For my vegan friends and fellow takeout lovers who like to enjoy a meatless meal every now and then, I proudly present General Tso Tofu.
After discovering the deliciousness that is General Tso’s Chickpeas, I decided to take another dive into meatless (and healthier!) versions of my Chinese takeout favorites.
Despite my worst teenage fears, I have learned that, when cooked properly, tofu can be absolutely delicious.
It’s become one of my favorite proteins both to order out and to cook at home (these copycat PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps unleash its potential too).
It’s inexpensive, versatile, freezes like a dream, and is a lifesaver on busy weeknights too.
If you’ve been holding out on trying tofu (or if you tried it in the past and were disappointed), let today’s recipe for General Tso tofu be your gateway.
With its sticky-sweet sauce, familiar, addictive takeout taste, and delightful texture, you’ll tiptoe right into tofu bliss in the yummiest of ways.
Plus, this recipe is so much better for you, meaning you can feel good about eating it on repeat.
You won’t even miss the takeout version!
5 Star Review
“This was absolutely delicious! Thanks for a great recipe.”— Vivian —
How to Make General Tso’s Tofu Recipe
General Tso tofu is made of simple ingredients that you can find in the Asian section of almost any grocery store.
The sauce is sticky and sweet with just a hint of spice.
It’s incredibly addicting, and you’ll love the rich flavor.
While I love the sauce on tofu in this recipe, it’s also tasty with chicken (as in this General Tso Chicken recipe), pork, beef, and vegetables.
- Tofu. Forget the soggy, unappealing tofu of your past. The tofu in this recipe is perfectly cooked, flavorful, and certain to please even the most dedicated tofu skeptics (see Tofu Stir Fry for another fantastic way to use it).
- Soy Sauce. For that must-have umami goodness in the marinade.
- Chili Garlic Sauce. Deliciously garlicky with a hint of spice.
- Toasted Sesame Oil. Adds wonderful nutty flavor to the marinade.
- Honey. A modest amount of honey adds natural sweetness to the tofu marinade.
- Cornstarch. Coating the tofu in cornstarch helps create a tasty, crispy exterior.
- General Tso Sauce. This sauce is SO good with tofu! This General Tso’s sauce is made from a mixture of water (feel free to use vegetable broth if you have some leftover from another recipe), low-sodium soy sauce, hoisin, fresh ginger, chili garlic sauce (chili flakes or red pepper flakes work too), rice vinegar, sesame oil, and cornstarch.
- Broccoli + Red Bell Pepper. My go-to veggies for stir fry recipes. They help boost the General Tso tofu nutrition content. The sauce deliciously clings to the broccoli, and the red pepper adds a nice crunch.
- Rice. We love to serve our tofu over a bed of brown rice. You could also serve it with white rice or fried rice. To keep the General Tso tofu carbohydrates and calories low, serve it with cauliflower rice instead.
5 Star Review
“AMAZING. My husband loves it, and it changed his view of tofu! He loves it now!!”— Melissa —
- Prepare tofu through Step 3 according to Crispy Tofu. Pat it dry.
- Marinade the tofu.
- Stir the General Tso sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
- Cook the tofu for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-high heat. Remove it from the pan.
- Cook the broccoli and bell pepper. Stir in the green onions.
- Stir in the sauce and tofu until thickened. Finish with sesame seeds. DIG IN!
- To Store. Refrigerate tofu in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Non-Stick Wok. Perfect for making General Tso tofu.
- Mini Whisk. Easier to hold and less likely to cause splashing.
- Sharp Chef’s Knife. Having a high-quality chef’s knife makes a world of difference.
The Best Non-Stick Wok
A wok is a fantastic tool to use for stir fries. This one is easy to clean and is safe for oven use too.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make this recipe vegan, you should swap the honey for light agave nectar, maple syrup, or brown sugar.
I think you could use this sauce on any of your favorite proteins. It would be scrumptious over diced chicken (try my Baked Chicken Breast), shrimp, or beef (swap this sauce for the Mongolian sauce in my Healthy Beef and Broccoli).
For those with an air fryer, check out my easy Air Fryer Tofu recipe. You can follow the recipe as directed, using the marinade from this recipe instead. It takes about 11 to 14 minutes to air fry tofu, so it’s a few minutes longer than the stovetop method.
General Tso Tofu
FOR THE TOFU:
- 14 ounces extra-firm tofu frozen for at least 3 hours if time allows—see recipe Step 1 for more details
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce gluten free if needed, or substitute tamari
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce Sambal Oelek
- 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey swap light agave nectar to make vegan
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
FOR THE STIR FRY:
- 3 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil divided
- 12 ounces broccoli florets, fresh or frozen (about 1 small head)
- 1 medium red bell pepper seeded and thinly sliced
- 5 large green onions (or 7 small green onions) white parts (bulbs) removed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 bunch)
- Prepared brown rice for serving
- Toasted sesame seeds optional for serving
- Prepare tofu through Step 3 according to Crispy Tofu. Once cubed, lightly pat it dry with a paper towel. (Note: If you do not have time to freeze the tofu, you can skip Step 1.) While the tofu cooks, prepare and chop the other ingredients.
- Place the tofu in a separate medium bowl. Top with the 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, and honey. Transfer to a large ziptop bag and sprinkle with 5 tablespoons cornstarch. Tightly seal the bag and shake until the tofu is evenly coated in a gummy white layer.
- In a small bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the sauce ingredients: water, soy sauce, hoisin, ginger, chili-garlic sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, and sesame oil.
- In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium. Once the oil is shiny and hot, using a slotted spoon, add the tofu to the pan a few pieces at a time, discarding any excess cornstarch. Cook the tofu for 3 to 4 minutes, turning often so that it is golden brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Increase the heat to medium high. Add the remaining tablespoon canola oil and let heat 30 seconds, then add the broccoli and bell pepper. Cook until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped green onions and continue for 1 to 2 additional minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the sauce and tofu. Stir to coat the tofu in the sauce and continue cooking, stirring often, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sauce slightly thickens and the ingredients are warmed through. Taste and add additional chili-garlic sauce if desired. Remove from heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve hot with prepared rice.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: Up to 1 day in advance, prepare the tofu through Step 1. Store it in the refrigerator.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate tofu in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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