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Vegan Kung Pao Tofu with crispy tofu, toasted peanuts, and crunchy bell pepper doused in a slightly spicy stir-fry sauce served over rice!

kung pao tofu served over rice in a bowl
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Kung Pao Chicken, also known as Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a Chinese stir-fry dish with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili served over rice. It is a popular Chinese takeout meal.

This Kung Pao Tofu recipe is the vegetarian/vegan version of it! In addition, the recipe is slightly modified. Kung Pao Sauce is authentically prepared with Sichuan peppercorns, which have an intense flavor of its own. Because they can be hard to find, I altered the recipe a little to make it tasty even without Sichuan peppercorns.

vegan kung pao tofu served over rice

Anyhow, if you have them at home, feel free to add some to the recipe. Otherwise, gochujang, samabal oelek, sriracha, dried red chilies, or red pepper flakes will do. 😉

Let me show you how to make this incredibly delicious, spicy, nutty, and crunchy vegan kung pao tofu recipe at home! Perfect for everyone who loves a decent Chinese dish for lunch or dinner that is plant-based, gluten-free, and quickly prepared. The tofu provides a good portion of protein, the crunchy veggies contain vitamins & fiber (bell pepper is high in vitamin c), the peanuts add some saturated fat, and the stir-fry sauce packs a punch of flavor.

For the vegans who prefer a more authentic dish, use a vegan chicken alternative instead of tofu. The recipe & cooking method stays the same!

Ingredients

You can find the quantities in the recipe.

Kung Pao Tofu Ingredients
  • Peanuts → Typical for Kung Pao! I like to toast them first, makes them even more flavorful. They add a great crunch to this dish.
  • Tofu → Use firm tofu or extra firm tofu. Make sure to squeeze the liquid from the tofu so that it becomes crispier when cooked, and absorbs the sauce better.
  • Rice → Basmati or jasmine rice to serve it with.
  • Red Bell Pepper → Crunchy bell peppers add some vitamins to this dish.
  • Ginger, Garlic, Green Onion → Provide more flavor!  It is best to use only the green part of the green onion for this dish. You can use the white part for a salad, or as a substitute for onion in another recipe.
  • Gochujang → Is a spicy, fermented Korean spice paste. It is mainly made of glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and chili. It’s available in the Asia Shop. The recipe also works without gochujang (if you can’t find it or don’t want to buy it just for one recipe) and can be substituted with sriracha, sambal oelek, minced dried chili peppers, or chili oil.
  • Soy Sauce, Rice Vinegar, Sugar, Cornstarch → If you don’t have rice vinegar at home, substitute it with lime juice. Instead of sugar, use maple syrup. 
  • Cornstarch → Thickens the sauce a little. Plus, if you toss tofu with cornstarch before frying, it turns out a little crispier.

Hint: Some brands of soy sauce and gochujang can contain insignificant amounts of gluten. Therefore, if you strictly have to avoid gluten, make sure to use gluten-free brands or use tamari to be on the safe side.

Visual Step-by-Step Instructions

This visual step-by-step instruction will help you along the way – definitely recommended if you’re a cooking beginner! 😉

  • Rice: Cook the rice according to the package instructions. → I only cook my rice in a rice cooker! Makes truly the best rice!
  • Toast peanuts in a wok without oil for 5 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.
Kung Pao Tofu Recipe Step-1
  • Cover the tofu in a paper towel and press to remove excess water (or use a tofu press). Cut the tofu into cubes and toss them with 1 tbsp cornstarch.
  • Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium heat with one tablespoon of oil over high heat, add the tofu, and fry for 5-10 minutes until crispy. Set aside.
Kung Pao Tofu Recipe Step 2-3
  • Add one tablespoon of oil, garlic, and ginger to the wok, stir-fry for 1 minute.
  • Add bell pepper and scallion, stir-fry for 2 minutes.c
  • Mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and add it to the wok. Cook for one minute until slightly thickened.
  • Stir in tofu and peanuts.
Kung Pao Tofu Recipe Step 4-7
  • Serve over rice!
vegan kung pao with tofu and rice

Storage Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Good for 3 days.

Reheat in a wok or microwave.

More Asian Tofu Recipes

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📖 Recipe

kung pao tofu served over rice in a bowl

Vegan Kung Pao Tofu

Vegan Kung Pao Tofu with crispy tofu, toasted peanuts, and crunchy bell pepper doused in a slightly spicy stir-fry sauce served over rice!
Author : Aline Cueni
5 from 1 vote

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :5 minutes
Cook Time :15 minutes
Total Time :20 minutes
Servings : 2
Calories : 804kcal

Ingredients
 

  • cup (130 g) basmati rice
  • cup (50 g) peanuts toasted
  • 9 oz (250 g) firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 inch ginger minced
  • 1 red bell pepper in cubes
  • 2 scallion only green part, sliced in 1" pieces

Stir-Fry Sauce

Instructions
 

  • Rice: Cook the rice according to the package instructions. → I only cook my rice in a rice cooker! Makes truly the best rice!
  • Toast peanuts in a wok without oil for 5 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.
  • Cover the tofu in a paper towel and press to remove excess water (or use a tofu press). Cut the tofu into cubes and toss them with 1 tbsp cornstarch.
  • Heat a wok with one tablespoon of oil over high heat, add the tofu, and fry for 5-10 minutes until crispy. Set aside.
  • Add one tablespoon of oil, garlic, and ginger to the wok, stir-fry for 1 minute.
  • Add bell pepper and scallion, stir-fry for 2 minutes.c
  • Mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and add it to the wok. Cook for one minute until slightly thickened.
  • Stir in tofu and peanuts. Serve over rice!

Notes

Gochujang: Is a spicy, fermented Korean chili paste. It consists mainly of glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and chili. It’s available in the Asia Shop. The recipe also works without gochujang (if you can’t find it) and can be substituted with sriracha, sambal oelek, or chili oil.
Leftovers can be stored for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Reheat in a pot over medium heat or in the microwave.

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Nutrition

Calories: 804kcal | Carbohydrates: 137g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 69mg | Potassium: 432mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1983IU | Vitamin C: 99mg | Calcium: 268mg | Iron: 8mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @aline_made on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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