General Tso’s Tofu is full of crispy pan-seared tofu tossed in a flavorful sticky sauce! This dish is spicy, sweet, and full of umami. Vegan and gluten free.
Anyone ready for some takeout fake-out!? This General Tso’s Tofu recipe is my new favorite way to bring the flavors of my favorite Chinese restaurant home!
It is everything you want in take-out. Crispy pan-fried tofu is tossed in a sticky sauce that is both sweet, spicy, and packed with umami. The sauce thickens and glazes the tofu. The tofu has irresistibly crisp edges. And it all comes together in a flash!
Plus, this at-home version is healthier, and every bit as tasty, as the real deal!
Reasons to love this recipe:
- It’s an easy one pan, 30 minute meal!
- Packs 13 grams of protein per serving!
- A more affordable way to enjoy “take out” at home!
- Is gluten free and vegan.
What is General Tso’s Tofu?
It is the vegan version of General Tao’s Chicken, a popular Chinese-American dish served in many restaurants. It starts with fried chicken, or in this case, seared tofu, that get’s tossed in a sweet, spicy and sticky sauce. Commonly served over rice.
The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Extra firm tofu – patted dry, not pressed, for the best texture (a pro tip I learned from the chef behind Feasting at Home)
- Tamari – or liquid aminos, or soy sauce if not gluten free
- Vegetable broth – I prefer this brand
- Corn starch – used to both thicken the sauce and create a crisp crust on the tofu
- Sugar – or coconut sugar
- Sambal Olek – or this chili garlic sauce (same thing, different brands). Add more or less to adjust the spice level
- Tomato paste – for depth of flavor
- Rice vinegar – adds brightness
- Garlic – infuses the sauce with FLAVOR
- Dried red Chinese chilis – omit if sensitive to heat
- Scallions – optional for flavor and color
How to make this recipe:
Whisk the sauce: First, whisk together all the sauce ingredients and set this aside for later.
Batter the tofu: Pat dry and slice the tofu into 1-inch cubes. Toss the tofu with some tamari until coated. Transfer the tofu, leaving behind any excess tamari, into a zip top bag. Add in the corn starch and shake until each piece of tofu is coated.
Sear the tofu: Heat the oil in a skillet. Once hot, add in the tofu, spaced out so no pieces are touching (they will stick together). Sear on all sides until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Bring it all together: Add the scallions and chilis to the pan. Sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the tofu and sauce back into the skillet. Stir constantly until the sauce thickens and coats the tofu. Serve immediately!
Can you store it?
I find that General Tso’s Tofu is best eaten immediately as the crisp tofu will soften as it cools. If storing, place leftovers in a lidded container and keep in the fridge for 5-7 days.
More vegan takeout inspired recipes to try!
- Salt and Pepper Tofu
- One Pot Pumpkin Curry
- Sweet and Sour Tofu with our healthy Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Homemade Veggie Sushi Roll
- Vegan Summer Rolls
For the sauce:
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons tamari – or liquid aminos, or soy sauce if not gluten free
- 2 tablespoons sugar – or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Sambal Olek – or this chili garlic sauce (same thing, different brands)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
For the stir fry:
- Stir together all the sauce ingredients. If serving with rice, start cooking it now.
- Pat the tofu dry and slice it into 1-inch cubes.
- Toss the tofu with the tamari. Transfer to a zip-top bag, leaving all excess tamari behind. Add in the corn starch and shake until coated.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the tofu, and sear on all sides until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- Add in the scallions and chilis. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the tofu back to the skillet along with the sauce. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and coats the tofu. Serve over rice. Enjoy!
- As is, the dish is quite mild – between a 1 and 2 star. To make the dish less spicy, omit the dried chilis and reduce or omit the sambal olek. To make it more spicy, add more of both!
- Serving Size: ¼ recipe
- Calories: 244
- Sugar: 7g
- Sodium: 1062mg
- Fat: 12g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 22g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 13g
- Cholesterol: 0g
Keywords: vegetarian, gluten free, vegan, spicy, Chinese, takeout, chili, tamari, sauce