Kung Pao Sliders Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Kung Pao Sliders

This recipe, created by flavor chemist Mariano Gascon, won Best Appetizer in VT's 2011 Chefs' Challenge. Gascon knows all about developing snacks and seasonings in a laboratory. "Instead of using onions and garlic, we use chemicals X and Y," he says. Mariano enrolled in culinary school to understand food from a different perspective, but he still approached his vegan take on kung pao chicken with scientific precision. "I made tons of attempts at the tofu," he says. "I microwaved it, I baked it, I compressed it, I froze it. It was a project."

Ingredients: 

Ingredient Set Name: 

Sliders

Ingredients: 

Ingredient Line: 
1 14-oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu, patted dry
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4 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
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2 Tbs. natural cane sugar
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2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
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1 tsp. cornstarch
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16 wheat or white slider-size buns

Ingredient Set Name: 

Slaw

Ingredients: 

Ingredient Line: 
3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
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2 Tbs. vegan mayonnaise
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2 Tbs. no-salt-added creamy natural peanut butter
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5 tsp. natural cane sugar
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2 Tbs. rice vinegar
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2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
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1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
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⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
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1 pinch cayenne pepper, optional
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4 medium carrots, julienned (8 oz.)
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2 medium zucchini, julienned (8 oz.)
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¼ cup dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped

Instructions: 

1. To make Sliders: Cut tofu into 8 slices lengthwise; halve slices to make 16 pieces. Transfer to baking dish. Whisk together soy sauce, sugar, oil, and cornstarch in bowl. Pour over tofu, cover, and chill 1 hour.

2. To make Slaw: Whisk together soy sauce, mayonnaise, peanut butter, sugar, vinegar, oil, garlic, pepper, and cayenne (if using) in bowl. Stir in carrots, zucchini, and peanuts. Chill.

3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Drain tofu, and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes. 
Flip, and bake 20 to 25 minutes more, or until crispy. Fill buns with 1 tofu slice and 2 Tbs. Slaw.

Nutrition Information: 

Calories: 
131
Protein: 
6 g
Total Fat: 
6 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
Carbohydrates: 
15 g
Cholesterol: 
0 mg
Sodium: 
219 mg
Fiber: 
2 g
Sugar: 
5 g
Yield: 
Makes 16 sliders

Comments on this Recipe

Wow were these great! Thank you! This recipe is a definite keeper.

All the individual ingredients were good. The slaw dressing was a keeper. But put together this recipe was a failure. The combined textures didn't work. We gave it a fail at our house.

This was yummy! I couldn't find toasted sesame oil so I used peanut oil instead and it still came out tasty.

just one little thing to make it kung Pao: Sichuan peppercorns. Those numbingly sharp beauties make it authentic.

I've made the kung pao sliders numerous times and OMG they are DELICIOUS. My husband raves about then!

Great recipe! The dressing is delicious!

just made these last night and even the kids gobbled them up!

Just made these, they are amazing. Even the carnivores in the house enjoyed them!

Please use organic tofu. Most of conventional soy grown in this country (around 90%) has been genetically modified. The isoflavone content in GM soy is less, and it has anecdotally been connected to people who develop soy allergies after consuming it.

These sliders are AMAZING. brought them along on a road trip from SF to LA nearly 2 years ago, and their legend still lives on. Delicious favors. Great thing to impress with at a party or potluck.

Very nice flavorful recipe, must try

these sliders look delish! will substitute the sesame oil &amp; omit the cayenne/black peppers (am allergic) &amp; let you know how they tasted...i will be serving them in a gluten-free rice wrapper!

Wonder if I could use cucumber instead of zucchini. Anyone varied the slaw? I have everything to make these if that won't make too much if a difference.

Slider

Any suggestion of what can be substituted if soy allergic? Thanks

This would be a great Chinese New Years dish!