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Tofu cubes with chopped pepper and onions in sauce in a wok.

Easy Vegan Kung Pao Tofu

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  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan


Enjoy a flavorful and satisfying Vegan Kung Pao Tofu Stir-Fry, featuring crispy cubes of tofu tossed, vibrant vegetables and crunchy cashews, all tossed in a sweet and spicy homemade sauce.


For the Tofu

  • 1 400 g block extra firm tofu, cut into approx. 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tsp cooking oil of choice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (15 mL)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch (10 g)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of black pepper

For the Stir Fry

  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil (10 mL)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced or grated (15 g)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated (10 g)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 a red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanuts or chopped cashews, for serving
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, for serving
  • cooked rice, for serving

For the Sauce

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce (125 mL)
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar (80 mL)
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar (30 g)
  • 1 tbsp crushed chilli flakes*
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch (20 g)
  • 2 tbsp water (30 mL)


  1. Prepare: Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Coat Tofu: Place the cubed tofu in a bowl with the oil, soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic powder and black pepper. Gently mix with a rubber spatula to coat.
  3. Bake Tofu: Place the tofu cubes on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until browned and puffy. Note: The tofu can also be pan-fried, see notes, though I prefer the texture of baked.
  4. Mix Sauce: Once the tofu is in the oven, mix the sauce ingredients in any container or bowl.
  5. Start Stir Fry: When the tofu has just under 10 minutes left, heat the sesame oil in a large wok or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the bell peppers and onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often, until tender but still crisp.
  6. Add Sauce and Tofu: Stir the sauce again and pour it into the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook while stirring for 1-2 minutes until it starts thickening. Add the baked tofu cubes, mix well to coat in sauce and cook for another few minutes until thickened to your liking.
  7. Serve: Serve the kung pao tofu over rice or with lettuce cups. Top with the crushed cashews and chopped green onions.


To pan-fry tofu, toss the tofu in the cornstarch, garlic powder, black pepper and soy sauce and pan-fry in 2-3 tsp oil. Cook 6-7 minutes, flipping often until golden brown on all sides. Add the garlic, ginger and peppers, cook 4-5 minutes until the veggies are tender. Add the sauce and stir until thickened. I prefer the texture of baked tofu.

*Use 1-4 tsp chili flakes based on spice preference. I don’t tolerate spicy food that well and 2 tsp is best for me. If you’re sensitive to spice, reduce to 1 tsp. If you love heat, you can increase to 4 tsp. This is meant to be a spicy recipe, so for a good amount of heat for those that enjoy spicy food, 1 tbsp (3 tsp) is recommended. For a more authentic source of heat, omit the red pepper flakes from the sauce and add 3-4 whole dried red chilies with the garlic and ginger. Remove before serving.

Nutrition facts do not include cashews, green onion or rice.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 238
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Sodium: 959 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 14 g