Monday, August 31, 2009

Cooking with Cari, volume 2: General Tso's Tofu

Here's another dish I reminisce about from my omnivorous past: General Tso's Chicken. As a kid I used to load up an entire plate with General Tso's at Chinese Buffets. While the thought of eating that much fried Chinese food is thoroughly revolting to me now, I miss the texture of the soft, fried breading covering the chicken, and the sticky, delicious sauce in which it was always smothered.

General Tso's Tofu:

What you'll need:

1 container of tofu (I used extra firm, I would recommend at least getting firm)
Enough egg substitute to replace 1 egg (I used EnerG Egg Replacer)
Around 3/4 cup cornstarch
Your favorite oil for frying (I used extra virgin olive oil, but you can use another type of vegetable oil)
3-4 chopped green onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2/3 cup veggie stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons sugar
red pepper to taste (I used dried crushed red pepper because that's what I had around the house, but ideally you would use a fresh red pepper and chop up as many small chunks/strips as you'd like)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
steamed broccoli, and any other steamed veggie you'd like to include. I also used green beans from my garden, which turned out nice).
Your rice of choice.

What you do:

Drain the water out of your tofu and cut it into 1 inch squares. Follow the directions on your egg replacer, but add 3 additional tablespoons of water. Coat all the tofu squares liberally in the egg replacer. When they've all been dipped, sprinkle your 3/4 cup of cornstarch over the wet tofu. Try to get a good layer if you're like me and used to enjoy the battery-coating on traditional General Tso's.

Heat your oil in a pan. Fry up your tofu until it looks golden brown. While you're waiting for the tofu to fry, you can start steaming your vegetables and getting some rice cooking. When your tofu is done you can set it aside and cover it to keep it warm. Drain the oil.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Add your green onions, garlic and ginger, and cook for about 2 minutes. Be very careful not to burn the garlic. Then add veggie stock, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper, and vinegar. Mix 2 tablespoons water with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and pour that into the mixture. This is what's going to give your sauce the thickness. Mix your sauce very well and turn off the heat. Add your fried tofu and steamed vegetables, and serve over your favorite kind of rice.

Good luck! This was pleasantly simple to make. It goes quicker with two people in the kitchen. When I made this my husband fried up the tofu and stirred the sauce and rice while I prepared the tofu and did all the chopping, steaming, measuring and mixing.


  1. Oh this looks so yummy!! I will have to try it! xoxo Agnes

  2. Let me know how it turns out! This has to be one of my favorite tofu dishes of all time.