Tofu and lots of fresh vegetables are stir-fried in just a bit of oil in this traditional Chinese dish. In the Sichuan province of China where this dish originates, the tofu wouldn't be deep-fried like it is so often in America. Similarly, in our version of this takeout favorite we stir-fry the ingredients in only a little bit of oil.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2008

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Pat tofu dry and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Combine with 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder in a medium bowl.

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  • Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

  • Meanwhile, whisk water, oyster sauce, cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder in a small bowl.

  • Add broccoli, yellow and red bell pepper to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low, add the oyster sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 30 seconds. Return the tofu to the pan along with peanuts and stir to coat with sauce; stir in hot sesame oil (if using).

Tips

Shopping tips: Five-spice powder is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. Look for it in the spice section or with other Asian ingredients.

Be sure to use “oyster-flavored” sauce (it's oyster-free) to make this vegetarian; both it and oyster sauce are found in the Asian-food section or at Asian markets.

Ingredient note: Most supermarkets sell broccoli crowns, which are the tops of the bunches, with the stalks cut off. Although crowns are more expensive than entire bunches, they are convenient and there is considerably less waste.

Nutrition Facts

200 calories; protein 11.6g; carbohydrates 16.3g; dietary fiber 4.6g; sugars 6.2g; fat 10.8g; saturated fat 1.5g; vitamin a iu 2100.3IU; vitamin c 148.3mg; folate 122.9mcg; calcium 240.4mg; iron 2.6mg; magnesium 68.4mg; potassium 527mg; sodium 621.8mg; thiamin 0.1mg.
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Reviews (26)

Read More Reviews
26 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 22
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I thought this was delicious. For those who thought it was bland you obviously didn't add the hot sesame oil. Also try adding more veggies anything you want. Mushrooms would go great with it. You aren't restricted to what the recipe lists. Be creative. That said I followed the recipe and everyone in the family - even those not crazy about tofu - really liked it. Helen San Fran CA Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
We rarely eat out so don't know what kung pao is supposed to taste like but we found this dish colorful and satisfying. My husband usually eats broccoli only because it's healthful he doesn't approve of cooked tofu and he hates garlic. Yet he was disappointed that I hadn't made enough Kung Pao Tofu for second helpings. Anonymous Bellingham WA Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Hmm... I'm not sure where the Kung Pao comes from because it tastes nothing like the Kung Pao sauce you get at a Chinese restaurant. Usually Eating Well gets it right but I would say a big pass on this one if you are planning on making it. It's pretty boring. Julie Burlington VT Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I make Asian dishes often and loved this as did my Chinese friend although I made several changes based on what I had available so the result was not an authentic Kung Pao but it turned out wonderfully not bland at all! As one cook suggested I marinated the drained and diced tofu with the 5-spice and a splash a soy sauce ahead of time. I increased the ginger and garlic by about half. I added some thin sliced celery to the vege selection. I substituted about 2 tsp. of black bean paste (Asian markets have it a staple) for the oyster sauce with about a 1/2 tsp. of toasted dark sesame oil and a pinch of sugar in the cornstarch mix. I did not have hot chili oil either but sprinkled in cayenne for the "hot" to taste. Essential was adding 4 finely chopped spring onions (scallions) with the peanuts at the end and then garnishing with minced Chinese parsley (cilantro) delicious served over basmati rice. I know not the same recipe as presented but totally inspired from it and a keeper. red Eugene OR Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I think the reason everyone's saying the recipe is bland is because it doesn't ask you to marinate the tofu. I chopped it into cubes and marinated it in soy sauce; pineapple and orange juice; mirin; some of the 5-spice powder; and salt for about 5 hours. I also used the sesame oil in the end. It turned out great! I definitely want to make this again! Ali Auburn AL Read More
Rating: 2 stars
06/02/2012
Peanuts soft The peanuts did not come out like a traditional Chinese dish. Maybe they need to be quickly fried first? Not sure but mine were soft and the texture not good. Additionally you can't fry tofu properly according to this recipe. Have tried a million times and it comes out a soggy mess stuck to the bottom. You have to really fry it in oil at med-high heat - needs to be enough oil for the tofu to float! Then you'll get your nice golden tofu with white insides. If you follow this recipe it will all stick to your pan or be soggy and break into pieces. I've been reading the recipes and comments on this site and people want to make a good recipe out of what's given not invent their own stuff to add on the fly. I'm tired of not knowing what to make picking a recipe that seems good only to find out my family hates it because it's just not good. It kills the adventurous cooking spirit. Pros: Nice combo of items Cons: Peanuts soft Bland as it. Not authentic I think Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Really good We skipped the "oyster flavored sauce" and used soy sauce instead. Overall it was quite good and I would definitely make it again. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Terrific dish--we've made this several times and always enjoy it. The hot sesame oil is a must. This is a fast and healthful recipe. Susan OH Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
MmmmMmmm Good! My new favorite recipe and I will make it over and over again! Just adjust your spice level to your own desire and never go out to eat again! Cathie LA CA Read More
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