Kung Pao Tofu is a vegan version developed from Kung Pao Chicken which gets the same popularity with Mapo tofu in worldwide. And surely it is a dish I make from time to time.

Tofu is always considered as a good replacement for meat in many Chinese dishes. And it is the best partner of lots of Szechuan style stir fire sauce like kung pao sauce 宫保汁(gōng)(bǎo)(zhī) and fish flavor sauce (鱼香汁).

Kung Pao Tofu |chinasichuanfood.com

For all vegan readers: Kung pao sauce is great for almost all chunky vegetables. Besides this kung pao tofu, you still have other options like Kung pao mushroom, Kung pao cauliflower and Kung pao Lotus root.


  • 1 pound firm tofu or extra firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
  • 1 green pepper, cut into small pieces
  • 1 red pepper sliced
  • 3 to 5 dried red chili pepper (I use whole pieces to reduce the hotness)
  • 1/8 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorn
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch root ginger sliced
  • 2 leek scallions, cut the white part into small sections
  • 1 tbsp. roasted peanuts
Stir-fry Sauce:
  • ½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • a small pinch of salt (around 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoon sugar

Cut tofu into 2cm dices, add oil and then fry the tofu pieces over medium fire until golden on one side.

Kung Pao Tofu |chinasichuanfood.com

Then turn over and make them golden brown on four sides.

Kung Pao Tofu |chinasichuanfood.com

In your wok, hot oil and fry dried red pepper and Sichuan peppercorn until aroma. Place garlic, ginger and half of the leek onion sections and keep frying over slow fire for half a minute.

Kung Pao Tofu |chinasichuanfood.com

Place tofu and pepper pieces in.

Kung Pao Tofu |chinasichuanfood.com

Slightly stir the kung pao sauce so there is no starch sticking to the bottom. Pour in the sauce and give everything a big stir fry to make every piece well-coated. Ad toasted peanuts and the remaining leek onion sections. Mix well and serve immediately.

Kung Pao Tofu |chinasichuanfood.com

My favorite way for serving those kung pao tofu is steamed rice. But it can be served with noodles or steamed buns too.

Kung Pao Tofu |chinasichuanfood.com

Kung Pao Tofu |chinasichuanfood.com

Vegan Kung Pao Tofu

This is a vegan kung pao tofu recipe developed based on kung pao chicken.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Sichuan cuisine
Keyword: Kung Pao, tofu
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 513kcal
Author: Elaine


  • 1 pound firm tofu or extra firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable cooking oil
  • 1 green pepper , cut into small pieces
  • 1 red pepper sliced
  • 1/8 tsp. Sichuan peppercorn
  • 3 to 5 dried red chili pepper , I use whole pieces to reduce the hotness
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 inch root ginger sliced
  • 2 leek scallions , cut the white part into small sections
  • 1 tbsp. peanuts

Stir-fry Sauce:

  • ½ tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. a small pinch of salt
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp. chopped green onion
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. sugar


  • Cut the firm tofu into cubes around 2 cm. And then drain to remove the water on the surface.
  • Cut red pepper and green pepper into small pieces.
  • In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for stir-fry sauce.
  • Heat up 3 tablespoons of peanut oil in wok. And get the cubes in to stir-fry until tofu becomes gold-brown in surface. Move the tofu cubes out and pour the extra oil out of the wok, left around 1 tablespoon of oil in.
  • Fry dried chili pepper and Sichuan peppercorn until aroma and then place ginger, garlic and half of leek onion in to stir-fry over slow fire until fragrant; return tofu cubes in along with pepper pieces.
  • Slightly stir the kung pao sauce and pour in. Give everything a give stir fry until the tofu cubes are well coated. Add toasted peanuts and the remaining leek onion sections. Mix well and serve with steamed rice or noodles.


This recipe is firstly published in 2013 and then re-written with new photos in April, 2017.


Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Sodium: 1602mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 785IU | Vitamin C: 9.8mg | Calcium: 315mg | Iron: 3.4mg

Kung Pao Tofu |chinasichuanfood.com

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  1. Wow! I love this recipe! So beautiful in the pictures too! I will try it tonight and use vegetable stock 🙂 Thank you for this recipe! 🙂

  2. Hi,great blog you have! i found these recipes you posted were easy to learn:) i’m wondering if you need some gadgets to help your cooking. look for your reply.thanks

    1. Hi Jessica,
      Thanks for your kindness. I am a kitchen tool lover and I have lots of gadgets already in my kitchen cabinet.

  3. Thanks. Sechuan peppercorns were not in the ingredient list. I didn’t see them mentioned until I started cooking. Would have been helpful before I went shopping.

  4. Recipe sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to try it! Trying to round up the ingredients… What would you recommend as a substitute for Chinese Black Vinegar?

    1. I still recommend purchasing yourself a bottle of Chinese black vinegar if you really love to cook Chinese dishes. Just for convenience, you can use balsamic vinegar as a substitute.

  5. 5 stars
    This was excellent! Thank you for this new variation in my day to day cooking. I tried many variations already, this sauce goes so well with vegetables,meat and tofu, it’s amazing. One of my new favourites with how easy it”s to make this and ingredients already at home anyways. I never thought of it. Thank you so much!
    Love this blog a lot, it gave me many new recipes that I now love to make!

    1. Thanks for the great feedback. Kung Pao dishes are one of my favorite series. Happy cooking! I hope to get more good news from you.

  6. 5 stars
    Thank you Elaine! I made this last night and it was absolutely wonderful! I have now made 30 of your recipes and every single one is just great. Kung pao tofu is one of my favourites. I have a question for you – I always bring my lunch to work (we don’t have many cheap and healthy options in Scotland), do you have any suggestions for recipes for packed lunch? Thanks again! 🙂

    1. Thanks Freddy. I am so horned to read this comment.
      If you want to bring them for lunch, most of the pork stir fries can be packaged. And other dishes including shredded potato, braised beef with potatoes and pan-fried crispy beef are also great options.

  7. 5 stars
    Wow this was so good! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I visited Chengdu a few years ago and I still have dreams about how tasty Sichuan cusine is omgggggg. Thank you I will keep on making this

  8. 5 stars
    This is very good. Couple of questions, do you coat the tofu in corn starch before you pan fry them also, when do you add the peanuts.

    1. No,
      I do not coat the tofu with cornstarch for this one. I fry them directly. But if you prefer, you can coat the tofu with a layer of cornstarch for sure. Peanuts are added after the sauce is well thickened. I add it in the very last minutes to keep the crispy texture.