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Kung Pao Tofu

This delicious kung pao tofu is a restaurant style spicy, sweet and sour main course that is a vegan version of kung pao chicken that goes really well with rice. Perfect weekend meal.
Course Main Course | Curry
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword Kung pao tofu
recipe kung pao tofu
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 270kcal



  • 16 oz. tofu firm tofu or 450 gm
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. oil if skillet frying or oil for brushing when Air frying

For Kung pao sauce

  • 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 3 tsp. hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar

For sauteeing

  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 2 peppers green or red cut into slices or cubes
  • 1 onion quarter and separate petals
  • ¼ cup peanuts roasted and salted
  • 2 spring onions chopped
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic


  • For the tofu: Cut the tofu into squares. Press it well for 20 minutes to remove all the moisture. Now toss it with 1 tbsp. of corn starch and coat well.

Saute the Tofu:

  • Take 2 tbsp. of oil in a cast iron skillet. Saute tofu till crispy and keep aside.

Air fry tofu

  • Preheat Air fryer to 180 C or 360 F for 5 minutes. Lay out the tofu in one layer after spraying or brushing with some sesame oil. Air fry for about 8 minutes at 180 C or till crispy on both sides. Remove and keep aside.

For the Kung Pao sauce:

  • Mix together dark soy sauce, hoisin sauce, hot sauce, brown sugar and rice vinegar along with cornstarch and form a slurry.

Putting it all together

  • In 1 tbsp. sesame oil saute together 3 dried red chillies slit into half (or whole for less heat) along with minced ginger and garlic. Add cubed onions and peppers and saute for a minute more.
  • Now add the sauce along with crispy tofu. Cook covered for 2-3 minutes till the tofu is well coated and the sauce is thick. Garnish with peanuts and cilantro leaves. Serve hot.


1. Press the tofu well so that it is crispy when fried.
2. You can choose the spiciness of the curry as per your taste.
3. I use dark soy sauce for its flavour but you can use light or regular soy sauce too.
4. You could add mushroom too if you like.


Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 551mg | Potassium: 275mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 379IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 178mg | Iron: 2mg