This protein rich Kung Pao Tofu is a comforting Chinese dish. Its easy, quick and requires simple ingredients. It’s a great work week dinner idea.
We have been recently indulging quite a bit on this cuisine. Therefore, I decided to try it out at home. I was a bit surprised that the outcome of my experiment was better than a take out. Not to forget a lot healthier as well.
This kung Pao recipe originated in China which has been pretty well adapted by the Americans with the inclusion of various types of protein so as to make it palatable to every taste.
Ingredients for easy Kung Pao Tofu
For the sauce
Dry red chilies
Extra firm tofu
Red bell pepper
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
With few simple ingredients, we frequently satisfy our cravings of kung pao tofu recipe.
Hoisin sauce – It does play an important role in bringing out the authentic taste but you may simply increase the measurement of soy sauce if hoisin sauce is not handy.
Sriracha sauce – any hot sauce works here but I personally like the flavor of sriracha sauce this tofu recipe.
Dry red chilies – this is the best part an makes this dish perfectly spicy and super delicious.
Tofu – extra firm tofu works best here especially when pressed well. Its high in protein ad low in calories and carbohydrates. Its a great vegan protein source.
Peanuts – raw peanuts that’s unroasted and unsalted with its skin on brings out the best experience for this vegan kung pao tofu.
For detailed measurement of ingredients, please scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make Kung Pao Tofu
Firstly, I whisked the sauce ingredients in a bowl and kept it aside.
Secondly, I heated oil in a nonstick pan and added broken red chilies. Immediately, I tossed in tofu pieces and let it cook until golden in color and slightly crispy.
Next, I added scallion and red bell pepper to it and sauteed.
Thereafter, I added peanuts and mixed. I cooked it covered for 2-3 minutes or until peanuts were cooked.
Afterwards, I folded in the sauce and cooked for only 2 minutes at low-medium flame.
Lastly, I garnished it with green onions and served it with brown rice.
My family simply loved this dish and demanded for more. So therefore, its quite regular in my home now.
- Most importantly, press tofu for at least 20 minutes so that while sauteing it acquires firmness.
- To save on time, you may whisk the sauce while pressing tofu. Alongside you may prepare the veggies and then later start heating the oil.
- Please check the ingredients while buying hoisin sauce to make sure that its vegan and suits your palate.
This recipe taste best when served immediately. However, the leftover may be refrigerated to be used the next day.
Yes, of course. I use raw peanuts to reduce the sodium content of the recipe. However, use half the measurement of peanuts mentioned in this recipe or the recipe might become too salty.
Its mildly sweet and spicy along with being slightly tangy in taste. The sauce plays an important role. I made it without any added sugar and salt. I have tried making it as healthy and nutritious as possible so we can enjoy this dish guilt free.
Yes, green bell pepper goes very well in this recipe. You may add some broccoli as well to make it even more wholesome.
More tofu recipes
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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. I am very excited to hear back from you.
Did you make it?
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In addition, you may checkout my cookbook for everyday comfort vegan recipes.
Kung Pao Tofu
For the sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 4-5 whole dry red chilies (broken)
- 1 14 oz pack of extra firm tofu (pressed and chopped)
- 1 tbsp scallions
- 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup raw peanuts
- Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the sauce ( soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, sriracha sauce, ginger powder, water and cornstarch). Whisk it nicely until well dissolved. Keep it aside.
- Heat oil in a wok/non stick pan and add dry red chilies.
- Then, toss in tofu and let it cook until golden brown in color (about 5 minutes). Gently flip all the tofu pieces and cook again until nicely golden in color (another 3-4 minutes).
- Then, add scallions and red bell pepper. Gently mix and add peanuts to it. Mix again and cook for 2-3 minutes or until peanuts are cooked well.
- Now pour in the sauce and mix. Cook covered for only 2 minutes on low-medium heat or until the first boil.
- Turn it off and garnish with black pepper and green onions.
- Serve hot with brown rice or quinoa.
- It is important to nicely press tofu before sauteing.
- For pressing tofu you may either use tofu press or simply place the tofu block on a flat surface between two paper towels and put some weight on it. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes and then drain and chop them.
- Black pepper is absolutely optional. If you like extra spice to your food then the addition of black pepper is heavenly. Or else this recipe would still have that spicy tinge of taste to it.
- I used raw peanuts with skin for this recipe so as to reduce the sodium content of this recipe. You may use salted peanuts as well.
- I have provided step wise images in the post above for your reference.