Kung Pao Tofu

Serves 4


2 (14-ounce) packages firm or extra-firm  tofu, pressed overnight and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup low-sodium tamari

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons neutral oil

1 teaspoon grated ginger

5 garlic cloves, 3 smashed and 2 minced, divided

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 cup chopped roasted peanuts

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

¼ cup brown rice vinegar

2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional)

3 scallions, sliced on the bias

1. Combine the tamari, sugar, ginger, neutral oil and smashed garlic in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Add the tofu cubes and marinate for 15 minutes, turn the tofu and continue to marinate for an additional 15 minutes.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking oil and cook the tofu until the cubes are golden brown, about 10 minutes.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chili flakes, minced garlic, bell peppers and peanuts. Cook, stirring frequently until the peanuts and peppers are golden, about 5 minutes.

4. Combine the brown rice syrup, vinegar, arrowroot and sesame oil, if using, in a small bowl. Add any remaining marinade and mix well.

5. Add the tofu to the vegetables and mix gently. Stir the brown rice mixture and add to the pot. Mix gently and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Garnish with the scallions and serve over brown rice.

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