Quick, healthy and so easy to make, Kung Pao Tofu is loaded with veggies and full of flavor!
Prep the tofu: Place the block of tofu between a clean dish towel, gently press down on top and along the edges so the towel absorbs the moisture. Cut the tofu into 3/4 inch cubes.
Marinate the tofu: Add 2 tablespoons tamari, 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, black pepper and red pepper flakes to a medium-sized bowl, add tofu and gently fold together until tofu is coated. Let tofu marinate while preparing the other ingredients.
Stir-fry sauce: To make the sauce, whisk together 3 tablespoons water, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil in a small-medium bowl.
Brown tofu: Heat 1 tablespoon regular oil in a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add marinated tofu in a single layer in the pan and cook without moving for 2 – 3 minutes. Stir the tofu and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stir once again and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer tofu to a plate.
Stir-fry veggies: Turn heat down to medium and add 1 tablespoon regular oil. Add red chili peppers, stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the onion and stir-fry 1 minute. Add bell peppers and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add zucchini, garlic, ginger, and cook for 1 minute.
Add tofu & sauce: Add the tofu back to the pan. Add the sauce to the pan and allow to heat and bubble, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add slurry mix: Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing together 2 teaspoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Add to the pan, stirring to combine, continue stirring until the sauce is thickened, about 1 minute.
Serve: Serve with rice or quinoa. Garnish kung pao tofu with peanuts and sliced green onions.
Serves 4 – 6
Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
For convenience, try using packaged, pre-minced garlic or ginger, even a paste is great, use 1 tablespoon each (make it a heaping tablespoon for extra flavor).
Red Chili Peppers: You can find dried red chili peppers in Asian markets or use the ‘chilies de arbol’ found in the Latin section of your local grocery store. Use whole (like I do), or cut them in half and remove the seeds. Use as many as you like for flavor. Do not eat them.
Nut allergies: If you have nut allergies, omit the peanuts.
Oil free: You can make this oil-free by using a water saute or using vegetable broth in place of oil when stir-frying. Omit the oil in the marinade and sauce.
Keywords: kung pao tofu recipe, vegan stir fry