Crispy General Tso's Tofu #vegetarian #chineserecipe #tofu

Crispy General Tso’s Tofu is a simple vegetarian Chinese recipe coated in a delicious sweet and spicy sauce. Perfect served next to a side of fried rice or noodles. This better than take-out recipe will have your family wanting more so you may want to double the recipe!

This recipe uses extra-firm tofu that is crisped up with a cornstarch coating and fried in a small amount of oil before tossing it in your sauce. We love this recipe and it is so addicting. It’s so delicious you may want to eat the entire recipe all by yourself!

Overhead skillet view of Triangular shapes of crispy general tso's tofu coated in sauce and sprinkled with green onion tops.

Crispy General Tso’s Tofu is one of Grumpy’s favorite recipes!

In the beginning of our relationship, Grumpy was known to say “I hate tofu.” His feeling behind that was he didn’t like the texture and he felt it had no flavor. After he ate this General Tso’s Tofu recipe, however, that is no longer the case. As a matter of fact, this particular recipe is the recipe that won Grumpy over to eating tofu! And, he will even request that I make it!

Grumpy loves this recipe because the tofu is nice and crispy and the sauce has the perfect amount of sweet heat. He has commented that as long as the tofu has a texture, and the sauce is delicious, it will be a hit with him!

Overhead skillet view of finished recipe

Making your tofu as crispy as possible

What is the best Tofu?

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is soy milk that has been coagulated and pressed into blocks. It can be silken, soft, firm, and extra firm. Two bricks of tofu that have been pressed with a bowl of cornstarch in the background.

Is Crispy General Tso’s Tofu hard to make?

General Tso’s Tofu is very simple to make. It is just a little time consuming when having to fry the tofu pieces. However, once that is done, all you do is put the sauce in the pan, return the tofu to the pan and toss to coat.

What is General Tso’s Sauce made of?

The basic ingredients for General Tso’s Sauce are soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, and dried chilis.

What is the best pepper to use in General Tso’s Tofu Sauce?

When I have them, I will add whole dried Schezuan chili peppers.  These are my favorite peppers to use and the pepper that you normally will see in a General Tso’s meal you may buy from a restaurant. If you don’t have the whole peppers, regular red pepper chili flakes work just as good! I always recommend you add less heat to start and then add more as you desire.

How to make Crispy General Tso’s Tofu

Time needed: 40 minutes.

Crispy General Tso’s Tofu, pieces of tofu coated in a cornstarch coating and fried until extra crispy! It is then smothered in a sweet spicy sauce. 

  1. Press your tofu to remove excess water.

    Place tofu brick between two layers of paper towels and top with a heavy plate or skillet to squeeze excess water from tofu.A brick of tofu with thick paper towels beneath and on top of tofu

  2. Cut Tofu into desired shapes

    Cut into bite-sized triangular or rectangle shapes approximately 1/2 thick. I usually cut 1 brick of tofu in half, then cut each half in thirds. Each third is cut in half diagonally and then each diagonal chunk is cut into thirds. Doing this you end up with 72 triangle pieces of tofu. I prefer the triangular shape just because I think it is more eye appealing.Tofu cut into triangular shape

  3. Coat the tofu with cornstarch

    Lightly dust each tofu piece with cornstarch.

  4. Fry the tofu

    Fry the tofu in a hot skillet until browned and crispy. Try not to overcrowd the tofu as the pieces will stick to each other.Crispy General Tso's Tofu pieces browning in a hot skillet.

  5. Make your sauce and coat the tofu.

    Remove the tofu pieces from your skillet and set them aside. Add the sauce ingredients to hot skillet and whisk to combine. Return tofu to skillet and toss to coat.Crispy General Tso's Tofu Sauce added to skillet with tofu tossed in it to coat.

You may need

The ONE essential item to making Crispy General Tso’s Tofu is the skillet you cook it in. I find that a non-stick skillet works best.

A good nonstick skillet will ensure your tofu pieces are not sticking to your pan and the coating pulling off when trying to flip them over. Below is an affiliate link for the cookware I use and love!

Crispy General Tso's Tofu pinnable image

Other Crispy Tofu recipes you may enjoy

Crispy Tofu Recipes

We love crispy tofu! Here is a list of our favorite crispy tofu recipes!

If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars!

Overhead skillet view of Triangular shapes of crispy general tso's tofu coated in sauce and sprinkled with green onion tops.
Yield: 4 servings

Crispy General Tso’s Tofu

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Crispy General Tso's Tofu, pieces of tofu coated in a cornstarch coating and fried until extra crispy! It is then smothered in a sweet spicy sauce. This recipe is so addicting and delicious you may want to eat the entire recipe all by yourself!

Ingredients

For the Tofu

  • 2-1lb bricks extra firm tofu
  • 3-4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

For the Sauce

  • 1/4 Cup Truvia Brown Sugar Blend (adjust to taste)
  • 3 tbsps Hoisin Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Reduced Sugar Ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame oil
  • 4 spring green onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 5-7 whole dried chili peppers or 1/2 to 1 tablespoon chili pepper flakes (use to taste)

Instructions

  1. Squeeze tofu of excess water by placing between a thickness of paper towels and sitting a heavy pan on top. I use about 3-4 thick paper towels folded about 3-4 times. Let sit 20-30 minutes.
  2. While waiting for tofu to be squeezed dry, mix together the first 6 ingredients and set aside. (I added my chili peppers to the sauce mix before I sat it aside)
  3. To prepare tofu for frying, slice into 1/2" slices, then cut each slice into thirds. Coat lightly with cornstarch and fry in a shallow frying pan with olive oil until browned and crispy. Remove from frying pan and set aside.
  4. Wipe pan clean with paper towel and add sesame oil with onions and chopped ginger. Fry about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add sauce mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer about 2 minutes. Add tofu back to mixture, toss to coat. Serve garnished with green onion tops chopped.

Nutrition Information

Yield

2

Serving Size

1/4 recipe

Amount Per Serving Calories 407Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 0mgSodium 822mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 3gSugar 10gProtein 22g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.

68 Comments

  1. The Food Librarian May 30, 2009 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Looks fantastic!!!

    • Anonymous January 31, 2014 at 3:07 am - Reply

      I made this tonight and even my kids ate it. It was so yummy. I am going to make this again.

  2. Elyse May 30, 2009 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    This looks amazing!! General Tso’s is my favorite Chinese dish. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE tofu. My Toddy has been out of town for a week, so I’m not really inspired to feed myself. I know, it’s weird, right: I run a food blog (albeit, it’s all baked goods), and I can’t get my act together enough to eat when there isn’t another mouth to feed. Pathetic. Anyway, the point is that I’ve just been eating slices of tofurky right from the package for the past few days. That stuff is amazing! Have you had it? This tofu General Tso’s looks awesome. I might actually make this for myself tonight!! Great job, and I’m so glad that you’re feeling so much better!

  3. That looks beautiful! I like tofu, so I could easily do this.

  4. Mags May 30, 2009 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    This just may get me to try tofu again. Lovely photos!

  5. Andrea May 30, 2009 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    Wow, your General Tso’s Tofu looks amazing! I love Asian style tofu dishes and will give this one a try for sure, it looks absolutely delicious, and I’m always looking to find a sauce similar to what they serve at Chinese restaurants. Your gorgeous photos are making me so hungry 🙂

  6. the ungourmet May 30, 2009 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    I need to come over and steal some of this for dinner!

  7. Pamela May 31, 2009 at 12:11 am - Reply

    General Tso’s Chicken is a definite weakness and I so rarely get it. I know it’s horrible for me. But this looks fantastic and a little bit cleaner! Great job!

  8. Katy ~ May 31, 2009 at 1:26 am - Reply

    HoneyB, this looks DELISH! Wow oh WOW delish.

    Glad to hear you’re feeling stronger and better each day.

  9. vibi May 31, 2009 at 3:00 am - Reply

    I’m ususally not a great fan of tofu, but with that amazing topping of sweet sauce… Mmmm… I’m a believer!!! LOL

    That’s a keeper! Thanks for sharing HoneyB!

  10. the happy couple May 31, 2009 at 3:15 am - Reply

    your tofu looks amazing!

  11. Mags May 31, 2009 at 5:46 am - Reply

    OK… two comments on the same post may or may not be kosher, but geeze…. you’re featured on the FoodieBlogRoll! So that’s why I’m commenting again. Congrats!

  12. CookiePie May 31, 2009 at 10:46 am - Reply

    That looks absolutely DELICIOUS!!! I love tofu, and always want new ways to cook it — thanks for sharing! Glad you’re on the mend 🙂

  13. Happy cook May 31, 2009 at 10:47 am - Reply

    I cooked tofu once and i didn’t like them.
    This looks really so yummy i think i should try my luck again with tofu.
    I too sit and drool on foodgwaker and when ever my hubby see me drooling, he says thank go you don’t gain weight by just drooling on the pics itherwise i would be more than 100 kg 🙂

  14. Mari at Once Upon a Plate May 31, 2009 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    S~ I think using tofu is a brilliant idea (and you know I’ll do it that way next time!)

    Your photos are fantastic… my mouth is watering. 🙂 VERY nice job!! xo~m

  15. Mari at Once Upon a Plate May 31, 2009 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    S~ I think using tofu is a brilliant idea (and you know I’ll do it that way next time!)

    Your photos are fantastic… my mouth is watering. 🙂 VERY nice job!! xo~m

  16. pigpigscorner May 31, 2009 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    I’ve only seen this dish with chicken. But it looks so good with tofu!

  17. Linda May 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    This is my favorite Chinese dish with chicken and I like that you adapted it to tofu. I think I will try this with my husband to see what he thinks!

  18. Josie May 31, 2009 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    I. Love. (firm) Tofu. I definitely need to give this a try. I would also love to learn to make it with chicken – I could really impress my little brother who is obsessed with general tso’s.

  19. Olga May 31, 2009 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Looks awesome. I’m definitely a tofu fan.

    I wish I could figure out how not to work at all 🙂

  20. Reeni♥ May 31, 2009 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    What a great re-creation! I am working on recreating all my favorite Chinese favorites, this is one to try for sure.

  21. Jessie May 31, 2009 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    I love this lighter version of general tao’s. I’m so eager to try this one!

  22. Aggie May 31, 2009 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    One of my favorite chinese dishes!! this looks so good! I am now bookmarking it…may try it with chicken first!

  23. Hugging the Coast June 1, 2009 at 2:29 am - Reply

    This could convert non-tofu lovers to true believers!

  24. AEROBROKEN June 1, 2009 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Yummy! Looks awesome and made me hungry.

  25. The Hungry Mouse June 1, 2009 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Nice! This would totally get me to eat tofu. Looks fabulous!

    +Jessie

  26. Leslie June 1, 2009 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    I have never had or cooked with tofu. Kinda scares me. But this looks amazing

  27. shellyfish June 1, 2009 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    One of my personal favourites! I was just thinking it’s been a while since I’ve had some good chinese take-out style yummies!

  28. Creative One June 2, 2009 at 3:24 am - Reply

    Looks delish!

  29. averagebetty June 2, 2009 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    Mmm! This looks great, HoneyB!

  30. Christy jordan June 3, 2009 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Oh my GOODNESS! This looks TOO yummy!!!! I'm coming over for leftovers!

  31. Sophie August 21, 2009 at 4:47 am - Reply

    WOW (impressed look). Your tofu dish looks so yummy.

    Here I bought a sauce pack for Sauce for Mapo Tofu so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.
    http://yummiexpress.freetzi.com

  32. Anonymous March 30, 2010 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    this not only looks amazing! It is! Just got done making it for lunch. My hubby loved it!

  33. Grumpy & HoneyB March 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    I'm glad to hear you and hubby enjoyed this! It is one of my favorite tofu dishes – and Grumpy doesn't really mind eating it now either!

    • Mary May 18, 2018 at 11:25 pm - Reply

      What is reduced sugar katsup?

      • Shelby May 19, 2018 at 7:01 am - Reply

        Mary, Heinz makes a reduced-sugar ketchup that I like to use. I buy it in the grocery right where you find regular ketchup or you can also find it on Amazon.

  34. Curry St John June 28, 2010 at 12:16 am - Reply

    Looks gorgeous!! And I found YOUR post by searching for "tofu" on Foodgawker – food porn is right! 🙂

    I'll have to try this recipe one day – thanks!

  35. Katherine Martinelli January 19, 2012 at 8:35 am - Reply

    YUM – this looks amazing! A few years ago our favorite Chinese restaurant put General Tso's tofu on the menu and we order it quite often but I've never thought of making it at home – bookmarking! Thanks for linking it up at my blog hop 😀

    • Katherine Martinelli January 23, 2012 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      Aaand I made this for dinner tonight and it was AMAZING!!! Loved it. I will definitely be making this often, thanks!

    • Shelby January 24, 2012 at 11:34 am - Reply

      Katherine, I am SO glad you enjoyed it! Now your making me want to eat it soon! 🙂

  36. Anonymous February 18, 2012 at 1:52 am - Reply

    Very good, A little heavy on the ginger but i estimated the 3 Tbsp. also i made a chicken variation for part of my family and they enjoyed it very much

    • Shelby February 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm - Reply

      Anonymous – I probably didn't use 3 Tablespoons myself – I very rarely use a measuring spoon to measure spices, etc – I would say that when I make this that the amount of ginger I use is more equal to 1 tablespoon. I'm glad your family enjoyed it!

  37. Anonymous May 24, 2012 at 1:42 am - Reply

    This was delicious. I substituted ginger-garlic paste for the fresh garlic once because I did not have fresh ginger on hand and it still came out tasting delicious. Also in addition scallions, I also garnished with cilantro which added a little extra something.

    • Shelby May 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm - Reply

      I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe! The ginger garlic paste is a wonderful idea. I don't always have fresh ginger on hand either, and when a recipe calls for fresh, it isn't the same if you don't use it! I also love the cilantro garnish as I am a cilantro freak!

  38. Anonymous September 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    We totally loved this, I sauteed tofu in coconut oil, yummy. Gobbled up everything, only a little left for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for the great recipe.

  39. ALLTHINGSWINGS October 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    I just made this for the wifey…. followed the recipe to a tee… FANTASTIC!!!!!

  40. ALLTHINGSWINGS October 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    Great Stuff!!!!

  41. Kristen October 26, 2012 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Made this tonight with slight modifications just to avoid going to the grocery store, and it was delicious! This is definitely going in our 'favorites' folder!

  42. Gtrude February 14, 2013 at 1:00 am - Reply

    Made this dish for dinner tonight. Quite frankly, it doesn't even need the brown sugar. I left it out completely in the interest of saving calories and found that the catsup gives the dish plenty of sweetness. I really like the substitution of tofu for chicken. It is a good Lenten dish for meatless Fridays.

  43. klom180 December 15, 2013 at 5:32 am - Reply

    I'm a little late to the game on this recipe, but I just recently stumbled upon it on Pinterest. Made it for dinner tonight and it's incredible! I plan on using it to convert one of my friends to a tofu-lover. 🙂
    Thanks so much for this!

  44. klom180 December 15, 2013 at 5:34 am - Reply

    I'm a little late to the game on this recipe, but I just recently stumbled upon it on Pinterest. Made it for dinner tonight and it's incredible! I plan on using it to convert one of my friends to a tofu-lover. 🙂
    Thanks so much for this!

  45. Debi Wayland August 7, 2014 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    This looks great! I've pinned, yummly, and SU it. Thanks for sharing.

  46. Felicia December 15, 2014 at 3:49 am - Reply

    Just tried this! Amazing!!!

  47. […] that allows you to cut calories but still have plenty of protein.  I felt like this recipe from Grumpy’s Honeybunch was a little mild for a General Tso’s so next time I will add more heat, but otherwise it was […]

  48. […] to get him to eat vegetarian meals. He fought it for a long time until the day I made him General Tso’s Tofu. Then he was hooked. He loved the flavor of the sauce and the tofu had a “crispness” to […]

  49. Laura June 8, 2017 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    This is absolutely the best new recipe I’ve made in months. We loved it. The children (four and six) fought over who got the last of it!

    • Shelby June 8, 2017 at 6:53 pm - Reply

      So happy you came back to let me know Laura! This is one recipe that even Grumpy will request I make (that has tofu in it!) 🙂 Thank you!

  50. Nicole August 6, 2017 at 11:00 am - Reply

    This looks amazing. I was going to make tofu lettuce wraps tonight, but I think I will switch up to this dish.

  51. jo koch August 18, 2017 at 8:05 am - Reply

    I made this recipe last night for myself as my family are meat eaters…..there was not enough to go around…..fabulous!

    • Shelby August 19, 2017 at 6:20 am - Reply

      Happy to hear it!! It is a definite favorite here in our home too and two people easily eat the whole thing with no problem and still wish we had more! Thanks for stopping back to let me know!

  52. Lindsay Cotter October 22, 2018 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    We need to make this for dinner soon! I think it will be a big hit!

  53. Colleen - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck October 25, 2018 at 8:00 am - Reply

    This is my type of general tso’s!!!

  54. Toni | Boulder Locavore October 25, 2018 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    It looks really good! I can’t wait to try!

  55. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious October 27, 2018 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    You know what? I love all of your tips, including exactly how to cut the tofu into triangles. It makes a difference in how the dish looks!

  56. […] From: Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  57. […] great examples of recipes that add irresistible flavor to tofu would be Crispy General Tso’s Tofu, Marinated Tofu Salad, Coconut Curry Tofu Bowl, and my Mom’s Scrambled Tofu recipe! All of […]

  58. Anonymous January 29, 2020 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    5

  59. […] Crispy General Tso’s Tofu […]

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Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. I started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

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