Kung Pao Tofu and Broccoli


The firey amber glow stared back at me as I heard my beloved ally grasp at life.  I noted an audible chugging and ticking as it attempted to preheat as commanded.  One hundred degrees fahrenheit, it said.   For twenty minutes, I waited for that number to rise, perhaps in denial that such a thing could happen.   My oven…broken?!  It couldn’t be, but it was and is still dead.

It happened about two weeks ago.

Besides reschedule the appliance man three times (long story) and mourn the temporary loss of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, thusly revelling in their aromatic importance…

What is there to do?

Kung Pao!

That’s right, I said, “Kung Pao!!”.

Too much?

Well, this recipe is deserving of so many fun exclamatory phrases.  I found it through a simple but very lucky google search.  I love it.  You can make this with chicken or tofu, if you’d like.  A phenomenally spicy yet sweet and tangy dish, robust with flavor that’s fast and easy enough for a weeknight dinner in minutes.

Be amazed, as I am.


Kung Pao Tofu and Broccoli

Adapted from Taste of China ~ Kung Pao Tofu

Adapted from Fuchsia Dunlop’s Kung Pao Chicken from Land of Plenty

Serves 2 as a main entree, or 4 as part of a multi-course meal

Note: For a tougher, more meaty texture; Freeze tofu then thaw and drain.  Microwave the tofu to evaporate excess water until desired consistency is reached. I use organic Tofu made from non-gmo soybeans such as Nasoya.  You may blend the ingredients for the marinade in a blender

  • 16 ounces dou gan or extra firm tofu, cubed into bite sized pieces
  • 2 to 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 5 slices of ginger
  • 5 to 6 scallions, roughly chopped, plus some thinly sliced scallions for optional garnish
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • At least 10 dried red chilis
  • 1 tablespoon whole Sichuan peppercorns
  • At least one handful of dry roasted peanuts or two tablespoons all natural, homemade or store bought peanut butter (puree), if preferred
  • 8 ounces blanched baby broccoli florets

For marinade:

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine or medium dry sherry
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

For sauce:

  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon dark Soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light Soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dark rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable stock or water
  1. Blend or whisk together marinade ingredients.  Place prepared tofu and marinade in a ziploc bag and massage to make sure all surfaces of tofu are covered.    Let stand while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. If you haven’t done so already, mince the garlic and peel and slice the ginger. Roughly chop the white parts of scallions, and thinly slice the green parts for garnish (optional.) Either leave the dried chilis whole, or slice them in half and take out as many seeds as possible (wear gloves!).
  3. In another bowl, mix together the ingredients for the sauce and set aside. (Note: Different brands of soy sauces vary in terms of saltiness, so taste your sauce. If it’s too salty, add some sugar and water to dilute.)
  4. Heat a wok with oil over high heat. Before the wok begins to smoke, add the chilis and Sichuan peppercorns.
  5. Stir-fry briefly until the chilis are slightly blistered and oil is slightly fragrant. Add tofu and broccoli and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions, and stir-fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour in sauce and mix to coat the other ingredients. When the sauce is thickened and shiny, stir in peanuts or peanut butter.
  6. Garnish with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil and additional sliced scallions if desired.



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14 Responses to Kung Pao Tofu and Broccoli

  1. Christabel says:

    I just made this dish the other night…it was delicious! I blogged about it (made a couple of substitutions and doubled the recipe…yum!)

  2. Pingback: Kung Pao Tofu | thefatcamel

  3. This sounds amazing! Do you mix dark and light soy sauce just because of sodium content or is it a taste thing?

    • It adds complexity of flavor and a bit of color to combine the two (dark generally being for braising, usually added early to dishes for marinating and the light has a more fresh and young flavor generally used as a light finish to dishes). Of course, it can be difficult to find the real varieties of dark and light soy sauce in an average supermarket, so I’m sure the dish wouldn’t be too altered to enjoy if you substituted minorly in either case.

  4. Marie says:

    I made mine w/o the chilis or peppercorns, since I didn’t have any, and with chicken instead of tofu. Awesome! And my husband LOVED it! Thank you!

  5. Sarah says:

    :-0 The idea of my oven breaking down fills me with dread! I hope yours gets fixed soon, I feel your pain.

    This looks delicious though! I think I’ll make it tonight :)

  6. Dara says:

    This looks like such a fantastic dinner! Love that you made it vegan.

  7. Gann says:

    Beautiful recipe and photo. Hope your oven gains some life soon!

  8. Mia says:

    I saw this on foodgawker. So happy to see the recipe. Looks wonderful!

  9. Jennifer says:

    Beautiful dish! so happy I dropped in today. I’m going to make this tonight.

  10. Kelly says:

    Delightful and delicious as always Kate. Great photo!

  11. Hey Kate! Great stuff. I’ve been on a kick lately with finding traditional Chinese/Asian dishes done more healthy (e.g. not fried) and with tofu. Thanks a bunch for sharing.

  12. Haha definitely watch karate while eating this delicious dish :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  13. Sam says:

    Beautifully captured and such a great quick fix.

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