General Tso's Tofu Recipe (2024)

by Sarah McMinn/Posted:/Disclosure:This post may contain affiliate links.Jump to Recipe Print Recipe Total Time:55 mins

If you have a hankering for Chinese takeout but are trying to stick to your healthy food goals, PUT THE PHONE DOWN! I'm here to help you with my recipe for General Tso's Tofu, the best dang takeout fake-out around.

General Tso's Tofu Recipe (1)

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

General Tso's Tofu is one of my favorite recipes of all time. Cubes of creamy tofu are pan fried until crispy and tossed in a sticky, spicy-sweet sauce that you'll go nuts for!

This tasty Chinese inspired recipe can be on your dinner table in less time than it would take to order delivery, and it's SO MUCH healthier when you make it yourself.

And if you avoiding soy right now, don't fret, I still have you covered! Make General Tso's Cauliflower instead. Simply follow these instructions but use the General Tso Sauce recipe below.

So what are you waiting for? Make this simple recipe for General Tso's Tofu tonight and ditch the takeout menu for good.

Table of Contents show

Recommended Ingredients and Equipment

While the ingredient list for General Tso's Tofu might look intimidating, I'd bet you have several ingredients on hand already. The rest can be easily found at your local grocery store.

Here's everything you need:

General Tso's Tofu Recipe (2)

Ingredient Notes

  • Oil - Since you'll be pan frying the tofu in this recipe, you want to opt for a neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point. Sesame oil is your best bet for this recipe, but grapeseed, avocado, almond, or sunflower oil will all do the trick.
  • Extra Firm Tofu - Look for extra-firm tofu that is not water-packed, such as Trader Joe’s High-Protein Tofu or Super Firm Sprouted Tofu. These types of tofu do not have excess water and do not need to be pressed. If you have to use water-packed tofu make sure to press as much water as you can out of it first by using a tofu press or a weighted, towel-lined cutting board.
  • Soy Sauce - If you're gluten free, feel free to swap in Tamari instead of the soy sauce. If you're avoiding soy, opt for coconut aminos instead.
  • Cornstarch - Also known as cornflour, this kitchen workhorse does an amazing job of ensuring a perfectly crispy exterior. If you're allergic to corn, feel free to substitute potato starch instead.
  • Ginger - If you don't usually cook with fresh ginger, it may seem a bit intimidating. Don't fret! You can peel it easily using the back of a spoon, then grate it on a microplane or using the small side of a cheese grater.
  • Garlic - Fresh garlic is something that I highly recommend you keep on hand at all times. If you're fresh out, you can sub ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder for each clove.
  • Rice Vinegar - If you don't have any on hand, you can substitute with apple cider vinegar instead.
  • Rice - Traditionally speaking, this dish should be made with short grain, sticky rice. That said, any rice will do! Just be sure to cook according to package directions as different varieties will require different water-to-rice ratios.
  • Maple Syrup - This is to sweeten the recipe slightly. You can also use coconut sugar, brown sugar (to taste), or omit it altogether.

Recommended Equipment

As far as equipment is concerned, you don't need anything fancy here. For this recipe you will need, a cutting board, chef's knife, colander, measuring cups and spoons, a saucepan with a lid, and a sauté pan. << (affiliate links)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step One - Make Rice

Begin by making the rice. Add one cup of dried rice along with 2 cups water and a pinch of salt to a medium-sized pot. Place over medium heat and bring to a soft boil.

Cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes until all the water has absorbed and the rice has doubled in size.

Pro Tip: If using brown rice, follow the instructions on the back of the packaging as the amounts will be different.

Step Two - Prepare the Tofu

General Tso's Tofu Recipe (3)

While the rice cooks, cut the tofu into 1" cubes.

To marinate, place tofu in a shallow dish along with ¼ cup vegetable broth, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight (in the fridge) if you prefer.

Step Three - Fry Tofu

General Tso's Tofu Recipe (4)

Drain the tofu through a colander and place in a large bowl. Add ⅓ cup of cornstarch and toss to fully coat the tofu.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cornstarch coated tofu. Stir fry the tofu for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tofu is golden brown on all sides. Remove from heat and transfer the tofu into a small bowl.

Step Four - Make the Sauce

Return the skillet to heat and add the garlic and ginger. Sauté for 30-60 seconds until they are golden and fragrant.

General Tso's Tofu Recipe (5)

Whisk together the remaining ingredients for the General Tso's sauce and add to the saucepot, stirring until thick. This should take 1-2 minutes.

Add the tofu back to the pan and stir together so that the sauce fully coats the tofu. Serve immediately over rice with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!!

General Tso's Tofu Recipe (6)

Serving and Storing

Serving - General Tso's Tofu is best when served directly from the sauté pan. This will ensure maximum crispiness! Scoop over rice (or cauliflower rice) and top with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds for texture.

Storing - If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To eat leftovers, gently reheat the stir fry over the stove or in the microwave.

Tips and Tricks

  1. For a more complete meal, add steamed broccoli at the end along with the tofu.
  2. It is important to rinse your rice prior to cooking, especially if you're using sticky rice.
  3. While optional, I highly recommend toasting your sesame seeds to coax the most flavor out of them. It only takes a few extra minutes of time, and the flavor returns are massive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make General Tso's Tofu ahead of time?

I wouldn't recommend it. You worked so hard to get those tofu cubes nice and crispy! The longer they sit in the General Tso's sauce, the less crispy they become. If you want to get a jump on your meal prep, though, you can absolutely press and cube your tofu ahead of time. You can also make the sauce ahead of time and reheat it when you're ready to eat.

I couldn't find extra firm tofu at the store. Will firm tofu work?

The reason I suggest extra firm tofu is that it doesn't have any extra water, which means you don't have to do any extra work. If firm tofu is all you could find, simply press the tofu using either a specific tofu press or a cast iron skillet weighted with heavy cans.

I can't eat soy. Do you have any suggestions?

Absolutely! Try making General Tso's Cauliflower instead. Follow these directions for preparing the cauliflower, then make the sauce as directed below. Simply swap the soy sauce for coconut aminos and you should be good to go!

More Vegan Chinese Recipes

  • Chinese-Style Baked Orange Cauliflower
  • Sticky Sesame Cauliflower (Baked!)
  • Kung Pao Tofu with Eggplant
  • Easy Teriyaki Tofu
  • Vegetable Fried Rice w/ Tofu

General Tso's Tofu Recipe (7)

General Tso's Tofu

If you have a hankering for Chinese takeout but are trying to stick to your healthy food goals, PUT THE PHONE DOWN! I'm here to help you with my recipe for General Tso's Tofu, the best dang takeout fake-out around.

5 from 2 votes

Print Pin Rate

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes minutes

Marinating Time: 30 minutes minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes minutes

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 296kcal

Author: Sarah McMinn

Ingredients

Tofu

General Tso's Sauce

Everything Else

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2-3 green onions, minced

US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  • Begin by making the rice. Add one cup of dried rice along with 2 cups water to a medium-sized pot. Place over medium heat and bring to a soft boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes until all the water has absorbed and the rice has doubled in size.Note: if using brown rice, follow the instructions on the back of the packaging as the amounts will be different.

  • While the rice cooks, cut the tofu into 1" cubes and place in a shallow dish along with ¼ cup vegetable broth, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes. You can marinate it for as long as overnight if you'd like.

  • Drain the tofu through a colander and place in a large bowl. Add ⅓ cup of cornstarch and toss to fully coat the tofu. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cornstarch coated tofu. Stir fry the tofu for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tofu is golden brown on all sides. Remove from heat and transfer the tofu into a small bowl.

  • Return the skillet to heat and add the garlic and ginger. Sauté for 30-60 seconds until they are golden and fragrant. Whisk together the remaining ingredients for the General Tso's sauce and add to the saucepot, stirring until thick. This should take 1-2 minutes. Add the tofu back to the pan and stir together so that the sauce fully coats the tofu.

  • Serve immediately over rice with green onions and sesame seeds.

Notes

Serving & Storing- General Tso's Tofu is best when served directly from the sauté pan. This will ensure maximum crispiness! Scoop over rice (or cauliflower rice) and top with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds for texture. If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To eat leftovers, gently reheat the stir fry over the stove or in the microwave.

Tips and Tricks

  1. For a more complete meal, add steamed broccoli at the end along with the tofu.
  2. It is important to rinse your rice prior to cooking, especially if you're using sticky rice.
  3. While optional, I highly recommend toasting your sesame seeds to coax the most flavor out of them. It only takes a few extra minutes of time, and the flavor returns are massive.

Other Notes:

The reason I suggest extra firm tofu is that it doesn't have any extra water, which means you don't have to do any extra work. If firm tofu is all you could find, simply press the tofu using either a specific tofu press or a cast iron skillet weighted with heavy cans.

If you’re avoiding soy, try making General Tso's Cauliflower instead. Follow these directions for preparing the cauliflower, then make the sauce as directed below. Simply swap the soy sauce for coconut aminos and you should be good to go!

Nutrition

Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1428mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1063IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

If you give this recipe recipe a try, snap a photo and share it on Instagram. Make sure to tag @mydarlingvegan so I can see your creations!

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General Tso's Tofu Recipe (8)Hi, I’m Sarah. I’m a 14-year (and counting) vegan, professionally trained photographer, former pastry chef,founder of My Darling Vegan, and author of the 4-Week Vegan Meal Plan.

Follow me onInstagram, Facebook, and Pinterestand readmore about me here.

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Comments

  1. Rose says

    General Tso's Tofu Recipe (9)
    Wonderful flavors and easy to put together! Made some stir fry veggies to accompany and used jasmine rice. Yum! Will definitely be making this again! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

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