Vegan Chinese Kung Pao Tofu Recipe

Kung pao tofu - a vegetarian and vegan version of kung pao chicken
Kung pao tofu - a vegetarian and vegan version of kung pao chicken.
  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: about 3 servings
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Looking for easy tofu recipes? Here is a complete list of tofu recipes.

Never had kung pao tofu before? Looking for something new to try for a vegetarian dinner tonight? Try this vegetarian Chinese dish!

Although this traditional Chinese food dish is usually made with chicken, you can use tofu to create a very similar vegetarian and vegan version of traditional kung pao chicken using all the same Chinese ingredients and seasonings, including sesame oil, red pepper flakes, onion, lime and hot sauce. This vegetarian kung pao tofu recipe also calls for lots of healthy Chinese veggies including snow peas, bok choy, cabbage and mushrooms.

Serve this Szechuan-style Chinese kung pao tofu recipe over rice.

Need this recipe to be gluten-free as well as vegan? Double-check that your vegetable broth is gluten-free, and use tamari in place of the soy sauce.

See also: More vegetarian Chinese food recipes

What You'll Need

  • 3 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari to keep it gluten-free)
  • 1 pound firm or extra firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil + 2 tbsp
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 small bok choy, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 1/2 small purple cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup peanuts or cashew nuts (optional)

How to Make It

First, prepare your tofu. Like most vegetarian tofu recipes, this tofu recipe will taste best if you press the tofu first. This allows the tofu to absorb more of the flavorings and seasonings which you add to it. Not sure how to do that? See this easy step-by-step guide: How to press tofu.

Once your tofu is ready, combine the 3 tbsp vegetable broth, lime juice, soy sauce, 1 tbsp sesame oil and the tofu in a small bowl.

Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, mixing occasionally to coat the tofu well.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a baking sheet or cover with foil and bake tofu for 15 minutes, turning once.

In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, sautee the onion, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, mushrooms and ginger in 2 tbsp sesame oil for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add bok choy and vegetable broth and cook for 3 to 5 more minutes. Add cabbage and snow peas.

Reduce heat to low and add tofu and remaining ingredients, cooking just until combined and heated through. Serve over rice.

Need it to be a full vegetarian meal? Serve this homemade kung pao tofu with: