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!
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!
Making your tofu as crispy as possible
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.
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.
The basic ingredients for General Tso's Sauce are soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, and dried chilis.
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.
- 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.
- Cut Tofu into desired shapes
Cut into bite-sized triangular or rectangle shapes approximately ½ 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.
- Coat the tofu with cornstarch
Lightly dust each tofu piece with cornstarch.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
More Tofu Recipes
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Crispy General Tso’s Tofu
For the Tofu
- 2-1 lb bricks extra firm tofu
- 3-4 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
For the Sauce
- ¼ 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
- ½ Cup water
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame oil
- 4 spring green onions sliced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger finely chopped
- 5-7 whole dried chili peppers or ½ to 1 tablespoon chili pepper flakes use to taste
- 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.
- 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)
- To prepare tofu for frying, slice into ½" 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.
- 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.