Crispy kung pao tofu and vegetable stir fry is a delicious vegetarian twist on this spicy Chinese take-out classic.
crispy kung pao tofu and vegetable stir fry


And by that I don’t mean boring blah back-to-work how-will-I-survive-five-days-in-a-row-of-this-nonsense depressed food.

I mean fabulous flavorful food that we can make with our hands tied behind our back in 30 minutes or less while knee-deep in a bottle of Merlot because….

…because it’s been that kind of Monday.


Well, that kind of Monday stops right now.

We have spicy kung pao sauce that’s just as good BETTER than the shady takeout place around the corner that got a “B” from the health inspector…and we know how to use it.

Namely by using it to smother our favorite roasted vegetables and crispy tofu.

Sweet potatoes. Eggplant. Spicy. Salty. Peanutty. Hint of sweet.

Talk about a flavor EXPLOSION.


I could wax poetic about how much I loved this and dreamt about it for way more nights than I’d care to admit…but time’s a wastin’.

We have kung pao sauce to slurp and Merlot to inhale and an early bedtime to consider. Let’s get to it.

Crispy Kung Pao Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry
Crispy kung pao tofu and vegetable stir fry is a delicious vegetarian twist on this spicy Chinese take-out classic.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 lb extra firm tofu, pressed and draind
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp gochujang
  • 6 dried chiles de arbol, lightly crushed
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ⅓ cup unsalted, roasted peanuts, crushed
  1. Heat oven to 425F. Toss the sweet potatoes and eggplant with 4 tbsp of the oil. Season with salt and black pepper and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Cut the tofu into ½-inch cubes and spread on a second parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast both the veggies and the tofu for 25 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the cornstarch and 1 tbsp water in a small bowl until smooth.
  4. Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Add in the chili paste and cook, stirring, until darkened, about 30 seconds. Add in the crushed chiles, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil. Stir in the cornstarch slurry. Simmer, stirring, until the sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon, about 2 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  5. Toss the roasted veggies and tofu with the sauce. Serve topped with peanuts.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe

 More stir fry recipes:

lemon chickpea stir fry

Lemon Chickpea Stir Fry

green-packed stir fry with fresh herbs

Green-Packed Stir Fry with Fresh Herbs

bok choy and baked tofu stir fry in citrus ginger sauce

Bok Choy and Baked Tofu Stir Fry in Citrus-Ginger Sauce

From Around the Web:

Forbidden Rice Stir Fry with Baked Teriyaki Tofu from Healthy Nibbles and Bits

Veggie Stir Fry with Honey Ginger Pineapple and Cashew Cream Sauce from Food Faith Fitness

Sunchoke and Cashew Stir Fry from 101 Cookbooks

Black Pepper Stir Fried Noodles from Pinch of Yum

Spicy Kale and Coconut Stir Fry from Cookie + Kate


crispy kung pao tofu and vegetable stir fry
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55 Responses to Crispy Kung Pao Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry

  1. This looks delicious! Kung Pao is one of my favorite Chinese take-out dishes. Happy Monday!

  2. I’ve never had tofu. I must try it and it definitely looks better than any place around the corner!
    Have a fab Monday!

  3. Oh my gosh. You make tofu look like the new black. This stir-fry seriously looks SO gosh-darn good and I am pretty much decided that my Monday-night dinner needs this for REAL. 🙂

  4. Yes, this is awesome monday food!

  5. Sues says:

    Kung pao, merlot, and early bedtime sounds like my dream Monday. Let’s do this!

  6. Sune Moolman says:

    I’m such a sucker for eggplant – I’m in for Monday night stir fry! Don’t be stingy with the peanuts now. 😀

  7. Oh, I thought Monday food was a box of Cheez Itz at 3 in the afternoon. But if Monday food looks like this, then I wouldn’t mind it so much! Leave it to you to find another awesome way to use eggplant. FTW.

  8. Heather says:

    Love Kung Pao! The more often you use tofu, the more tempted I am to give it another try. One of these days I’m just going to have to. With all of the flavors in this dish, it might be the perfect starting point!

  9. Beth says:

    I’m dying to try this recipe, tofu and all. You’ll make a convert out of me someday, Joanne!

  10. A B from the health inspector. I’m lolling. This kung pao looks like it’s from a James Beard-nominated restaurant!

  11. mira says:

    How come I’ve never tried tofu kung pao ? This stir fry sounds fantastic! Will try it soon!

  12. sandra says:

    yummy. I love to colors! So vibrant.

  13. Danielle says:

    You had me at sweet potato – or was it eggplant? Love these ingredients I bet this is delish!

  14. Haven’t had kung pao tofu in ages! It looks so moreish.

  15. Pam says:

    Great flavors, colors, and the textures. It looks super tasty Joanne.

  16. Dude, a vegetarian crispy kung pao tofu dish?! I freaking love this!!!

  17. Kelly says:

    This looks like the perfect dish to cure the Monday blues! It has everything I love – tofu, eggplant and sweet potato and the gochujang sounds incredible in here!

  18. Pam says:

    We love Kung Pao and yours looks delicious. I’ve never had it with tofu though, and bet it’s great!

  19. Rachel says:

    i looooove at home versions of Chinese food. it is so much more delicious and guilt free 🙂 this looks fantastic!

  20. Oh yes, I love everything about this, especially the addition of sweet potato. I don’t think I’ve ever used that in Chinese food.

  21. Sounds delish!! Love a spin on a Chinese takeout anytime !!

  22. Lori R. says:

    My stomach is growling just looking at it! This is a must-try for sure.

  23. Whoa. I made kung pao brussels sprouts for lunch yesterday – great minds think alike, right! 🙂 This looks hearty and delicious, Joanne. Love the crispy tofu!

  24. I love a simple dish! I’ve never had kung pao tofu before. I looks amazing and I doubt I would even miss the chicken. Pinning!

  25. Zainab says:

    This is more like every night kind of food!!

  26. You know I love anything with tofu. This looks awesome!

  27. Jessie says:

    Oh man, I know what you mean by THAT kind of Monday. This dish looks amazing — I love kung pao, and your version has the perfect mix of flavors (I might have to turn down the spice a little … I know, lame, right??).

    Have a wonderful week, Joanne!

  28. Eileen says:

    YES! This sounds like the perfect kick-start to my week. Love all the veg and spice!

  29. Katie says:

    sounds a lovely Monday dish, hope your day has not been too bad, and at the very least has now vastly improved! x

  30. Kate says:

    As a bonus, kung pao makes the best leftovers, so Monday AND Tuesday are covered.

  31. Hot damn! Now THIS is my kind of Monday food!

  32. Such a colourful dish – Joanne – love the combination of flavours. I think of gochujang as a punch of flavour – just have to be careful I don’t overdo it as my hubby does seem to have the same love it as I do!

  33. This looks divine, Joanne! Love the crispy tofu – so tasty with the stir-fried veggies!

  34. Julia says:

    How did you know I’ve been craving fabulous flavorful Monday food?! I love this crispy kung pao me in the face meal. I need to stir fry this up tonight like whoa!

  35. Susan says:

    What a great idea! I so enjoy Asian flavors so I know I’d love it.

  36. Now all I can think about is stir-fry — I need to make this one soon!

  37. This looks beyond amazing! Way to cure the Monday blues 🙂 Kung pao tofu is my go to Chinese takeout option, so excited to try a homemade recipe. Pinning!

  38. cheri says:

    This really looks good Joanne, love this veggie combination!

  39. Reeni says:

    Chinese night is usually on Saturday for me but Monday’s looking a whole lot brighter now! Loving on those sweet potatoes with that spicy sauce.

  40. Pass me a big bowl of this goodness for dinner, please!

  41. Krista says:

    Gosh that sauce sounds amazing, Joanne!!! I haven’t had good stir fry in so long. 🙂

  42. Looks delicious. this Kung pao tofu and vegetable stir fry would brighten any Monday.

  43. So much better when it’s home made Joanne 🙂

  44. Izzy says:

    I just made a tofu stir fry tonight too! Tofu is total Monday food 🙂 I love how the glaze covers all the vegetables and makes them look all shiny! It is making me so hungry right now!

  45. How have I never had kung pao?! This looks like my perfect take away dish, but I’ve never discovered it. Thanks for enlightening me and providing a recipe to boot 😀

  46. I’m inspired to make this Joanne! I’m glad I stubbled upon your website. Flavour explosion! Yeah that is so my thing… Now I’mma google ‘gochujang’ …

  47. I just made General Tso’s Tofu and now I’m dying to try this! It sounds amazing 🙂

  48. This looks great…I like how you cute everything into similar sized pieces. I’m so glad I’m allowed to eat soy in my diet again. I missed tofu and dishes like this!

  49. Johanna GGG says:

    bookmarked! this looks like just my sort of meal (shame no one else in the house will be keen but I want it!)

  50. Ala says:

    I need more Mondays like yours! Seriously, girl–I can barely get myself out of bed in time to grab a cup of instant oatmeal for the go. Go you!

  51. […] Crispy Kung Pao Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry via Joanne Eats Well […]

  52. Amazing! This would be perfect for a weeknight dinner! We really need to mix it up around here.

  53. […] Tofu and Vegetable Kung Pao, Eats Well with Others Tofu and Vegetable Kung Pao, Archana’s Kitchen […]

  54. linda says:

    Any suggestions for a substitute for Gochujang? I have everything for this dish but that. 🙁

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