Crispy kung pao tofu and vegetable stir fry is a delicious vegetarian twist on this spicy Chinese take-out classic.
TOTAL MONDAY FOOD.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, mix together the cornstarch and 1 tbsp water in a small bowl until smooth.
- 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.
- Toss the roasted veggies and tofu with the sauce. Serve topped with peanuts.
More stir fry recipes:
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