General Tso’s Tofu will have you forgetting about the meat and devouring dinner! This is the BEST vegetarian version of the famous General Tso’s dish.
General Tso’s Tofu is one of my favorite dishes, mostly because I love Chinese take out, but sometimes it’s hard to find a great version at Chinese restaurants. It’s not a problem though, because it’s very easy to make Vegetarian General Tso’s Tofu at home. It’s great knowing exactly what ingredients go into the recipe (no MSG like a lot of restaurants add), and it’s majorly delicious! General Tso’s Tofu is the perfect vegetarian version of General Tso’s Chicken. Add Sesame Bok Choy, Garlic Ginger Spinach, or Air Fryer Roasted Broccoli to the side along with some homemade crab rangoon and you have the perfect dinner!
For General Tso’s Tofu, I like the tofu to be crispy. This means you have the option to fry or bake it, but I like to use a method called ‘shallow’ frying, which means the whole object isn’t submerged in oil; basically just the bottom and you turn flip it around on each side to get the desired crispness.
How to make General Tso’s Tofu:
**scroll down for full directions and printable ingredient list.**
- Tofu needs to be pressed before you use it. Make sure all the water is pressed out of the tofu.
- Cut the tofu bloc in half, then set the halves onto a paper towel or clean kitchen towel. Place another towel/paper towel on top of the tofu, then place a heavy object on top in order to weigh down the tofu. Leave it for at least 20 minutes, but the longer the better. This will help press the water out of the tofu, and the water will be absorbed with the towel/paper towel.
- To get crispy tofu, we are going to coat the tofu in cornstarch, then shallow fry it.
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet, then add the tofu being careful not to crowd the pan. Flip the tofu around every few minutes and you will see it developing a nice browned crispy crust on the outside.
- Make the sauce while the tofu is cooking.
- to adjust the spice level, reduce or add more red pepper flakes.
- Once the tofu is done, remove from the pan and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Carefully wipe the skillet out (it’s hot), then place back on stove and add sesame oil. Then add the ginger and green onions to the skillet and cook for a minute. Pour the sauce into the skillet and cook another minute, then add the tofu into the skillet and toss to coat.
How to serve General Tso’s Tofu:
- Serve General Tso’s tofu over white rice, brown rice, or quinoa.
- For a lower carb option serve over cauliflower rice!
- Add some vegetables on the side like Sesame Bok Choy, Garlic Ginger Spinach, or Air Fryer Roasted Broccoli.
- For more protein, serve with Spicy Thai Chicken Tenders or One Skillet Ginger Soy Chicken.
What is the best Tofu for cooking General Tso’s Tofu?
Definitely use firm or extra firm tofu for this recipe. The tofu needs to be firm to stand up to the coating and frying. Using a soft or silk tofu will result in the tofu falling apart while trying to coat and cook it.
Where do I find tofu at the store?
Tofu is generally kept in the produce section of the grocery store. If your grocery store has a natural foods area, it could also be there. It will always be in a cooler or refrigerated. If you can’t find it, just ask. Most grocery stores stock firm tofu regularly.
If you like TOFU as much as I do, be sure to checkout these other Tofu recipes:
- Honey Sesame Tofu is the perfect dinner for meatless Monday or vegetarians. The tofu is fried crispy and then tossed in a delicious sweet sauce!
- Copycat Bang Bang Tofu is a vegetarian spin on the popular Bang Bang Shrimp!! Spicy, sweet, and delicious!
- Easy Baked Tofu will become a staple in your home. Add sauce, throw it in salads, the sky is the limit for this versatile basic tofu recipe.
- Panda Express Copycat Firecracker Tofu with Brown Rice is a delicious take-out style dinner!
- Spicy Asian Eggplant & Tofu Bowls are the perfect healthy dinner! Delicious Japanese Eggplant, Bok Choy, and tofu drenched in a spicy Asian Sauce! Takes less than 30 minutes, too!
For more Asian inspired recipe, CLICK HERE.
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General Tso's Tofu will have you forgetting about the meat and devouring dinner! This is the BEST vegetarian version of the famous General Tso's dish.
- 1 brick extra firm tofu
- 3-4 TBS cornstarch
- 1-2 TBS canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 TBS hoisin sauce
- 3 TBS rice vinegar
- 3 TBS ketchup
- 2 TBS soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 shakes red pepper flakes (optional, 2 shakes turns out pretty mild..add more for more spice or you can leave out for less)
- 1 TBS sesame oil
- 4 green onions , chopped
- 3 TBS fresh ginger , finely chopped
Drain tofu of excess water pressing between the counter and heavy object. **I use 2 clean kitchen towels, one folded up the size of the tofu brick on the bottom (place under tofu), and then one on top. Then I place my cast iron pan on top of the top towel, and sometimes place something else in the pan to hold it down. You do not want the tofu to collapse, if it's breaking take some weight off. Let sit 20 minutes. to drain**
While waiting for tofu, mix together the first 7 ingredients and set aside.
Heat a skillet on medium with about a 1/2 inch of vegetable oil inside. While heating, slice tofu into 1/2" slices, then cut each slice into thirds. Coat each cube lightly with cornstarch and then place into pan until browned and crispy. You may have to turn up the heat under the pan a bit. Remove from frying pan and set aside on paper towels.
Wipe pan clean with paper towel and add sesame oil, onions, and chopped ginger. Cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add sauce mixture to pan, bring to a boil, and simmer about 2 minutes. Add tofu back to mixture, toss to coat. Top with green onions if desired.