Simple Kung Pao Broccoli and Tofu
Updated: May 27
This, you guys, might be one of the easiest and most flavorful recipes on the planet. It's a little sweet, salty, sour and spicy, making it really satisfying. The trick to making it a quick and easy meal is having the rice ready to go and pressing the tofu ahead of time. I used red rice since I had it on hand and there are major nutritional benefits to *red rice, however you can use brown, black or wild rice and it'll still be delicious.
*Lundberg offers a Sprouted Red rice that cooks in only 30 minutes! What's great about red rice compared to brown is that it contains anthocyanins (hence the red color) which is the same compound that gives blueberries, cherries and purple onions their deep purple color. Anthocyanins are phytochemicals that have been shown to fight heart disease, improve memory and prevent cancer. There's also 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein in just 1/4 of a cup. I probably had a cup with this meal—how awesome is it to get 12 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein in just the rice alone, no to mention the healing plant nutrients!
On pressing tofu
If you want tofu to be firm and crispy, and not mushy, when you pan fry or bake it then it's important to press the water out of it at least an hour before you cook it. Wrap the tofu in paper towels or a clean tea towel and set something heavy on top of it, like a cast iron pan or a few heavy books. Or, if you want to be more official, purchase a tofu press. Let it press for about an hour if possible.
Makes approximately 4 servings
Prep time 15 minutes (prepping rice, tofu press and cutting veggies)
Cook time 15 minutes
16-oz block extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons avocado oil
sprinkle of salt and pepper
1 red pepper, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 shallot, minced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoon minced ginger
3 cups chopped broccoli (We fight over broccoli in this house! You can use whatever veggies you like — carrots, mushrooms, bok choy — anything you choose. However, I do recommend broccoli as it soaked up the sauce perfectly.)
Additional tablespoon of avocado oil or vegetable broth to sauté veggies
Easy Kung Pao Sauce
1/2 cup water
6 tablespoons Tamari
2 tablespoons Umboshi wine vinegar
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
2 tablespoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (for thickening)
Additional for garnishing
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 chopped cup cilantro
1/4 cup peanuts
4 cups cooked brown, red or black rice
After tofu has been pressed to remove moisure, cut into 1" cubes or strips (whichever you prefer).
Place in a bowl and add the avocado (or olive) oil. Sprinkle a little sea salt and pepper and mix with a spatula.
Place tofu on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes on 400 degrees, flipping the cubes or strips halfway in between baking. Or pan fry until edges of tofu are golden brown.
Make the sauce
In a medium bowl, add all sauce ingredients and whisk well to combine.
Make the veggies
In a large pan or wok, heat the avocado oil or veggie broth in the pan over medium-high heat.
In the hot pan, add the peppers, shallot, ginger and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add broccoli and cook for 5-7 minutes or until desired (I personally like my broccoli on the softer side)
Add the Kung Pao sauce and stir constantly until it thickens. Lower the heat.
Add the tofu and stir then remove from heat.
Stir in cilantro and green onion.
Serve over your rice of choice and garnish with more green onions, sesame seeds or peanuts.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!