Kung Pao Tofu
Kung pao tofu is the vegan version of kung pao chicken.
This Easy Kung Pao Tofu recipe tastes better than take-out and can be made pretty quickly at home! Make the sauce in one bowl, cook your tofu until crispy in a pan, stir fry the veggies, then add the sauce and peanuts. A delicious weeknight meal!
14 ounces firm tofu(400 g)
1 tablespoon soy sauce(15 ml)
½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar (8 g)
¼ teaspoon salt (1 g)
1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar (7 ml)
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch (5 g)
2/3 cup warm water (160 ml)
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
1 cup blanched shelled and skinless roasted peanuts (140 g)
1 cucumber chopped
1 tablespoon ginger (8g, minced)
3-5 dried chili peppers (de-seeded and cut into segments)
3 cloves garlic (13 g, chopped)
3 scallions (white parts only, diced)
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder
Step 1: Remove the tofu from the plastic carton onto a plate and let it sit for 10 minutes to allow the excess liquid to drain. Next, place the tofu on a flat surface lined with clean kitchen towels or paper towels and pat the sides dry. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut the tofu into ½-inch cubes and allow them to continue to drain for a few minutes. Prepare the sauce by mixing together the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, salt, rice vinegar, sesame oil, 2 teaspoons cornstarch and 2/3 cup warm water. Stir the sauce until everything is dissolved and combined.
Step 2: Heat non stick pan on medium with 2 tablespoon oil, and gently place each cube of tofu in the pan. Let the tofu fry for about 5 minutes, or until the bottoms are browned. Turn the tofu with a spatula (they’ll stick together slightly, which may make it easier to flip a bunch of pieces all at once) and let the other side fry for another 5 minutes until the bottom is browned again. At this point, use a spatula to gently separate any tofu pieces that may be sticking together. Set the tofu aside.
Step 3: Add 1 tablespoons oil to the same pan. Add the ginger and dried chili peppers. Toast the ginger and chili peppers for about 20 seconds and add the garlic and scallions. Stir-fry for another 20 seconds. Add cucumber, peanuts, and tofu and mix well. Stir up the pre-mixed sauce with a chopstick or spoon since the cornstarch is likely to have settled, and add the sauce to the wok. Turn the heat up to high, and bring the sauce to a simmer. Keep stir-frying until the sauce has reduced and is clinging to the tofu and peanuts. At this point, you can stir in the Sichuan peppercorn powder, or you can sprinkle it on top. Serve with steamed rice.