Kung Pao Tofu is a tasty recipe whose many iterations often require lots of steps and ingredients and sometimes even two different sauces. This version streamlines the process so that it can be on the table in less than half an hour. Serve on its own or over hot cooked rice or noodles. Photos by Evan Atlas.
Quick Kung Pao Tofu
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or other mild vinegar
- 1 tablespoon natural granulated sugar
- ¼ cup sweet chili sauce
- 16 ounce tub extra-firm tofu well blotted or pressed
- 1 ½ tablespoon safflower coconut, or other high-heat vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 large or 2 medium broccoli crowns cut into small pieces
- 1 red yellow, or orange bell pepper, cut into short narrow strips
- 3 celery stalks thinly sliced
- 2 scallions white and green parts, thinly sliced
- Peanut halves for garnish
- Dried hot red chili peppers for garnish optional
- Sriracha dried hot red pepper flakes, or other hot seasoning
- In a measuring cup, combine the arrowroot or cornstarch with a small amount of water and stir to dissolve. Add enough additional water to fill to the ½ cup level. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Add the remaining sauce ingredients to the bowl and stir together. Set aside.
- Cut the well-blotted or press tofu into approximately ½-inch dice.
- Heat the oil in a stir-fry pan. Add the tofu and stir-fry for several minutes, until most sides are golden.
- Add the garlic, broccoli, and bell pepper and stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green.
- Add the celery and scallions and continue to stir-fry until all the veggies are tender-crisp.
- Stir up the sauce, then stir it into the pan. Stir-fry just until it thickens.
- Serve at once. Pass around any of the garnishes (note — dried hot chile peppers are a traditional addition to this dish, but they are HOT!) as well as extra soy sauce.
- Here are more easy tofu recipes.