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Kung Pao with tofu makes a wonderful vegan dinner recipe. If you love Chinese flavours you are going to love this vegan Kung Pao. You don’t have to use chicken to make this. A vegetarian Chinese inspired dinner with tofu is just as good! If you are looking for a Chinese food tofu recipe, this is for you!

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this vegetarian Chinese inspired dinner.

This vegan kung pao recipe is colourful, appetizing and always delicious. Try it with rice or noodles. Leftovers taste pretty good too!

Why You’ll Love This

  • Simple: This wonderful Chinese food tofu recipe is easy enough for a beginner to make and it tastes impressive.
  • Quick: All you need to do is combine and stir-fry the ingredients, so if you’re new to vegan stir-fry recipes you’ll find it a breeze to prepare.
  • Perfect taste combination: The tamari or soy sauce, lemon and honey marinade offer a sweet, zesty and salty flavor combo.
Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this vegetarian Chinese inspired dinner.

Vegan Kung Pao Ingredients

You will need tamari or soy sauce, lemon and honey for the marinade. Tofu, garlic, ginger, and cashews go into the stir-fry, along with olive oil. As for the veggies, you can use whatever you like. I added onions, bell pepper and broccoli for plenty of flavour and to make the dish look appetizing and colourful.

Unlike with meat, tofu doesn’t need to marinate for hours to absorb flavour. It’s like a sponge! You can let it marinate for a couple hours for a stronger taste if you want.

What is Kung Pao?

Sometimes spelled Kung Po or Gong Bao, this Chinese dish is typically made with chicken. It’s a spicy stir-fry which includes peanuts, chillies and vegetables. It originated in the Sichuan Province of China.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this vegetarian Chinese inspired dinner.

Authentically the recipe is made with Sichuan peppercorns which are veeerrrrry spicy! There are other regional variations though which pack less heat!

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this vegetarian Chinese inspired dinner.

This Kung Pao with tofu is a simplified version. Rather than add a lot of heat, the focus is on the marinated tofu as well as the colourful vegetables. I wanted to make a vegetarian Chinese inspired dinner which was healthy and tasty. And this one certainly is!

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this vegetarian Chinese inspired dinner.

Storage Directions

Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container and use within 4 days.
Freeze: Freezing this recipe changes the texture a little, but it will freeze and be good for up to 3 months.
Reheat: The best way to warm leftovers back up is in a pan on the stove or in the microwave.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this Chinese food tofu recipe.

I like to serve it over boiled white rice and garnish the vegan Kung Pao with cilantro, sesame and lime. If you want to add some spice, thinly cut red chillies would work. If you want to add more spice, you can use chillies in the sauce instead of just the garnish.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this Chinese food tofu recipe.

How to Make Vegan Kung Pao Vegetables with Tofu

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Prepare the tofu: Put it on a plate with paper towels on top, then put a heavy pot on top and wait for 20 minutes or until the excess liquid is drained out.
Stir-fry the ingredients: Cook the tofu and then the vegetables and seasonings, then add the sauce and serve hot.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this Chinese food tofu recipe.

Combine the ingredients for the marinade, chop the tofu into cubes and mix it in. You can let the tofu marinate for 20 minutes while you prepare the vegetables. Fry the tofu in a skillet and then remove it and fry the veggies and nuts.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this Chinese food tofu recipe.

Add the sauce and tofu back in and serve with rice. I love this Chinese food tofu recipe – it’s better than takeout!

Vegan Kung Pao Variations

There are some variations you can try with this Kung Pao with tofu recipe. Swap the tamari (I like because it is gluten free) for soy sauce if you prefer soy sauce, or use different vegetables. Oyster mushrooms would be good, or cauliflower, carrot, or zucchini. You might prefer peanuts to cashews, or extra green onions.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this Chinese food tofu recipe.

The honey in the sauce/marinade can be switched for sugar or agave syrup. If you aren’t a fan of kung pao tofu, you can make this vegan dinner recipe with another protein in its place. Chickpea protein, seitan or tempeh should work perfectly if you prefer not to make a Kung Pao tofu.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this vegan dinner recipe.

What to Serve with Vegetarian Kung Pao

Just like with kung pao chicken, you can serve this dish with whatever you want, although rice and noodles are especially good with such a recipe.

Boiled or steamed white rice are perfect with this. You could try brown rice if you prefer or egg noodles. If you want a vegan friendly appetizer, you might like to make vegan spring rolls or something similar.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this vegan dinner recipe.

Authentic Kung Pao vs Westernized Kung Pao

You might be curious how this recipe differs from the original Chinese recipe. In the West it’s common to stir fry chicken in a sweetened orange and ginger-based sauce and add vegetables other than onion. Kung pao chicken from a Westernized restaurant isn’t going to bear much similarity to the authentic version.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this vegan dinner recipe.

In China Kung Pao usually only has onion as a vegetable and is made with chicken. Western versions are sometimes made with pork, fish or duck, as well as with tofu. Kung pao is sometimes spelled kung po so you might see kung po tofu or kung pao tofu on a restaurant menu. However, I find the homemade version to be even more delicious.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares a recipe for Kung Pao with tofu. You will love this vegan dinner recipe.

Tofu Kung Pao FAQs

Can you use different vegetables in this recipe?

One of the great things about kung pao is you can use pretty much any vegetables in it that you like. How about some baby corn, bamboo shoots or sliced mushrooms? Use any kung pao vegetable you like.

Is kung pao a spicy dish?

Another great thing about making your own kung pao is you can tweak the recipe however you wish. If you want to add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce, go ahead!

Vegan Kung Pao with Tofu, Vegetables & Cashews Recipe

5 from 4 votes

Vegan Kung Pao with Tofu, Vegetables & Cashews

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Kung Pao with tofu makes a wonderful vegan dinner recipe. You are going to love this vegan Kung Pao. A vegetarian Chinese inspired dinner with tofu is just as good! If you are looking for a Chinese food tofu recipe, this is for you!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinate: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

Kung Pao Marinade 

  • 1/2 Cup tamari sauce, or soy sauce
  • 1 Juiced lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey

Tofu Kung Pao 

  • 1 Block Tofu
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil , divided
  • 1 onion
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic , minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 Cup broccoli
  • 1 Bunch green onion
  • 1/2 Cup cashews

Instructions 

  • Combine soy sauce, lemon juice and honey in a cup. Stir to combine and set aside.
  • Press tofu to remove excess of water then cut in cubes. Place in a bowl which has a cover. Pour marinate in the bowl and cover. Gently turn the bowl upside down and back again. Make sure all tofu cubes are coated. Marinate for about 20 minutes.
  • Heat a non-stick pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Remove tofu carefully from sauce then fry until crispy on each side. Don't throw away the sauce. Place tofu on a plate and set aside. 
  • In a large non-stick pan, heat the rest of olive oil over medium heat. Stir fry onion, ginger and garlic until they begin to soften. Add bell peppers and cook until half soft.
  • Turn heat to low-medium and add broccoli, green onion and cashew nuts. 
  • Stir fry for about 1 minute then add tofu and kung pao sauce. Combine all together. 
  • Bring to simmer until the sauce has thickened. 
  • Remove and serve immediately with rice. 

Nutrition

Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 1639mg | Potassium: 482mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1315IU | Vitamin C: 97mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

I love this Kung Pao with tofu because it’s easy to make and really filling. The recipe is foolproof too. Use firm or extra-firm tofu so it holds its shape and vary which veggies you use if you want. This vegan dinner recipe is much better than takeout. Try it and you’ll agree!

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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