Kung Pao Tofu – Detoxinista

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Kung Pao Tofu is a scrumptious vegetarian dinner that tastes like your favourite take-out! The sauce is super-simple to make at residence, and can elevate your subsequent stir-fry meal.

kung pao tofu served over white rice.

Why You’ll Love It

It tastes wonderful. This dish tastes remarkably just like the kung pao rooster from our native Chinese language restaurant, however with a straightforward vegan twist utilizing crispy baked tofu. It should rapidly change into certainly one of your favourite weeknight dinners!

It calls for easy components. Kung Pao sauce is often made with sichuan peppercorns, dried chili peppers, or dried purple chilies, however this recipe requires crushed purple pepper flakes as a result of it’s a extra frequent pantry ingredient. If you happen to don’t maintain rice vinegar readily available, you can too use balsamic vinegar or Chinese language black vinegar, for a tangy taste.

You get to manage the spice. Kung Pao Tofu is thought for its spicy taste, however if you happen to desire a extra delicate dish, it’s straightforward to chop again on the purple pepper flakes. Or, in order for you extra spice, be at liberty so as to add extra! 

It’s straightforward to arrange. All you want is 7 easy components to assemble the sauce, whereas the tofu and veggies cook dinner to perfection. If you happen to bake the tofu forward of time, this dish will come collectively even quicker, or you may skip the baking course of, since tofu doesn’t require additional cooking. (Baking simply helps add a crispy texture.) No tofu marinade required!

It’s versatile. This recipe is straightforward to customise, utilizing any components you have got readily available. Peanuts are added for crunch and taste, however you may actually depart them out. Utilizing tamari (a gluten-free soy sauce) retains this dish gluten-free, however you may swap that for normal soy sauce, if you might want to. 

Components You’ll Want

kung pao tofu ingredients labeled in glass bowls.

Use agency or additional agency tofu for this recipe, to maintain the feel much like rooster. You may rip the tofu into chunks, or slice it into blocks, relying in your desire. 

The arrowroot on this recipe helps to thicken the sauce, giving it a shiny look, however you can too use cornstarch, when you’ve got that readily available. You may as well add any additional flavoring you want, resembling recent ginger, or any greens you might want to dissipate, resembling onions, bell peppers, or zucchini. 

kung pao tofu served in white skillet.

How you can Make Kung Pao Tofu

1. Bake the tofu. 

Reduce the tofu into 1-inch cubes, then switch them to a big bowl. Add within the toasted sesame oil, garlic powder, and salt, and stir nicely. Then sprinkle on the arrowroot starch (this helps with crispness) and toss once more, till you now not see any powder.

Line a big baking sheet with parchment paper, and prepare the cubes in a single layer on the pan. Bake at 400ºF for 25 to half-hour, till the tofu appears crispy on the underside aspect. I don’t hassle to flip the cubes, however you may midway by means of the cooking time, if you happen to’d prefer to. 

tofu tossed in seasonings and baked on pan.

2. Cook dinner the veggies. 

Add the olive oil to a big skillet over medium-high warmth, and saute the inexperienced beans for two to three minutes. Then add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and stir nicely, then add 1/4 cup of water into the pan (it ought to instantly begin scorching and steaming) and canopy the pan with a lid.

Decrease the warmth and cook dinner for five to eight minutes, till the inexperienced beans attain your required tenderness. (I often cook dinner them for 8 minutes, for a really tender consequence.) You need to use this cooking technique for practically some other sturdy veggie you need to cook dinner.

green beans sauteed in white skillet.

3. Put together the sauce. 

To organize the kung pao sauce, mix a 1/2 cup of water, the tamari, rice vinegar, maple syrup, toasted sesame oil, purple pepper flakes, garlic, and arrowroot starch (or corn starch) in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. 

Whisk nicely to combine, then set it apart. 

kung pao sauce stirred together.

4. Combine all of it collectively. 

When the veggies are tender, and the tofu is completed baking, add the sauce to the greens, together with the tofu and peanuts, if utilizing. Stir nicely over medium-high warmth, till the sauce thickens and appears shiny. Then style the combination, and alter any seasoning to style. 

Serve over cooked white rice, with sliced inexperienced onions and sesame seeds on high, if you happen to like. You may as well serve this over cooked quinoa, for additional protein, or some other base you like. 

Leftovers could be saved in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 5 days. It’s straightforward to reheat once more in a skillet!

tofu and peanuts stirred in with the sauce.

Continuously Requested Questions

Do I must press the tofu? 

It’s frequent to press a block of tofu between towels to take away any extra liquid, however you may skip that step on this case, to save lots of time. Because the tofu is tossed in a sauce, it’s not as noticeable as if you happen to have been serving it as a crispy appetizer or as a salad topping.

Do I would like to make use of my oven?

If you happen to desire fried tofu, you may strive pan-frying within the skillet, it earlier than cooking the veggies. On this case, it’s possible you’ll want to make use of an additional tablespoon or two of oil, to assist it transfer across the pan. I desire utilizing the oven, so I can cook dinner the veggies on the identical time with minimal oil, however do no matter is best for you.

Can I skip the oil?

For an oil-free dish, you may saute the veggies in water, and skip the toasted sesame oil within the sauce and tofu. The sesame oil is generally included for its distinctive taste, so remember this can change the style of the dish.

On the lookout for extra vegan dinner concepts? Strive Kung Pao Chickpeas (made in a gradual cooker), Vegan Orange Chicken, or Black Bean Tacos for a quick weeknight meal.

kung pao tofu in white skillet.

Kung Pao Tofu

Kung Pao Tofu is a straightforward vegetarian dinner that tastes like your favourite take-out! You’ll love the easy & flavorful sauce, and may use any greens that you might want to dissipate.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook dinner Time: 30 minutes

Whole Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 3


Baked Tofu

  • 14 oz. block additional agency tofu
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon tremendous sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch (or corn starch)

Vegetable Stir-Fry

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound inexperienced beans , trimmed & minimize into 1-inch items
  • ¼ teaspoon tremendous sea salt

Kung Pao Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed purple pepper flakes (or much less, for a gentle spice)
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch


  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a big baking sheet with parchment paper. Reduce the tofu into 1-inch cubes, then switch it to a big bowl. Add within the sesame oil, salt, and garlic powder, and stir nicely. Then sprinkle on the arrowroot and stir once more, till no powder is seen. Organize the tofu cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet, and bake for 25 to half-hour, till the underside aspect of the tofu is crispy.

  • Whereas the tofu is cooking, add the olive oil to a big skillet (with a lid) over medium excessive warmth. Saute the inexperienced beans for two to three minutes, then season them with salt and stir nicely. Add in a 1/4 cup of water (which ought to begin scorching instantly) then cowl the pan with the lid, and allow them to cook dinner on low warmth for five to eight minutes, relying on how tender you need them to be.

  • Whereas the veggies are cooking, add a 1/2 cup of water to a small bowl or glass measuring cup. To the water, add within the tamari, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, maple syrup, garlic, purple pepper flakes, and arrowroot starch. Use a whisk to stir nicely.

  • When the greens are tender, add within the sauce, baked tofu, and the roasted peanuts, if utilizing. Stir over medium-high warmth, till the sauce thickens and appears shiny. Style the combination and alter any seasoning to style, including extra salt, if wanted. Serve the Kung Pao Tofu over cooked rice, and high with sliced inexperienced onions and sesame seeds, if you would like. Leftovers could be saved in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 5 days.


Vitamin data is mechanically calculated, and is simply an estimate, not a assure.
See substitution concepts within the FAQ part of this publish.


Energy: 268kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 15g, Fats: 14g, Saturated Fats: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fats: 5g, Monounsaturated Fats: 6g, Sodium: 2077mg, Potassium: 601mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 1192IU, Vitamin C: 19mg, Calcium: 116mg, Iron: 4mg

If you happen to do that vegan Kung Pao Tofu recipe, please depart a remark and star score under letting me know the way you prefer it.

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