This cashew tofu recipe is a play off the famous cashew chicken dish! With roasted cashews, green onions, and a garlic sauce, this recipe tastes just like the takeout version. And with only a few steps, it’s almost as easy as picking up takeout – I promise!
I think we can all agree that Chinese takeout is one of the best things ever, but since going vegan it can be a biiiit difficult to decipher if the dish you’re getting is completely vegan. So, take the guessing out of the equation by making one of your favorite takeout dishes in the comfort of your own home! With only a few simple steps (seriously, the sauce is ridiculously easy) you’ll be enjoying a fully veganized version of a classic!
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WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
Easy to Meal Prep – This cashew tofu recipe is such a great (and tasty) meal prep. You can make it on Sunday and have it for the next 4-5 days. Simply pair with rice and broccoli and you’ve got lunch or dinner for the week.
Bursting with Flavor – A play on cashew chicken, this vegan cashew “chicken” aka tofu, is full of flavor. The sauce, along with the roasted cashews and green onions, make this dish a favorite!
Vegans & Non-Vegans will Love – I think one of the easiest ways to introduce non-vegans to vegan food is through creating a spin-off of classics. This cashew tofu is non-vegan tested and approved, it’s a great way to introduce tofu as well!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED (WITH SUBSTITUTIONS)
To make this vegan cashew tofu you will need the following ingredients:
Extra Firm Tofu – To make this dish, you will of course need tofu. Make sure to use extra firm tofu so that the tofu does not fall apart as you add it into the stir fry.
Roasted Cashews – Roasted cashews bring this dish to a whole other level! If you just have raw cashews, see my instructions in the ‘FAQ’ section below on how to roast your cashews. If you have a nut allergy, simply omit.
Olive Oil – Olive oil is used to coat the tofu and to cook the garlic. You can also sub avocado oil.
Soy Sauce – Soy sauce adds flavor to both the tofu and the sauce in this recipe.
Rice Vinegar – Rice vinegar provides a sweet, acidic taste. While it might seem like an ingredient you may not use often, I actually use it quite frequently (such as in my 30 minute Pad Thai). Plus, it lasts for a long time and isn’t too expensive.
Hoisin Sauce – This makes up the bulk of the sauce. It’s pretty easy to find in any grocery store (it will be in the International aisle) or you can buy some on Amazon. However, in a pinch you can also make your own – here is a recipe I recommend!
Sesame Oil – Sesame oil adds a nice flavor when sautéing the garlic, if you don’t have any, you can just use all olive oil.
Corn Starch – Corn starch is used to thicken the sauce and make the tofu extra crispy.
Garlic – Adds flavor to the dish.
Green Onions – Green onions add a mild onion flavor to this recipe.
HOW TO MAKE CASHEW TOFU
Follow the steps below to make this dish. You can also skip below to the recipe card if you are familiar with preparing tofu dishes.
Step 1: The first step is to prepare the tofu. First, press the tofu to remove excess water. You can use a tofu press or simply place the tofu on a plate and add something heavy on top. I usually give it 10-20 minutes.
Step 2: Either preheat the oven or an air fryer. For oven, you can preheat to 425F and for the air fryer 380F. Toss the tofu in corn starch and then toss with soy sauce and olive oil. To do this, I just add a few pieces of tofu to a bowl, add corn starch, shake, and repeat the process until all tofu is covered. Then I add in the olive oil and soy sauce and use a spatula to coat.
To cook in the air fryer, add in the tofu and shake every 5 minutes, until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. For the oven place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, flip the tofu, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Step 3. Next, prepare the sauce by whisking together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, 2 tbsp of the water, and the hoisin sauce. Then, in a separate bowl whisk together the corn starch and remaining water until the corn starch is dissolved.
Step 4: Mince the garlic and chop the green onions. Make sure to separate the white and green pieces.
Step 5: Add sesame oil and olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add in the garlic and the white pieces of the green onions. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Step 6: Next, add in the sauce and the cooked tofu. Turn the heat down and mix in the corn starch slurry. Toss the tofu around until the sauce is thickened.
Step 7: Remove from heat, add the cashews, and top with green onions!
STORAGE & REHEATING
You can store this cashew tofu dish in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can also individually prep it for lunch everyday by adding single servings of tofu, broccoli, and rice to a microwave safe container.
To reheat, either place it in the microwave or heat on medium low heat on the stove.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Should I Pair with Cashew Tofu?
My favorite way to enjoy this recipe is paired with broccoli and rice! The broccoli tastes amazing in the sauce and the rice provides a great base. I recommend roasting the broccoli and then adding it into the sauce at the same time as the tofu.
How Do I Roast Cashews?
Roasting cashews is super simple! Preheat your oven to 350F and roast the cashews for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Don’t let them burn!
What’s the Best Way to Prepare the Tofu?
I recommend preparing the tofu in the oven or an air fryer. You can also pan fry it, but for the best texture and easiest hands off method I’d stick with the oven or air fryer!
OTHER DINNER RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
If you decide to try this recipe out, let me know! I love seeing your recreations tagged on Instagram @nourishedwithnatalie.
Vegan Cashew “Chicken” Tofu
- 2 14 oz packs extra firm tofu
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 4 tbsp water, separated
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- ¾ cup cashews
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-6 stalks green onions, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Preheat to 425F (see instructions below for air fryer).
- First, press the tofu to remove excess water.
- Toss the tofu in corn starch and then toss with soy sauce and olive oil.
- Next, prepare the sauce by whisking together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, 2 tbsp of the water, and the hoisin sauce.
- Then, in a separate bowl whisk together the corn starch and remaining water until the corn starch is dissolved.
- Mince the garlic and chop the green onions. Make sure to separate the white and green pieces.
- Add sesame oil and olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add in the garlic and the white pieces of the green onions. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Next, add in the sauce and the cooked tofu. Turn the heat down and mix in the corn starch slurry. Toss the tofu around until the sauce is thickened.
- Remove from heat, add the cashews, and top with green onions!