General Tso's tofu is sweet, savory and super easy to make. This recipe is perfect for weeknight meals and the sauce is so good that you'll want to drizzle it on everything!
- Dietary-features: vegan, vegetarian, nut-free
- Make with baked tofu
- Filled with sweet, salty and savory flavors
- Inspired by Chinese takeout
- Great for weeknight meals
Take-out General Tso's is one of my favorite meals, so I had to find a way to make my own version at home.
My recipe is by no means authentic but I do hope that you enjoy my spin on this Chinese takeout staple. If you are looking for authentic Pan-Asian recipes you will love the recipes that my friend Christie at Home shares!
General Tso's is traditionally made with deep fried chicken in Chinese restaurants, but we'll be making a lighter plant-based spin with oven baked tofu.
Instead of frying the tofu, we'll use my favorite method for getting crispy, nicely textured tofu: coat the tofu in a bit of corn starch and oil and bake in the oven until golden brown. This is also the way I make peanut tofu.
For more information on this method, you can read my post on how to make crispy tofu.
- Extra firm tofu is my go-to for baked tofu but firm will work in a pinch. You can learn more about what different types of tofu are good for in my guide to tofu.
- Hoisin sauce: This is a sweet and salty sauce. You can find it in the sauces section or International section of most grocery stores.
- Reduced sodium soy sauce can be replaced with tamari as needed. Regular soy sauce also works.
- Rice vinegar is a cooking staple (I use it peanut sauces, noodle salads, etc.). I don't recommend using regular vinegar.
- White sugar can be adjusted to taste. Coconut sugar also works but will yield a slightly more caramel flavor.
- Corn starch is used to thicken the sauce. Arrowroot powder can also be used.
- Tomato paste adds depth. I usually freeze leftover tomato paste in a small jar.
Making the sauce
Combine all ingredients, except for vegetable broth and corn starch, in a small sauce pan. With the heat off, use a silicon whisk to mix ingredients together (I use silicon to avoid scratching).
Slowly whisk in vegetable broth. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat (see image above for reference).
Add the slurry to the simmering sauce. Simmer sauce uncovered until thickened enough to coat the back of a metal spoon without sliding off. See image above for reference consistency.
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- Serving ideas: I like to eat General Tso's Tofu with white or brown rice and steamed broccoli. It's also great in vegan fried rice!
- Make it spicy: Add red pepper flakes to taste for a spicier sauce.
- Adjust for sweetness and saltiness by increasing/decreasing sugar and soy sauce. The hoisin sauce also contributes a lot of sweetness.
- This sauce is great on cauliflower, chickpeas or any other protein. You don't have to use tofu!
The tofu will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or re-crisp on the stove over medium heat.
Yes, the sauce freezes well. Let cool to room temp before transferring to a freezer safe container or pint-sized ball jar. Leave at least ½ inch space at the top of the container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
Yes! To make pan-fried tofu, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Drizzle with neutral oil, such as canola oil. Add the cornstarch coated tofu and sauté until golden, stirring as needed for even cooking.
No. You can use tamari in place of soy sauce but Hoisin sauce usually contains wheat. You may be able to find a gluten-free Hoisin sauce at your store or you can buy it online.
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