Crispy Tofu with Thai Chili Paste, Cashews and Kale


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Crispy Thai Tofu with Thai Chili Paste, Cashews and Kale is a healthy 20-minute stir-fry. It features deliciously crispy tofu and is high in protein. This easy dinner is also naturally vegan and gluten-free!

Thai Tofu over rice in white bowls
This post is part of our series Dinner Tonight where we share our favorite weeknight-friendly dinners.  Just doing our part to help answer the question “what’s for dinner”?

I give you the following evidence that Thai Chili Paste (Nam Prik Pao) is one of the best condiments to have in your fridge. It’s a staple in Thai kitchens and has sweet, spicy, tangy flavors that make a totally amazing stir-fry sauce.

And this particular stir-fry…it’s for everyone. Made with crispy tofu, Thai Chili Paste, kale and cashews, it’s naturally vegan and gluten-free. It easily made our list of favorite weeknight dinners because it takes only 20 minutes to make

For people who are skeptical about tofu, crispy tofu seems to be the answer. And these little tofu bites are super crispy.

stir frying kale and tofu in a skillet

How to Make Crispy Tofu

Do you know how to get that tofu super crispy? You just need these 3 things:

  1. Dry it. Really well. (Drain it well and then pat the cubes of tofu with towels before cooking)
  2. Cornstarch. (Coat it in cornstarch before cooking)
  3. High heat. (Pan sear it in oil over high heat until deep golden brown)
adding Thai chili paste to stir fry in a wok

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4.25 from 8 votes

Crispy Tofu with Thai Chili Paste, Cashews and Kale

Tossed in a super flavorful sauce made from Thai Chili Paste, this healthy stir-fry with tofu, kale and cashews is high in protein and is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • Mixing Bowl
  • Wok


For the sauce:

  • 4 Tablespoons Nam Prik Pao (store-bought or using this recipe)
  • 4 Tablespoons Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce (use Tamari for gluten-free)

For the stir-fry:

  • 16 ounces Extra-Firm Tofu
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 4 cups Curly-Leaf Kale, roughly chopped (or 1 bunch)
  • 1/2 cup Roasted, Unsalted Cashews
  • Rice, for serving (optional)


  • Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients (or combine in a mason jar and shake well – my preferred method). You can make this up to a week in advance and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.
  • Drain tofu and press as much liquid out as possible. Slice into cubes and press with paper towels to remove any extra liquid. Toss tofu cubes with cornstarch, salt and pepper.
  • Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add tofu and saute until deep golden brown and crisp on the outside, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and return wok to heat.
  • To hot wok, add kale and a couple tablespoons of water. Saute until kale is bright green and tender, but not soggy, and water is cooked off, about 2 minutes. Add cashews and saute to heat through, about 1 minute.
  • Add tofu back into the pan and pour sauce over top. Toss to coat all of the ingredients in sauce and continue cooking until sauce thickens, 1 minute more.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 645mg | Potassium: 682mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6727IU | Vitamin C: 83mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $6.00
Calories: 251
Keyword: 20 minute meal, easy dinner, stir fry, vegan recipe
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We had beautiful weather here in Kansas City over the weekend and spent all of Saturday morning at the arboretum. Molly and Clara found this tiny house. And. wanted. never. to. leave.

Molly and Clara

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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.25 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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