Earl's Recreation RecipesRecreating Vancouver FavouritesVegetarian

Earl’s Hunan Kung Pao Tofu (Copycat Recipe)

3 Mins read

This is an Earl’s classic and for good reason! Now when I embarked on trying to recreate this, I saw that it was in the Earl’s Cookbook. However, they only had the chicken version and I was getting tons of requests for the tofu version that comes with a miso sesame sauce.

To begin, I did make it according to the cookbook which is readily available online. But….it wasn’t the same. I found there was a few variations and in the cookbook they did state that it was a bit different from their test kitchen. So here is the closest version to date!

How To Make Hunan Kung Pao Tofu Recipe

This recipe consists of a few parts including the tofu, the noodles and stirfry, and the sauce. 

1. Begin by making the crispy tofu, miso sesame suace and hunan kung pao sauce. 

2. Prep all the veggies and cook the egg noodles according to the instructions. 

3. Once everything is prepped add it to the wok or skillet as instructed below!


Hunan Kung Pao Tofu Tips 

 The important thing about this dish is the spice level. These chilies are meant for flavour NOT for eating unless you like spice and the spice must be developed. 

To really flavour the dish with spice, begin by frying the chilies until they slightly blister on each side to release the flavour. For a mild flavour, I would recommend 1 red thai chilli per serving and you can adjust as you like more heat. 

The next part is to use dark soy sauce, not regular soy sauce. It might seem like a practical substitute but dark soy sauce is sweeter and if using regular soy sauce (like the cookbook recommends), it will be much saltier. 

You can use any egg noodle but Earl’s uses the Farkay brand (dried) and I bought it at Walmart!


The Hunan Kung Pao  Tofu Recipe


Makes 4 Servings

Hunan Sauce
1/2 cup dark soy sauce 1/4 cup Water
1 Tsp Chicken or vegetable Boullion
2 Tbsp minced ginger 2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp of gogujang (use more or less depending on your level of spice)
Juice of Half a Lime

Hunan Noodles
300g of Dried or Fresh Egg Noodles
2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided 4 bird’s eye chilies, or to taste
1/2 cup red onion, roughly diced
1 small red pepper, diced (roughly 1 cup)
1 cup carrots, slicked into bite sized pieces (Approx 1/2 Chinese Carrot)
1 cup celery, sliced into bite sized pieces (Approx 2 stalks)
3 cups chopped bok choy, cut into bite sized pieces (approx 2 large Bok Choys))

Crispy Tofu
350g of Tofu cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 Cup of Corn or Potato Starch
1/4 Tsp of Salt
1/2 Cup of Neutral Oil

Miso Sesame Sauce for Tofu
1 Tbsp Miso
1/2 Cup of Rice Vinegar
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
1/2 Tsp Mirin


1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
2 Green Onions


  1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the dark soy sauce, water, bouillon, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, cornstarch, gochujang, and lime juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes until thickened.
  2. Cook the noodles according to package instructions and drain.
  3. In a shallow dish, mix together the corn or potato starch and salt. Toss the tofu in the starch mixture until well coated.
  4. In a medium saucepan, heat the neutral oil over medium-high heat. Add the coated tofu and cook for 2-3 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
  5. Combine the Miso, Rice Vinegar, Sesame Oil and Mirin to create the Miso Sesame Sauce. Once the tofu is fried, place in a bowl with a paper towel to remove excess oil. Once it is cooled down, remove the paper towel and add in the miso sesame sauce.
  6. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and red chilies and fry the chilies for a few minutes until they blister. This will infuse the oil with the spice. Remove and then add in the carrots, red pepper, and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Add the bok choy and cook for another minute.
  7. In a separate large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the tofu cubes with miso sesame sauce. and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown on all sides.
  8. In a shallow dish, mix together the corn or potato starch and salt. Toss the tofu in the starch mixture until well coated.
  9. To serve, toss the cooked noodles with the Hunan sauce. Top with the vegetable stir-fry and crispy tofu. Garnish with roasted peanuts, green onion and sesame seeds. Enjoy!