This vegan kung pao with broccoli recipe has a great balance of sweet, salty and spicy with a delicious Asian flavor. Chicken kung pao is a popular Sichuan dish that uses Sichuan peppercorns. There have been many different variations of this dish over the years. My kung pao with broccoli has the spiciness of dried chiles, a flavor I grew up with.
This recipe can easily be adjusted to suit your personal preferences. For example, you can replace the broccoli with cauliflower or romanesco. Today I’m using broccoli that I’ve coated thinly with a simple batter and baked in the oven until golden brown. This vegan kung pao is one of the best ways to add more veggies to your diet. It has a good balance of spiciness, sweetness and a slight spiciness. It’s really appetizing when the veggies are tossed in that sticky sauce. Easily adapt by substituting cauliflower for the broccoli, or using a gluten-free flour mix and soy sauce if you have a gluten intolerance. Either way, it’s flavorful and delicious.
How do you make vegan kung pao with broccoli
First prepare the broccoli. I prefer to break it up into bite-sized florets so they can be easily coated in the batter. Also, the florets take less time to bake (or fry) the smaller they are.
I made a simple dough for this. Just mix flour and water seasoned with salt and white pepper. You can also use a gluten-free flour mix or rice flour.
I baked the broccoli in the oven. But you can fry it in oil, pan fry it or air fry it. It’s entirely up to you, I just don’t like the smell of oil in our apartment and it’s healthier too. If you choose to pan fry or fry in oil, place the fried florets on a few sheets of kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
For the sauce. I used a mixture of soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, dark soy sauce (for color), and sesame oil.
Now to put everything together, heat a large wok or non-stick pan. Add some oil and fry the dried chilies. Then add all the remaining raw ingredients and fry until done. Once you have added the cauliflower florets, add the sauce, bring to a boil and toss in it.
A few more cooking tips
The batter should be thick enough to cover the florets with a thin layer. If the batter becomes runny during cooking, you didn’t allow the florets to dry properly after rinsing. To avoid this, wash the broccoli in time and give it time to drain and dry. If you don’t have time, simply add more flour to the dough and mix well.
Can’t get black Chinese vinegar? Replace it with rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar. Some balsamic vinegars are sweeter than others. Therefore, start with half of the amount specified here and adjust accordingly later.
How to roast dried chillies. When the wok or pan is hot, add the oil and turn the heat down. Add the chillies and continue to stir until the chilli releases its flavor and darkens slightly. If the pan is too hot, remove it from the heat briefly to avoid burning the chilies.
You must cook the sauce before adding the florets. Cook until it starts to thicken. This reduces the moisture the broccoli florets might absorb and gives them a nice shine.
Which nuts can I use? I like the taste of pecans so I used them, but also cashews, peanuts, or whichever nuts are your favorite. Please roast the nuts of your choice in a dry pan beforehand.
if you like our vegan kung pao with broccoli, you might also be interested in these dishes:
- Broccoli Chickpea Pesto Bowl
- Vegan Asian cabbage rolls
- Brussels sprouts and tofu stir fry in miso sauce
- Aubergine mini pizza with cashew cheese
- vegan cauliflower korma with tofu
- tender miso onions from the oven
vegan kung pao with broccoli recipe
- air fryer*
- cutting board*
For the sauce:
- 2 tbsp. light soy sauce*
- 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce*
- 2 tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine* or vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp. chinese black vinegar*
- 1 tbsp. cane sugar
- 1 tbsp. food starch
- 250 ml water
- Break the broccoli into bite-sized florets and rinse under cold water. Drain them well in a colander.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, white pepper, and water to form a kind of pancake batter. Not too thin but thin enough to dip the florets into.
- Dip the broccoli florets into the batter and allow excess batter to drip off. Place the florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (or fry the florets, fry (drain the fat on kitchen paper) or fry in the air fryer)
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- While the broccoli is baking in the oven, prepare the sauce. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Boil once and allow to thicken slightly. Remove from stove and set aside.
Cook and put it all together:
- Halve the peppers, deseed and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Peel the red onion and garlic and also roughly chop.
- Ginger peel and finely chop.
- Roughly chop the dried chili. Remove the seeds.
- Heat a wok or skillet and heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Sauté the chili over low heat until fragrant, then add the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant.
- Add the peppers and red onion and fry for another minute.
- Add the baked broccoli florets and the sauce to the vegetables in the pan. Toss gently until all the vegetables are coated in the sauce.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
- Finally fold in the roasted nuts.
- Serve warm and enjoy with chopped spring onions, coriander and sesame!