chiles and add the chili paste on the finish, a bit at a time.
  4. Diet data doesn’t embody rice.


Diet Info

Kung Pao Tofu

Quantity Per Serving

Energy 468
Energy from Fats 209

% Each day Worth*

Fats 23.2g36%

Saturated Fats 4g20%

Sodium 1291mg54%

Potassium 774mg22%

Carbohydrates 46g15%

Fiber 6.4g26%

Sugar 21.7g24%

Protein 19.1g38%

Calcium 220mg22%

Iron 6.1mg34%

* % Each day Values are primarily based on a 2000 calorie eating regimen.