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This homemade Kung Pao Tofu, made with perfectly crispy pan-fried tofu tossed in the most delicious sauce with peppers and onions is ready in 25 minutes. |

Kung Pao Tofu

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  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Diet: Vegan


This homemade Kung Pao Tofu, made with perfectly crispy pan-fried tofu tossed in the most delicious sauce with peppers and onions, tastes way, way better than takeout. Since it's loaded with protein and veggies, this vegetarian version of kung pao chicken is an all-in-one meal with no need for any sides. Serve it over a bed of fluffy steamed rice to soak up the spicy sauce, and you'll have a perfect meal for any night of the week. Ready in just 25 minutes!


For the tofu:

  • 14 ounces (1 package) extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine (or mirin)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable or chicken bouillon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper or black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

For stir frying:

  • 1 small onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 dried red chili peppers (more or less, to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, finely chopped


  1. Drain excess water out of the tofu and cut into 1 inch pieces. Use a paper towel to gently pat the tofu dry.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, add the tofu and cornstarch. Toss well to completely coat. Set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl, add all the sauce ingredients including soy sauce, vinegar, Shaoxing cooking win, sesame oil, sugar, chicken bouillon powder, pepper, and cornstarch. Mix well until smooth.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet until the hot oil sizzles, about 2 minutes. Add tofu and ensure they are evenly spaced apart. Sauté until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. You might need to cook the tofu pieces in 2 batches to ensure they don't stick to one another. Once cooked, set them aside on a plate.
  5. In the same skillet, add onion, bell peppers, dried chili pepper, garlic, and ginger. Cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the sautéed tofu and sauce mixture. Stir well until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency and the tofu and vegetables are evenly coated with the sauce. about 3 minutes. Stir in peanuts and green onion.
  7. Serve warm with steamed rice or fried rice.


How to store: ​Allow the kung pao tofu to cool to room temperature, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

How to reheat: I prefer to heat the leftovers in a skillet on the stove for 5-10 minutes. If the sauce has thickened, you can add a little extra water.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stir Fry
  • Cuisine: Chinese