As many of you know, I love Asian food. So, after eating Kung Pao Tofu at one of my favorite Asian restaurants, I made my healthy version at home. Since most Asian restaurants serve various options, we enjoy dinner at places we know we can eat. But, most Asian restaurants use a lot of oil, so I always try to master my version of vegan Asian recipes at home. Kung Pao Tofu Recipe is loaded with Kung Pao vegetables in a light Kung Pau sauce served with brown rice.
For those who don't enjoy tofu, skip the tofu and only make Kung Pao Vegetables. My Kung Pao sauce, however, with vegetables or tofu, is oil-free and delicious.
Whenever I stir fry any vegetables in a wok, I always do it quickly, in a dry wok without any sauce. As a result, the vegetables remain crisp. If I add the sauce while stir-frying, the vegetables get soggy bogged down by the sauce.
Kung Pao Vegetables
Although any vegetable combinations work with this recipe, I love various colors and textures when choosing my vegetables.
- White onion
- Purple Cabbage
- Red Bell Pepper
- Snow Peas
- Green onions (garnish)
Again, if preparing this dish without the tofu, I suggest doubling the amount of vegetables to replace the tofu.
Since Kung Pao sauce is generally spicy, I suggest adding the pepper flakes and chili paste in small amounts for personal preference. At my house, we love it hot. Even though Kung Poa Tofu is considered a spicy dish, it doesn't have to be! So, if you prefer your sauce less spicy, always begin with a little spice. You can always add more spice, but you can't remove it once it's added).
A little sauce always goes a long way!
Kung Pao Sauce Ingredients
- Soy sauce (or Tamari for a gluten-free option)
- Vegetables Broth
- Rice Vinegar
- Chili Paste
- Maple syrup or date syrup
- Corn Starch or Arrowroot powder
- Cooked brown rice or rice of choice
- Sesame seeds (garnish)
Not only is the Kung Pao sauce used as the tofu marinade, but it also serves as the sauce for the rest of the dish after cooking.
How to make Kung Pao Tofu Recipe
First, marinate the tofu in half of the Kung Pao Sauce. For the best results, I suggest marinating overnight for optimal flavor.
Once marinated, choose how to cook the tofu.
- Follow the same pressing and marinating process.
- Set air fryer temperature at 375 degrees
- Cook 10-15 minutes, shaking the basket a couple of times through the cooking process.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place cut or uncut tofu on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper
- Cook for 15 minutes
- Remove from oven and flip tofu over; cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium-high.
- Add the tofu pieces with a little of the marinade.
- Saute, moving the pieces around with a spatula, adding small amounts of the marinade as it cooks to prevent it from sticking.
- Cook a total of 20 minutes.
What is Kung Pao Tofu?
- Kung Pao Tofu is a stir-fry made with marinated tofu which is air-fried, baked, or seared and served with wok-style vegetables with brown rice.
What does Kung Pao Sauce taste like?
- Kung Pao Sauce is savory, salty, sweet, and spicy. At first bite, the sweet and salty flavor flourishes, followed by a bit of spice at the end.
What is a gluten-free substitute for soy sauce?
- Substitute Tamari or Liquid aminos for soy sauce in recipes for a gluten-free option.
- Prepare the marinade ahead of time to marinate the tofu overnight.
- Air-frying the tofu in advance and returning to the leftover tofu marinade provides additional flavor and is a time-saving tip.
- Making the brown rice ahead of time also allows for quick and easy meal preparation.
- Add chili paste and red pepper flakes in small amounts, taste, and then add more for personal preference.
- Stir fry the vegetables in a dry wok and add sauce after cooking for crips and tasty vegetables.
- If making Kung Pao Vegetables only, double the amount of vegetables and omit the tofu.
- Add cashews as an added garnish.
Are you looking for healthy vegan Asian dishes? Look no further!
- Dan dan noodles
- Vegan Pad Thai Recipe
- Zoodle Pad Thai Recipe
- Orange Cauliflower Recipe
- General Tso Cauliflower Recipe
- Tofu Satay
- Vietnamese Noodles
- How to Cook Vegan Pad Kee Mao With Seared Tofu (Plus Magic Marinade!)
- Sweet and Sour Tofu Recipe
- Garlic Noodles
- Asian Crunch Salad
- How to Make an Asian Tahini Sauce With Miso & Lemon
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂