Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kung Pao Tofu

I'm actually surprised by how much we both love tofu. I know it's good for us and it's a great substitute for meat, but I didn't think we would both be head over heels for it. So far I've made 4 different tofu dishes and we've loved them all. This is shocking to me since my husband had always been a meat and potatoes kind of guy. If I served him a meatless meal the first thing he'd ask is, "where's the meat?" quickly followed by, "you know, some bacon would make this better."

This Kung Pao Tofu is another take-out fake-out (to quote Rachael Ray) that is actually better than anything we could get at a local Chinese restaurant. The flavors were outstanding and the fresh veggies and crispy tofu rounded out the meal. I made a few modifications to the original recipe, adding some chicken broth (or you could use vegetable to keep it vegetarian) and a few splashed of fish sauce to bump up the amount of sauce. We like our stir-fries saucy, what can I say. I don't have coconut oil so I cooked everything in canola oil and it worked just fine.

Between the 30 minutes to bake the tofu and the actual cooking time of the dish, this is not exactly a weeknight-friendly meal unless you get home from work early. Unfortunately we think Baby Girl might have a mild peanut allergy so she didn't get to sample this meal. I took these pictures before I remembered the green onion garnish, which I added before we ate and definitely helped brighten up the dish.

Kung Pao Tofu
Modified from Prevention RD

Cooking spray
2 blocks extra firm tofu, pressed and drained, then cubed
2/3 cup roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into strips
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 green onions, sliced and divided
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 cup chicken (or vegetable) broth
A couple shakes of fish sauce, optional

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray well with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange tofu on the baking sheet and lightly mist with oil. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the cubes after 15 minutes.

Heat canola oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add peanuts and red pepper flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tofu and stir. Add bell pepper and mushrooms and cook another 1 -2 minutes.

Add half of the green onions, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chicken/vegetable broth and fish sauce. Reduce heat and allow sauce to thicken for 2-3 minutes. Serve over cooked rice topped with remaining green onions.
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  1. I've never been a fan of tofu, but your recent dishes and raves have me considering trying it again!

  2. I'm SO glad you found yet another winning tofu recipe! When people SWEAR they don't love tofu, I send this recipe their way. :)


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