General Tso’s goes vegan by adding the sweet, spicy, and savory sauce we know and love to crispy tofu instead of chicken.
General Tso’s Chicken is one of the most famous American Chinese takeout dishes we know. It packs big and bold flavors and can easily be made vegan by swapping the chicken for super crispy tofu. Today, we will show you how to make both the base recipe for the extra crispy tofu and the sticky, sweet, spicy, and savory General Tso’s sauce.
Here is What We Need to Make This General Tso’s Tofu
Tofu: Firm tofu is ideal for this recipe, but you can also use extra-firm tofu. Firm tofu cubes stay together while cooking and, when appropriately pressed, can absorb flavors well during the marination process. To press tofu, you can either use a store-bought tofu press or use this method here.
Soy Sauce: Soy sauce has two applications in this recipe. First, it’s is used to marinate the tofu before frying. It’s also used in the orange sauce to add a salty and umami flavor. If you want to make your recipe gluten-free, you can swap soy sauce for tamari.
Cornstarch: This will help get our tofu extra crispy and allow our sauce to get nice and thick. If you prefer not to use cornstarch, you can swap it for arrowroot powder.
Aromatics + Spices: Fresh ginger and garlic are our aromatics in this recipe. We recommend finely grating the ginger and mincing the garlic to maximize flavor. To add some heat to this dish, we use red pepper flakes, but you can also use fresh chilies if desired. Additionally, we are adding white pepper to our sauce which has a slightly earthy and fermented flavor.
Oil: To fry our tofu, we use neutral high-heat oil like avocado oil. Additionally, we like to add a drizzle of toasted sesame oil to our finished tofu to add an extra pop of flavor.
Broth: Vegetable broth is used as a base for our General Tso’s sauce. You can use homemade vegetable broth, bullion paste or cubes, or a store-bought liquid veggie broth.
Vinegar: Adding vinegar to our sauce will balance the flavors with an acidic element. We recommend using rice vinegar, but if you don’t have any white vinegar.
Hoisin Sauce: To really help our General Tso’s sauce shine, we use hoisin sauce, which is a sauce made using fermented soybeans and spices to add a sweet, spicy, and umami flavor. It’s commonly used in stir-fry and is popular in many Chinese dishes. Most hoisin sauce is suitable for vegans.
Sugar: To give our sauce a deep and rich flavor, we like to use brown sugar, which contains molasses, in our recipe. To ensure the brown sugar, or any sugar is vegan, we recommend using organic.
Garnish: Finishing off our General Tso’s tofu with toasted sesame seeds and green onions not only adds some additional flavor but takes the presentation to the next level.
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