Last night I found myself standing in front of the fridge trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Usually, I always have a plan, but I had let myself get super engrossed with some new projects I’m working on over at Code Love Creative. So when I finally dragged myself away to go make dinner, I had to start at square one.
Luckily, I was at least somewhat prepared since I always have certain items on hand, such as brown rice, tofu and vegetables. This combination screams to be turned into some sort of asian-style dish. So that’s exactly what I prepared – Vegan Kung Pao Tofu.
Asian cuisine has always been one of my favorites because of the interesting combinations of sweet and spicy flavors. Eating at asian restaurants as a vegan has usually proved fairly easy for me since tofu is almost always offered and many dishes a packed with veggies.
However, there have been places where I discovered there were non-vegetarian ingredients such as fish sauce in dishes that you might think were vegan. That’s why it’s always nice to know how to make vegan versions of your favorite dishes and know FOR SURE that what you’re eating is 100% animal-free.
I really loved the combination of veggies and peanuts in this dish but the peanuts can be eliminated to make it nut-free. You can also switch up the vegetable combination using whatever you want. Some zucchini might be good or maybe even shredded carrots.
You could also choose to use a different grain like quinoa or lentils instead of brown rice. If using brown rice, get that started right away and prep everything else while it cooks.
- 2 cups brown rice
- 4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 8-ounce package of extra firm tofu
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 stalks celery
- 4 scallions
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds (optional)
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (or more soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoons ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add brown rice and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45-50 minutes.
- Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
- Drain water from the tofu and press into paper towels (or a tofu press). Once a lot of the water has been pressed out, chop the tofu into evenly sized cubes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a large skillet. Place the cubes in the skillet and cook over medium heat. Turn every minute or two, until every side of the cube is slightly golden and crispy. Add more oil as necessary to prevent sticking. Once cooked, set aside.
- Clean and dice all vegetables into medium sized chunks.
- Wipe out the skillet and heat the second tablespoon of sesame oil over medium-high heat.
- Add diced vegetables and cooke for 4-5 minutes, until tender. Add vegetables to tofu and set aside.
- Bring the sauce ingredients to a boil. Mix the corn starch and water in a small bowl. Add to sauce mixture as you stir quickly, until sauce has thickened.
- Return the tofu and vegetables to the pan and stir gently until everything is coated with the sauce.
- Serve over brown rice.
- Top with diced scallions and sesame seeds.