Chickpeas are cooked in a super flavourful yet healthy vegan kung pao sauce ! This dish is really easy to make & is definitely better than Chinese takeout.
Love Chinese food ? Then you definitely have to give this recipe a try ! It is the veganized and healthier version of Kung Pao chicken, a popular Chinese dish.
Like my sweet and sour chickpeas , I am using chickpeas as a substitute for chicken.
I had also made a story for this kung pao chickpeas recipe.
What does Kung Pao taste like
The flavors of kung pao comes from 2 sources - the sauce and what goes into the stir-fry. The sauce has a rich flavor that is savory, sweet and sour at the same time. On the other hand, the stir-fry usually contains aromatics like ginger, garlic and dried chilies, hence providing additional flavors and spiciness to the dish.
🍅 What you will need
Vegan Kung Pao Sauce
The sauce is what gives this dish the most flavors. Here is what goes into it :
Substitutions / optional add-ins
- Chickpeas - can be substituted for 1 block of cubed tofu or one packet of your favorite vegan chicken pieces.
- Dried chilies - I would not recommend swapping them out, but if you really cant find any, use ¼ teaspoon - ½ teaspoon of chili powder instead.
- Soy sauce & dark soy sauce - To make this gluten-free, use tamari instead of soy sauce and omit the dark soy sauce.
- Maple syrup - Other liquid sweetener like date syrup and agave syrup would work too.
- Peanuts - Can be substituted with roasted cashews or sesame seeds.
- Adding veggies - I am not using any , but veggies such as bell peppers, onions, broccoli and cauliflower will work well in this recipe. I recommend doubling the sauce and adding it to taste.
- Making it oil-free - Omit the sesame oil in the sauce and use ¼ cup of broth or water to saute.
🔪 How to make
Make the sauce by combining all ingredients needed. Mix until the corn starch has fully dissolved.
Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a cast iron skillet / non-stick pan. ( Use ¼ cup of water or broth to make it oil-free. ) Saute the garlic, ginger and dried chili until fragrant.
Pour the sauce along with ¼ cup of water into the pan. When sauce starts to thicken, add in the chickpeas and toss to coat.
Cook until sauce reaches desired consistency, then turn off the heat. Garnish with some crushed peanuts and chopped green onions, then serve it with some fluffy rice !
🍽 More Chinese recipes
- Asian Broccoli Mushroom Stir-fry
- Sweet and Sour Chickpeas
- Chinese Style Vegan Minced Pork
- Vegan Egg Fried Rice
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Vegan kung Pao Chickpeas
For the Kung Pao Sauce
For the stir-fry
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 3 cloves garlic sliced thinly
- 3-4 dried red chilies halved
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas * rinsed and drained ( about 1 ½ cups )
To garnish ( optional )
- ¼ cup peanuts** crushed
- 1 stalk green onion chopped
- Start by making the sauce by combining all ingredients needed. Whisk well and set aside.
- Heat up a tablespoon of neutral oil in a cast iron skillet / non-stick pan. Substitute oil with ¼ cups of broth / water for the oil-free version.
- Add in the garlic, ginger and dried chilies. Saute for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Stir in the sauce together with ¼ cup of water. When sauce starts to thicken, stir in the chickpeas.
- When sauce reaches desired consistency, turn off the heat and add more soy sauce, if needed.
- Top with with some crushed peanuts and green onions before serving.