Sunflower Seed Tofu

We got The Asian Vegan Kitchen by Hema Parekh a couple weeks ago, and have tried a few dishes out of it so far. It’s an excellent and inspiring book, but we’ve found that we want to make the recipes spicier. For example, the biryani was the first recipe we tried off the book, and we did like it, but we both thought that the amount of spices could have easily been doubled. After that experience, we’ve been happily boosting the recipes with extra amounts of spices and enjoying all the dishes so far!

This stir-fry is based on the Kung Pao Tofu recipe in The Asian Vegan Kitchen. I tweaked it quite a bit, but the essence of the dish remains: a stir-fry sauce with chili paste, soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, sweet miso, and sherry. As my version doesn’t have peanuts or cashew nuts in it, I couldn’t call it Kung Pao any more. As a side we had a Sweet and Sour Cucumber salad from the same book and some jasmine rice.

This amount of ingredients made about three portions.


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons sweet (light) miso paste
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

Stir-Fry Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil for frying
  • 1 cm slice of ginger, crushed
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 300 g tofu, pressed and diced
  • 1 fresh red chili, chopped
  • ½ dl sunflower seeds, roasted
  • ½-1 dl chopped chives and chive flowers
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • fresh coriander and chive flowers for garnish

I began by preparing all the ingredients – mixed the sauce, removed the seeds from the fresh chili, and chopped and diced all the ingredients. Then I put a wok over medium heat, heated the oil, and threw in the chili and the tofu, and fried them for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Then I picked up all the chili slices and the tofu cubes with two spatulas, and put them aside in a separate bowl.

I heated the oil remaining in the wok to high heat, and first put in the carrot and the ginger. After stir-frying them for half a minute, I added the bell peppers, and after another half a minute, the chives and the chive flowers. I stir-fried the veggies for about a minute more, and then poured in the sauce followed with the tofu and the chili. I stirred to combine everything, lowered the heat, and cooked it for a couple of minutes more. Before serving, I added in the sunflower seeds, stirred them in, removed the wok from heat, garnished with coriander leaves, and drizzled with sesame oil.

We decorated our portions with pretty chive flower petals. By the way, stir-fried chive flowers taste amazing!