Vegan Kung Pao Tofu

Kung Pao Tofu stir fry in bowl

5 from 11 reviews

Crispy Tofu gets tossed with peanuts, veggies, chiles, and a sweet spicy and savory sauce for a plant-based twist on a classic takeout dish!



For the Tofu:

  • 1 14 ounce (396 g) block extra firm tofu, pressed*
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or another high-heat cooking oil)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 tablespoons (29 g) cornstarch

For the Stir Fry and Sauce:

  • 1 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 3 green onions, chopped; white and green parts separated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1” fresh ginger, peeled and grated (~2 tsp)
  • 1 red bell pepper, large dice
  • 1 green bell pepper, large dice
  • ½ cup (80 g) roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 510 dried red chiles (cut in half for more spice)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (see notes for substitutions)
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce (optional, for color) 
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Tear the tofu into bite-sized chunks for a more meat-like shape and texture, or cut into small cubes. 
  2. Tofu: Add the tofu to a medium bowl and add in the oil and tamari. Toss with a spatula until evenly coated, then sprinkle the cornstarch on top and toss again. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread out the tofu pieces so they aren’t touching. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through.
  3. Toast the Peppercorns (Optional): Bring a large sauté pan or wok to medium heat. Add the whole peppercorns and toast for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from the pan, crush using a mortar and pestle, and set aside.
  4. Aromatics & Veggies: Add the avocado oil to the same pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the white parts of the green onion, garlic, and ginger; sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Toss in the green and red bell peppers, peanuts, chiles, and crushed peppercorns. Mix well and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Make it Saucy: Add hoisin sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, and dark soy sauce to the center of the pan and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Dissolve the corn starch into the ½ cup (120 ml) of water, then pour into the pan and bring to a simmer, stirring well. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened to your liking.
  6. Final Touches: Turn the heat to low, then stir in the baked tofu and sesame oil. Divide the Kung Pao Tofu and vegetables between serving bowls, then top with green onions and serve warm. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.


  • Pressed Tofu: use a tofu press to remove the excess liquid from your tofu, or wrap the tofu in a clean towel or paper towels, place a heavy object on top, and let sit for at least 30 minutes
  • Peanut Free: use cashews for a fun twist!
  • Gluten-Free: use gluten-free hoisin sauce and gf soy sauce or tamari

Keywords: vegan tofu recipe, vegan kung pao tofu, kung pao tofu