nutritional information

Per Slider:

  • 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

Kung Pao Sliders

Kung Pao Sliders

Makes 16 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."
  • 1 14-oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu, patted dry
  • 4 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. natural cane sugar
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 16 wheat or white slider-size buns
  • 3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs. no-salt-added creamy natural peanut butter
  • 5 tsp. natural cane sugar
  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, optional
  • 4 medium carrots, julienned (8 oz.)
  • 2 medium zucchini, julienned (8 oz.)
  • ¼ cup dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped

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.

January/February 2011 p.75

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This would be a great Chinese New Years dish!

Donna - 2016-01-04 22:00:18

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

Donna - 2016-01-04 21:58:44


Jackie - 2014-01-07 00:04:52

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.

Sheila - 2013-03-04 23:14:02

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

laura j bryan - 2013-02-04 18:21:47

Very nice flavorful recipe, must try

easycooking321 - 2013-01-29 19:58:17

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.

Sandy Kristy - 2012-11-09 16:25:30

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.

Peggy - 2012-10-09 03:57:24

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

Caroline - 2012-07-09 00:02:58

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

MelissaS - 2012-05-23 01:54:17

Great recipe! The dressing is delicious!

Virginia - 2012-05-14 04:29:03

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

Jane - 2012-05-01 20:43:00

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

Pat - 2011-10-13 09:16:57

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

Kelly I - 2011-09-13 17:53:01