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General Tso’s Tofu: Spicy-Sweet and Healthy
Looking for a flavorful but healthy Chinese dish? General Tso’s Tofu, ready in just 30 minutes! It’s spicy-sweet, healthier than the classic Chinese takeout dish, and one of my favorite tofu recipes.
This General Tso’s Tofu is a healthier and lighter version of the classic General Tso’s Chicken. Also, it’s made with tofu instead of chicken and the tofu is not deep-fried, just sautéed in a little bit of oil.
Crafted after the well-known Chinese dish, General Tso’s Chicken, our version offers a sweet, yet lighter, healthier version. By using just a small amount of oil to cook the tofu, we keep the fat content lower than the original version, too.
Avoid those spicy foods? We use the term “optional” for the red pepper flakes for just that reason. Add a lot, a little, or none at all, according to your preferences.
Sides for General Tso’s Tofu Recipe
Of course, you might enjoy this simply with a bit of rice. But we usually include broccoli, lightly steamed, as an accent vegetable. In fact, the broccoli highlights the sweet, spicy flavors of the dish.
Since most Chinese dishes include rice, we usually pair our tofu with brown rice, too. Sure, white rice might seem more traditional. However, we opt for the added nutrition and fiber of the whole brown rice.
Is General Tso’s Tofu always an entree?
Yes, this dish began as a poultry-based entree. But Indeed, it doesn’t need to be. In fact, this dish stands out well as an appetizer, too. Truly, imagine a smaller portion of the tofu dish, perhaps a half-sized amount. Pair it with Miso Soup and perhaps a garlic broccoli dish.
Our General Tso’s Tofu Recipe
General Tso's Tofu
For the General Tso’s tofu
- 16 ounces tofu extra-firm, frozen, thawed, drained, pressed, then cubed.
- 4 tbsp soy sauce or tamari or coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 10 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
For the sauce
- 6 tbsp soy sauce or tamari or coconut aminos
- 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 tbsp vegetable stock or water
- 6 tbsp Swerve or use cane, coconut or brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- ¼ cup sesame seeds optional but they really add flavor and texture
- In a small bowl or dish, mix the marinade ingredients (4 tbsp of tamari and 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar), stir to mix.
- Place the tofu cubes in the marinade and turn to coat. Allow to marinate at least 5 minutes. For a deeper flavor, let marinate overnight in your refrigerator.
- Drain the tofu and discard the marinade.
- Put the cornstarch in a separate dish. Add the tofu cubes and turn gently to coat each piece. If needed, add more cornstarch.
- Heat the oil in a wok or skillet to medium-high temperature.
- Add the tofu cubes and cook until all sides are golden brown. Be careful not to turn the pieces until they are browned. Turning more frequently results in mushy cubes, rather than the desired texture. Remove the tofu from the skillet and set aside.
- Add the garlic to the skillet (add more oil if needed) and cook over medium-high heat for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently until golden brown. Set aside.
- Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl (tamari or soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, vegetable stock or water, sweetener, cornstarch and red pepper flakes).
- Add the sauce to the wok or skillet that you cooked garlic in. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
- Now, add the tofu cubes. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes.
- Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with vegetable of your choice and brown rice.
- Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
NotesIf you prefer to change out the tofu, try making this with cauliflower pieces or gluten cubes. We've used both with excellent results! Prefer to go oil-free? Just bake the tofu at 400°F until golden brown, turning when one side browns. The amount of sodium shown in the nutrition analysis is not accurate, as you discard the marinade.