Tuesday, March 5, 2024
HomeWhole FoodsStraightforward Vegan Kung Pao Tofu

Straightforward Vegan Kung Pao Tofu

This candy and spicy vegan kung pao tofu recipe options oven-baked crispy tofu, bell peppers and onions in a flavorful, spicy sauce.

Tofu cubes with chopped pepper and onions in sauce in a wok.

You’ll want only a few easy components to make this Chinese language-inspired vegetarian model of kung pao hen. This makes a yummy weeknight dinner and nice approach to incorporate tofu into your food plan.

Taste-packed and fast and straightforward to make, it is a easy however daring dish you’ll like to make time and again!

Serve over rice, topped with crunchy peanuts or cashews for a scrumptious meal!

Desk of Contents

Recipe Highlights

  • Vegan (no egg, meat or dairy).
  • Will be gluten-free.
  • Prepared in half-hour.
  • Good for meal prep.
  • Supply of plant-based protein.

Ingredient Notes

A collage of all the ingredients needed for making a vegan kung pao tofu recipe.
  • Tofu: Further agency tofu is really helpful for this recipe although agency tofu can be utilized if that’s what you’ve got. I didn’t press the tofu however you may for those who like!
  • Soy Sauce: Low sodium soy sauce (gentle soy sauce) is really helpful. For a gluten-free recipe, you may substitute gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Coconut Sugar: You’ll be able to substitute brown sugar.
  • Bell Peppers: I used one purple pepper and one inexperienced bell pepper however any selection works.
  • Onion: I used purple onion however you may substitute white or yellow onion.
  • Sesame Oil: You should use common or toasted sesame oil, toasted is most popular. This contributes taste to the dish so I don’t advocate substituting a distinct oil. For the tofu, you should utilize olive oil, avocado oil, and many others.
  • Rice Vinegar: I used unseasoned rice vinegar.

This record will not be full. Please see the recipe card on the finish of the put up for the whole ingredient record with measurements and detailed directions.


  • For a extra conventional supply of warmth, omit the purple pepper flakes from the sauce and add 3-4 complete dried purple chilies while you add the garlic and ginger. Take away the chilies earlier than serving. Dried purple chilies will be present in a Latin American or Asian grocery retailer.
  • The tofu will be baked, air fryed or pan-fried. See the Recipe FAQs and notes within the recipe card for how-to.
  • You’ll be able to swap out the greens for broccoli, carrot, bok choy, cauliflower, zucchini, snow peas, child corn or eggplant. Cooking occasions will differ. You’ll want a bit longer to cook dinner cauliflower, carrot and eggplant. It’s really helpful to solely add an extra 1 cup of greens.
  • 2-4 tsp purple pepper flakes is really helpful however you may cut back it to 1 tsp for those who’re delicate to spice. In the event you don’t like warmth in any respect, I’d counsel a distinct recipe like my Orange Tofu or Vegan Candy and Bitter Tofu Recipe.
  • This might be made as kung pao chickpeas for a fair easier and soy-free recipe (foys soy-free you’ll must swap the soy sauce for coconut aminos as effectively). Omit the tofu. Add 1 19 oz can rinsed chickpeas with the garlic and proceed with the remainder of the recipe.

Step-by-Step Directions

Cubes of tofu tossed in soy sauce in a bowl.

Step 1: Toss the tofu cubes with 1 tsp sesame oil and the soy sauce, cornstarch, pepper and garlic powder.

Baked tofu cubes on a baking sheet.

Step 2: Place the tofu cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes till golden brown.

Sauce with red pepper flakes in it in a measuring cup with a spoon in it.

Step 3: As soon as the tofu is within the oven, combine all the sauce components in a small bowl or container.

Garlic and ginger cooking in a wok.

Step 4: When the tofu has slightly below 10 minutes left, warmth the sesame in a big wok, forged iron skillet or non-stick skillet over medium warmth after which add the garlic and ginger. Prepare dinner for 1-2 minutes, stirring ceaselessly.

Chopped bell pepper and onion cooking in a wok.

Step 5: Add the peppers and onions and stir fry for 3 minutes till tender however nonetheless crisp.

Cubes of tofu, bell pepper and onion cooking in a sauce in a wok.

Step 6: Stir the stir fry sauce once more after which pour it into the pan cook dinner, shiny to a simmer and cook dinner for 1-2 minutes till it begins thickening. Add the baked tofu items, combine effectively and cook dinner one other 3-4 minutes till thickened to your liking.

Tofu and bell peppers in a thick sauce over rice in a bowl.

Serve your kung pao tofu over brown or white rice, topped with inexperienced onions, sesame seeds and peanuts or cashews.

Recipe FAQs

How lengthy does kung pao tofu maintain?

You retailer kung pao tofu in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 4 days. Reheat leftovers over medium warmth in a skillet or within the microwave till heated via.

Ought to I press the tofu?

I don’t normally press extra-firm tofu as a result of it doesn’t have a excessive water content material however urgent it is going to assist take away any extra liquid it does have and assist enhance texture and taste absorption, when you’ve got the time.

To press the tofu, place the block in a tofu press or between paper towels or a clear kitchen towel and place a heavy object on it for 15-20 minutes.

How spicy is kung pao tofu?

With a full tablespoon of purple pepper flakes, the kung pao sauce is sort of spicy. I don’t have a really excessive tolerance for spicy meals and I can eat it nevertheless it’s undoubtedly sizzling.

In the event you’re delicate to spicy meals, cut back the purple pepper flakes to 1 tsp.

Can I make the tofu in an air fryer?

Sure. Toss the tofu with the corn starch, soy sauce, garlic powder and black pepper. Preheat the air fryer to 37 5 F. Place the tofu cubes in a single layer within the air fryer basket and air fry 15-20 minutes, flipping half method via till the items are golden and cirspy.

Chef’s Notes

  • I want baked tofu for the right crispy texture however you may pan-fry the tofu if most popular. See recipe notes for how-to.
  • In the event you want the cashews or peanuts softened, add them to the stir fry while you add the sauce as a substitute of utilizing them as a topping.
  • I imagine the recipe has the right stability between the sauce, tofu, and greens; nonetheless, for those who need an additional veggies, be happy to include as much as an extra cup.
  • This isn’t an genuine kung pao recipe however my model of the basic Chinese language dish.

Did you do this recipe? I’d love to listen to about it! Scroll all the way down to the remark part to go away a star ranking and assessment.


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Take pleasure in a flavorful and satisfying Vegan Kung Pao Tofu Stir-Fry, that includes crispy cubes of tofu tossed, vibrant greens and crunchy cashews, all tossed in a candy and spicy selfmade sauce.

For the Tofu

For the Stir Fry

For the Sauce

  1. Put together: Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Coat Tofu: Place the cubed tofu in a bowl with the oil, soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic powder and black pepper. Gently combine with a rubber spatula to coat.
  3. Bake Tofu: Place the tofu cubes on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes till browned and puffy. Be aware: The tofu will also be pan-fried, see notes, although I want the feel of baked.
  4. Combine Sauce: As soon as the tofu is within the oven, combine the sauce components in any container or bowl.
  5. Begin Stir Fry: When the tofu has slightly below 10 minutes left, warmth the sesame oil in a big wok or non-stick skillet over medium warmth. Add the garlic and ginger and cook dinner for 1-2 minutes, stirring ceaselessly. Add the bell peppers and onions and cook dinner for 3 minutes, stirring typically, till tender however nonetheless crisp.
  6. Add Sauce and Tofu: Stir the sauce once more and pour it into the pan. Deliver to a simmer and cook dinner whereas stirring for 1-2 minutes till it begins thickening. Add the baked tofu cubes, combine effectively to coat in sauce and cook dinner for an additional couple of minutes till thickened to your liking.
  7. Serve: Serve the kung pao tofu over rice or with lettuce cups. Prime with the crushed cashews and chopped inexperienced onions.


To pan-fry tofu, toss the tofu within the cornstarch, garlic powder, black pepper and soy sauce and pan-fry in 2-3 tsp oil. Prepare dinner 6-7 minutes, flipping typically till golden brown on all sides. Add the garlic, ginger and peppers, cook dinner 4-5 minutes till the veggies are tender. Add the sauce and stir till thickened. I want the feel of baked tofu.

*Use 1-4 tsp chili flakes based mostly on spice choice. I don’t tolerate spicy meals that effectively and a couple of tsp is finest for me. In the event you’re delicate to spice, cut back to 1 tsp. In the event you love warmth, you may enhance to 4 tsp. That is meant to be a spicy recipe, so for a superb quantity of warmth for those who take pleasure in spicy meals, 1 tbsp (3 tsp) is really helpful. For a extra genuine supply of warmth, omit the purple pepper flakes from the sauce and add 3-4 complete dried purple chilies with the garlic and ginger. Take away earlier than serving.

Diet information don’t embody cashews, inexperienced onion or rice.


  • Serving Dimension: 1
  • Energy: 238
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Sodium: 959 mg
  • Fats: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 14 g


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