This is one of my favorite tofu recipes…I absolutely love it. It took me a while to perfect the sauce but now I’m convinced there is no other Kung Pao better than this vegan Kung Pao recipe.
The first thing you'll want to do here is preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, grease 2 sheet trays with oil or pan spray and set them aside. Once you have cubed your tofu (make sure to drain the excess water from the tofu once you have removed it from the package), place the pieces in a large mixing bowl with 1C tamari or soy sauce and toss. Be careful and toss it gently or your tofu will start to crumble and look awful. You just want to let the tofu soak up the sauce so that it has a base flavor. Once you have done this, spread it onto the sheet trays and place in the oven. You will want to bake the tofu for 15 minutes, remove the trays from the oven and stir/flip the pieces around. You will do this 4 times, for a total of 1 hour. Once the tofu is done baking, you can put it all back in the big mixing bowl because you will need something large to mix it with the sauce later.
Now you're ready to make the sauce. Over medium heat, pour the sesame oil into a large sauce pan and let it get warm. Then add your ginger, garlic, and chili flakes. Saute lightly - you do not want to over cook anything, just soften up the garlic and ginger a bit. Once you have done this, add the soy sauce/tamari, water, vinegar, and brown rice syrup. Whisk it all together and contine stirring as it heats up to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat a bit and add the cornstarch slurry. Continue whisking as it starts to thicken up. You want the consistency of this sauce to be similar to the thickness of gravy or tomato soup...it should not be thin. If you are having trouble thickening it, add more slurry. If it is too thick, you can add a little extra water and soy sauce. Just be careful as to HOW MUCH you add otherwise it can become too salty.
Once the sauce is at the proper consistency, add the chopped bell peppers and peanuts, stir. Then, take your sauce off the heat and pour it over the tofu in the mixing bowl. Toss and add the chopped green onions.
Serve with rice, salad, or all by itself!