Real-Deal Kung Pao Tofu

The real-deal recipe that will help you create a classic Chinese better-than-takeout kung pao tofu in your own kitchen.

  • Servings
  • Prep Time
    10 Min
  • Cook Time
    20 Min

Cooking Directions

  • Cut tofu into 1-inch pieces and transfer to a large ziploc bag. Add soy sauce and maple syrup. Gently flip the bag a few times to coat tofu with the liquid. Marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Mix all the sauce ingredients with 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl.
  • When tofu is marinated, open the bag just a little bit without letting the tofu fall out. Drain the liquid and discard it. Add cornstarch, a tablespoon at a time, and gently toss the bag to coat the tofu. It is OK if the tofu isn’t coated evenly.
  • Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until hot. Add the tofu with your hand (or a pair of tongs), shaking off any extra cornstarch. Let cook without moving for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bottom turns golden. Flip to brown the other side. If the pan gets too hot, turn to medium or medium low heat. Transfer cooked tofu to a plate. Set aside.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the Sichuan peppercorns. Cook and stir until the peppercorns turn dark (but not black). Remove the Sichuan peppercorns and discard them.
  • Add the chili pepper, garlic, ginger, and doubanjiang. Stir for 20 to 30 seconds to release the fragrance.
  • Add the bell pepper and green onion. Stir for 20 seconds.
  • Stir the sauce again to dissolve the cornstarch completely. Pour into the pan. Stir a few times until the sauce thickens.
  • Add back the cooked tofu. Gently toss to coat with sauce. Add the peanuts and give it a quick stir. Immediately transfer everything to a big plate.
  • Serve hot as main with steamed rice.

**If you do not use doubanjiang, taste the tofu at the end and add a pinch of salt, if needed.

This recipe was created by Omnivore's Cookbook.



  • 1 pkg. House Foods Tofu Extra Firm
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (or agave nectar)
  • 5 to 6 Tbsp. cornstarch

Stir Fry:

  • 3 Tbsp. peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • (Optional) 2 tsp. whole Sichuan peppercorns
  • 4 to 5 dried chili peppers
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • (Optional) 2 tsp. doubanjiang (spicy fermented bean paste - see notes)
  • 4 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • ⅓ cup fried peanuts


Amount per serving
Calories 369
% Daily Value*
Fat 21.6g
Saturated Fat 3.8g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 652mg
Carbohydrates 30.9g
Fiber 21.6g
Sugar 11.8g
Protein 14.9g

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