Vegan Kung Pao Tofu

Updated: Mar 29

I've made this recipe with cauliflower before but I can say that tofu absorbs flavour a lot better so this dish was so satisfying and perfect with some rice!

It's made with a few basic ingredients but the one key ingredient that makes a lot of difference is the Chinese black vinegar. Check out a similar brand here. (PS. this is an amazon affiliate link so I get a portion of sales made through this link).

I also added some szechuan peppercorns which have a different type of spice compared to regular peppercorns and they're a must-add if you have them in your local Asian store.

You can easily put this dish together with the rest of the ingredients. It takes less than 30 minutes to cook this dish and it's so much easier if you prepare all the ingredients before cooking. Check out the recipe below. Enjoy!

If you make this or any of my recipes, please share them with me on my Instagram and use #thefoodietakesflight! Looking forward to seeing them! :)

Are you looking for more delicious, vegan recipes? Check out my latest Vegan Kitchen eBook, that has over 95 recipes (and a whole section for Asian recipes!) that are packed with flavour and made with simple and easily accessible ingredients! Also, two trees (instead of 1!) will be planted for every download of my eBook through non-profit organisation One Tree Planted.🌲

Here is a little preview of the recipes you'll find inside:

Kung Pao Tofu 

Serves 3-4 people


2 240g blocks extra firm tofu 

1 ½ tbsp cornstarch

¾ tsp salt 

¼ cup canola or other neutral oil, for pan-frying 

1 onion, sliced into squares

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

¼ tsp szechuan peppercorns, optional but highly recommended 

2 dried chilis or 1 fresh chili, optional*

1 small red bell pepper, sliced into squares

1 tbsp roasted peanuts plus more for garnishing 

Chopped spring onions, for garnishing

Steamed rice for serving 


*Feel free to cut the chili, but take note that they will release a lot more heat.


1 tbsp chinese black vinegar

3 tbsp soy sauce

¼ cup coconut sugar or other sugar of choice 

1 ½ tsp sriracha, adjust according to desired spice

2 tbsp room temp. water

½ tbsp cornstarch 

Note: Feel free to adjust the amount of vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and sriracha depending on how you’d like your sauce to taste! 


  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl. 

  2. Drain excess water out of the tofu. I usually do this by wrapping them with some paper towels and placing a plate on top of them but you can also opt to use a tofu press.

  3. Slice the tofu diagonally into large squares before cutting them in half to form triangles. You can also slice them into 1-inch cubes. 

  4. In a container, mix in the 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch and ¾ tsp salt. Coat each piece of tofu in the cornstarch mixture.

  5. Heat a pan and add in ¼ cup of oil. Add in the coated tofu. Pan fry the tofu over medium high heat on each side until golden brown and crisp. Ensure that the tofu do not stick to one another in the pan. You may need to fry them in 2-3 batches depending on the size of your frying pan. Set the tofu aside.

  6. In the same frying pan, add in the onions and garlic. Sauté until tender. Add in the szechuan peppercorns (if using), chili (if using), and bell peppers. Once the bell peppers are cooked through, add in the tofu. Pour in the sauce mixture. Leave to simmer over medium heat while mixing everything together. Once the sauce has thickened, add in the peanuts and mix well. Turn off heat. 

  7. Serve with some rice. Garnish with some spring onions and more peanuts, if desired. Enjoy while hot! 

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