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plate with white rice and kung pao tofu and peppers with peanuts on top
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5 from 19 votes

Easy Kung Pao Tofu

This Easy Kung Pao Tofu recipe tastes better than take-out and can be made pretty quickly at home! Make the sauce in one bowl, cook your tofu until crispy, cook the veggies, then add the sauce and peanuts. Delicious weeknight meal!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Tofu pressing time1 hr
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 308kcal
Author: Nora Taylor


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • (1) 16-oz block extra-firm tofu
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup peanuts

Easy Kung Pao Sauce

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Optional, for garnishing

  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • sesame seeds
  • more peanuts
  • 4 cups cooked brown or white rice


  • Press the tofu by wrapping in paper towels or a clean dish towel, and set something heavy on top (like a cast iron pan or a few heavy books). Let it sit for an hour, if possible.
  • Chop the onion and slice the bell peppers. Set aside.
  • Make the sauce: In a medium bowl, add all sauce ingredients and whisk well to combine.
  • Slice the pressed tofu into 3/4 inch cubes.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the tofu in a single layer. Let cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, then carefully flip the pieces with a spatula and cook for a few more minutes on each side, until the tofu are golden and crispy on all sides. Remove from the pan and set on a plate while you cook the vegetables.
  • In the hot pan, add the onion, bell peppers and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Now add the Kung Pao sauce and stir constantly until it thickens. Lower the heat.
  • Add the peanuts and crispy tofu and stir, then turn off the heat.
  • Serve over brown or white rice, and garnish with green onions, sesame seeds or more peanuts.


  1. Oil Free: Make sure you have a very high quality non-stick pan. Dry the tofu very well before cooking. OR bake it following the directions in this recipe. I would bake it for best results, as it sticks quite easily when frying without oil.
  2. Gluten Free: Use gluten free tamari instead of soy sauce and it will be gluten free.
  3. Tofu Free: Substitute cauliflower florets or tempeh for the tofu. 
  4. Nutrition facts do not include rice.
  5. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 days. This dish does not freeze well.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 793mg | Potassium: 263mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1104IU | Vitamin C: 65mg | Calcium: 170mg | Iron: 3mg