Cook's Hideout: General Tso's Tofu

May 18, 2015

General Tso's Tofu

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: Weekend Special Dinners
Dish: General Tso's Tofu
Today's weekend special is a Chinese-American dish called General Tso's Tofu. It is the vegetarian version of General Tso's Chicken that is quite a popular item on Chinese fast food and restaurant menus in America and Canada. From what I read, this dish is unknown in China and is probably been introduced by one of the many Chinese chefs who came to America years ago.
General Tso's Tofu
In the original version, it is a sweet, slightly spicy and the chicken is deep fried. In this vegetarian version, tofu is used instead of the meat and it is baked until crispy.

The sauce is what makes this dish special. It is slightly sweet, slightly spicy and has lot of flavor. I would suggest starting with the quantities listed below in the recipe, then taste and adjust them as per your taste. Add more sambal oelek chili paste to make it spicy or add more sugar etc.
General Tso's Tofu
The dish needs a bit of preparation -- tofu needs to be pressed for 30 minutes and then marinated for at least 30 minutes to even overnight. So plan accordingly. I prepped the tofu and left it to marinate on Saturday morning and it was ready to be baked at night, making it our 'special' weekend dinner :-)
I served it with Shanghai Fried Rice, but it would taste great with plain white or brown rice. Steamed broccoli is a great side to this dish.
General Tso's Tofu
Recipe from Vegetarian Times:
Crispy Tofu:
Firm or Extra-firm Tofu - 1 16oz. pkg, drained
Low sodium Soy sauce - 2tsp
Rice Vinegar - 2tsp
Rice Wine (or Mirin) - 1tsp
Oil - 1tsp
Garlic - 1 cloves, finely minced
Ginger - ½" piece, finely grated
Cornstarch - 1tbsp

For the Sauce:
Low sodium vegetable broth - ½cup
Sugar - 2tbsp
Low sodium Soy sauce - 1½tbsp
Rice Wine (Mirin) - 4tsp
Rice Vinegar - 2tsp
Sesame Oil - 2tsp
Corn Starch - 2tsp
Tomato paste - 1½tsp
Sambal Oelek chili paste - ½tsp (optional)
Oil - 2tsp
Green Onions - 4, green parts chopped
Garlic - 1 clove, finely minced
Grated - ½", finely grated

Broccoli - 2cups
White or Brown Rice - 2cups (I made Shanghai Fried Rice)

  • To make Crispy Tofu: Cut tofu into 2 slabs. Wrap tofu slabs in paper towel and place between 2 cutting boards. Put some weight like soup cans or cast iron pan, on top of the cutting board and press for 30 minutes (or up to 4 hours).
  • In a resealable container, combine soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, oil, garlic and ginger. Add tofu and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. 
  • Sift cornstarch over tofu and turn to coat evenly. Spread tofu on baking sheet.
  • Baking 30~40 minutes or until firm and crispy, turning several times to brown all sides.
  • To make General Tso's Sauce: Whisk together broth, sugar, soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, sesame oil, corn starch, tomato paste, sambal oelek (if using) in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat 1tbsp oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green onions, garlic and ginger, stir fry 1 minute. Add broth mixture and cook for 1 more minute, or until thickened.
  • Stir in tofu. Mix well and cook for 1~2 minutes.
  • Serve with steamed broccoli and rice.
General Tso's Tofu
Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 52.


  1. Tofu looks delicious .. Nice recipe .

  2. Looks so tempting! I am definitely bookmarking this for my tofu loving family :)

  3. That's a very tempting meal! A lot of work on a weekend Pavani:) i am rather lazy to cook so much on weekends:(

  4. Very interesting dish with a very flavorful sauce.

  5. OMG! this is definitely my husband's favorite.

  6. this is one of my fave chinese fast food dishes and I love the way you styled the second to last pic the broccoli looks so real

  7. Pavani, pls invite me over ok..such lovely spread you got there!..the first picture is so stunning!


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