Hello friends and not yet friends, Happy Lunar New Year! Today we’re veganizing kung pao chicken, a spicy, intensely flavoured dish with its roots in Sichuan cuisine but has travelled the world. And now, this version doesn’t even have chicken.
Purists hate me. But you’re going to love this! Start with a block of extra firm tofu. No need to press it, just cube it up. Then put the cubes in a bowl with cornstarch and mix them gently so everything gets coated nicely.
Make sure you have all your ingredients sliced up, measured and ready to go because the stir fry goes fast once we get started. As usual, the recipe with all the exact measurements is on marystestkitchen.
com, link in the description box. For the spice, I’m using some dried whole red chilies. I’m taking out some of the seeds, probably 80% of them so this dish won’t be super hot. For more heat, leave in more seeds.
Also, I’m not using Szechaun pepper for that mouth numbing sensation. Some might say that it’s the point of Kung Pao Chicken. To that I say, you aint the boss of me and there are no rules. You do what you want.
For the sauce, you will need these three sauces. Regular soy sauce for the salt, dark soy sauce which is less salty but more flavourful, and Chinese Black vinegar for it’s own distinct flavour and essential tanginess.
Links in the description box if you want the exact brands that I’m using. When you have all your ingredients ready to go, take it to the stove. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium high heat and we’re going to fry up the tofu.
We’re going to fry them on all sides until they are golden and crispy. The final dish isn’t crispy though; this just makes the tofu denser and chewier; more meaty. It also removes some of the moisture from inside and lets the sauce penetrate the cubes so it’ll taste really flavourful.
Sometimes bland tofu is okay. Not in Kung Pao Tofu! You can also skip the pan frying and do this in the oven or air fryer. 360°F in your air fryer for about 20 to 30 minutes or until they are crunchy on the outside.
Go a little hotter and a little longer if you’re using the oven. And for those options, you don’t really need to use cornstarch and a little spray of oil would be beneficial for texture and flavour but it’s possible without any oil if that’s your thing.
But frying in oil does create it’s own distinct flavour so if you want that legit take out flavour, you know what to do. Drain the tofu on paper towels. Then we’ll add the chilies and let them get fragrant.
Just 10 to 15 seconds, then add the scallion whites and light green parts. FYI, scallions are green onions, which are the same as spring onions. After a few seconds of that, add the garlic and ginger, stirring quickly so it doesn’t burn.
Give the sauce mix a little stir before adding that too. It’ll start to thicken up really quickly and when it does, turn off the heat and add the tofu. Add half the scallion greens and fold to coat everything.
The sauce will be mostly absorbed into the tofu but if you want a little more gravy, just add a bit of broth to thin things out. I toasted almonds for this dish instead of the usual roasted peanuts. Just didn’t want to go to the store for peanuts.
But I actually loved the stove top toasted almonds for this dish. Serve this over plain rice to balance those intense flavours. The sticky spicy sauce is just a little tangy with a strong soy sauce flavour.
The tofu is meaty and delicious. With the crunch of the toasted almonds. You’ve got to try this dish! And then take a photo and tag me on instagram and you might see it on my stories. I love showing your work off.
Anyways, thanks so much for watching, my friends. I hope you liked this video. Please give it a thumbs up if you did and share it on twitter, facebook, tumblr, reddit or where ever you hang out online.
It really helps me out and I really appreciate it. Of course, subscribe if you haven’t already and turn on those notifications. I’ve got more vegan Chinese food recipes coming up over the next few weeks and you won’t want to miss them! Bye for now!