These Vegan Kung Pao Tofu Rice Bowls are a better than takeout vegan dinner at home. Filled with sticky, savory & sweet tofu, red bell pepper & rice.
This is one of those recipes you are going to want to add to your weekly rotation. It comes together quickly, is a complete meal and makes the best leftovers!
If you aren't a huge fan of tofu, you need to try this recipe. It is going to change your mind. The tofu is soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and covered in a sticky sauce. It is super addicting!
How to Press Tofu
This recipe calls for firm tofu. You could also use extra firm, but you don't want to use silken - it will just crumble when you cook it. You can find tofu in the refrigerator section. Either with the Asian foods or in the Vegan section.
One of the first things you want to do is press the tofu. This will release a lot of the moisture. You could buy a tofu press, but if you aren't making tofu on a regular basis, you probably don't want another gadget in your kitchen. So, just do what I do, press your tofu between two plates. Place your tofu on one plate, then place another plate on top. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and drain the excess moisture into the sink. Easy peasy.
How to Make Crispy Tofu
Once the tofu is pressed, you want to dust it with cornstarch. This is what will make your tofu crispy. You don't need to be exact when coating the tofu, just get it mostly covered.
Next, heat up some sesame oil and add the tofu. Be sure not to touch it once it is in the pan. This will keep it from crumbling and allow it to get a nice brown color. Once the bottom side is browned, use tongs to flip the pieces and allow the other side to brown.
Now transfer the tofu to a plate until everything else is ready.
How to Assemble the Vegan Kung Pao Tofu Rice Bowls
The last step is to cook up the bell peppers, green onions and sauce in the same pan you cooked the tofu. Once sticky and thick, add the tofu back to the pan and gently toss until combined and heated through.
Serve the Kung Pao Tofu over rice and top with more green onion, sesame seeds and peanuts. You could also add a splash of sriracha for some extra spice.
And, if you have leftovers, these bowls reheat super well - perfect for lunch the next day.
SHOP THIS POST
Need more tofu inspo? Try my Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowls.
Vegan Kung Pao Tofu Bowls
FOR THE SAUCE
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoon agave
- 2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
FOR THE TOFU
- 1 14-ounce package firm tofu drained and pressed
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil separated
- 3 green onions diced, greens & whites separated
- 1 red bell pepper cut in strips
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 1 inch fresh ginger diced
FOR THE BOWLS
- 1 cup white rice dry
- 2 cups water
- sesame seeds, chopped peanuts for topping
- Prepare the rice. Add the rice and water to a pot and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and steam until all of the water is absorbed.
- While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the meal. Drain and press the tofu. If you don't have a tofu press, place the tofu between 2 plates for 5 minutes.
- To make the sauce, combine the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of the water in a small bowl and stir until combined. Add the cornstarch slurry and the rest of the sauce ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Slice your drained tofu into squares (I cut mine into 24 squares) and place in a bowl. Dust with cornstarch and toss to coat evenly.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and allow it to cook, untouched, for 3-5 minutes - lowering heat as needed. Once lightly browned, use tongs to gently flip the tofu. Once the other side is browned, transfer the tofu to a plate and place the empty pan back on the stove over medium heat.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil to the pan followed by the whites of the green onion, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and all of the sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tofu and gently toss until heated through.
- Serve tofu over rice and top with the remaining green onion, sesame seeds and chopped peanuts.
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