An easy weeknight dinner or side dish that’s ready in less than 30 minutes, this kung pao vegetable recipe is made with eggplant, broccoli, and bell peppers, which are coated in a sweet and savory sauce with a bit of spice. .
There’s nothing I love more than a salty and spicy sauté of all my favorite vegetables!
Inspired by Kung Pao Chicken, which originated in the Sichuan province of southwestern China, this version features vegetables like eggplant, broccoli, and bell peppers, but you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand! It is easily customizable.
Make this a more complete and satisfying meal by adding a source of protein! Think chicken, tofu, tempeh, shrimp or steak!
What really makes this recipe stand out is the strong salty, sweet and spicy sauce inspired by Asian flavours.
And the peanuts give the dish a satisfying crunch that complements the vegetables and also adds a nice nutty flavor.
The best part about this recipe is that it takes you less than 30 minutes to make!! Weeknight dinner rotation, here we come!
materials you will need
Notes on Ingredients:
- Eggplant: tender, soft and sweet, with a slight bitterness. Can substitute with zucchini or squash!
- Broccoli: I used fresh for this recipe but frozen can work too!
- Sesame Seed Oil: Imparts a nutty, earthy flavor
- Dried Red Chilli: Cut the peppers into 1/2 inch pieces. If you can’t find these, substitute 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
- Paprika: Sweeter than other capsicums, but any color will work!
- Dry Roasted Peanuts: For a Nutty Crunch!
- Scale: Add onion flavor and crunch to the dish
- Mirin (rice wine): Used to add sweet acidity to dishes.
- I am Willow: Can sub for coconut aminos or use less sodium if you want it less salty!
- Cornstarch: To thicken the sauce. Can be substituted with flour or arrowroot starch if needed.
- Black Sugar Vinegar: If you can’t find it, replace it with 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
equipment you’ll need (Affiliate link – I get a small commission if you make a purchase)
How to make Kung Pav curry
- Marinate the brinjal. Toss together eggplant, broccoli and marinade ingredients (mirin, soy sauce and corn starch) until completely coated. Cancel.
- Make chutney. In a small mixing bowl, add black vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic and corn starch and mix.
- stir fried vegetables. In a skillet or large sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons oil over high heat. Add the eggplant and broccoli and cook until lightly golden brown and tender, about 6-8 minutes, deglazing the pan as needed. Return cooked vegetables to large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Add some spice. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pan, add the dry chillies and sauté till fragrant, for about 1-2 minutes. Add the capsicum and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
- toss with sauce. Add cooked eggplant and broccoli, peanuts, scallions, and sauce and toss to coat. cook sauce until thickened, about 1 minute.
- Try to cut the vegetables as evenly as possible so that they all cook evenly.
- To reduce the heat, remove the seeds from the peppers.
- Change the vegetables for whatever you want or are in season! Frozen can work too! Defrost first and then drain off any remaining liquid before use.
- If the sauce is too thick, I recommend reconstituting with a bit of water or additional soy sauce! Try adding more cornstarch if it’s too thin.
1. What exactly is Kung Pao?
The classic dish made with chicken in Sichuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan province of southwestern China and includes Sichuan peppercorns. Kung Pao sauce is sweet, salty and spicy.
2. What if I don’t like brinjal?
That’s absolutely fine! You can replace any vegetable with zucchini, squash, snap peas, mushrooms or any veggie you like!
3. Can I order it in advance?
You can chop the eggplant and broccoli in advance, and you can even whip together the sauce ahead of time. but once you have made the recipe i recommend to serve it immediately as the vegetables may turn soft with time.
Substitutions and Additions
- If you don’t have cayenne pepper, you can substitute with 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (less if you want it milder)
- Add shrimp, chicken, tofu, tempeh, or steak for a source of protein and to make it more filling!
- Other vegetables that work well in this dish are mushrooms, snow peas, onions, baby corn, carrots, squash, zucchini, etc.
storage and preparation
Kung Pao Vegetables can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. I recommend heating in a skillet over medium heat and tossing until hot.
dishes that pair well
For more Asian-inspired recipe inspiration, check out my other recipes below!
If you liked this recipe, please do comment and give it a 5 star rating below. If you make it, share it on Instagram and tag me @karalydonrd and I’ll reshare it with my followers! If you want to save this recipe for later, be sure to pin it on Pinterest!
An easy weeknight dinner that takes less than 30 minutes, this kung pao vegetable recipe is made with eggplant, broccoli, and bell peppers, which are covered in a sweet and savory sauce with a bit of spice.
- 1 large eggplant, cut into slices 1-inch cubes
- 1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets (about 3 1/2 cups,
- 3 tbsp sesame seed oil, divided
- 9 dry red chili, chopped 1/2inch pieces
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups,
- 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- rice, to serve
- 2 tablespoons mirin (rice wine)
- 2 tablespoons i am willow
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tbsp black sugar vinegar (or 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar + 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar)
- 3 tbsp i am willow
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 2 clove garlic, minced or grated
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- In a large mixing bowl, add eggplant, broccoli, and marinade ingredients (mirin, soy sauce, and corn starch) and toss together until completely coated. Cancel.
- To make sauce, in a small mixing bowl, combine black vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, and corn starch and stir to combine.
- In a skillet or large sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons oil over high heat. Add the eggplant and broccoli and cook until lightly golden brown and tender, about 6-8 minutes, deglazing the pan as needed. Return cooked vegetables to large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Increase the flame to medium high. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pan, add the dry chillies and sauté till fragrant, for about 1-2 minutes. Add the capsicum and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add cooked eggplant and broccoli, peanuts, scallions, and sauce and toss to coat. cook sauce until thickened, about 1 minute.
- Serve immediately with rice and garnish with additional scallions.
- Try adding chicken, tofu, tempeh, steak, or shrimp to add a source of protein.
- This recipe is easily customizable to use whatever vegetables you have on hand or that you prefer: try mushrooms, snow peas, onions, baby corn, carrots, etc.
- For less spice, remove the seeds from the peppers.
- If you can’t find dry red pepper, use 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or less if you want a milder version).
- prep time: 8 minutes
- Cooking Time: 14 minutes
- Social class: dinner
- Method: stir fry
- Meal: Sugar
Keyword: Kung Pao Vegetables, Vegetarian Kung Pao