How to Make Kung Pao Tofu in the Slow Cooker

by Sara Paul Raffel

This is a healthier version of the Kung Pao tofu found in many Chinese restaurants. The tofu is not fried and there is only a bit of oil. By using the slow cooker, the tofu absorbs a lot of flavor.


  • 4 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger, grated
  • 1 ½ Cups Water
  • ¼ Cups Soy sauce
  • ¼ Cups Rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey (or agave if vegan)
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable bouillon (chicken flavor is best)
  • 2 Tablespoons Sriracha or red pepper flakes
  • 2 Large (or 4 small) green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 Large (or 4 small) red peppers, diced
  • 2 Cups Mushrooms, diced
  • 1 Can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn starch
  • Sesame oil
  • Scallions
  • Peanuts
  • Brown rice
  • Slow cooker
  • 16 Ounces Tofu, firm, diced
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Gather the ingredients. You can prep the vegetables and make the sauce the night before. This is helpful if you are trying to put this recipe in the slow cooker before leaving for work in the morning.

    Step 2

    To make the sauce, combine the following ingredients in a small bowl: garlic, ginger, water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, bouillon and sriracha. You can start by mincing the garlic cloves.

    Step 3

    Then, grate the ginger.

    Step 4

    Add the water.

    Step 5

    Add the honey (or agave if you are vegan) and the rice vinegar

    Step 6

    Add the bouillon.

    Step 7

    Add the sriracha, then stir to combine. Either store in an airtight container, or put aside for a moment.

    Step 8

    Core and dice the peppers. Dice the mushrooms. Either store in an airtight container, or place directly in the slow cooker.

    Step 9

    Dice the tofu and the water chestnuts and add to the slow cooker.

    Step 10

    Mix in the sauce.

    Step 11

    Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

    Step 12

    About 30 minutes before serving (which usually ends up right when I get home from work) remove some of the liquid from the slow cooker, and mix in the corn starch.

    Step 13

    Stir well to combine.

    Step 14

    Add the back into the slow cooker.

    Step 15

    Cook on high for 30 minutes.

    Step 16

    Meanwhile, make some rice and chop a couple scallions.

    Step 17

    Serve tofu on a bed of brown rice. Sprinkle a touch of sesame oil on top, followed by the peanuts and scallions. Enjoy!

    Step 18

    This recipe adapted from "The Vegan Slow Cooker" by Kathy Hester.