I love our local Chinese takeout place. No MSG, quick, relatively inexpensive, but the last few times I have ordered form there it seems like the amount of sauce increases and the veggies decrease.
So it was time to see if I could recreate a favorite dish, General Tso’s Tofu. After looking a few different sites, I settled on a recipe from The Vegan 8 Korean, with a few modifications.This recipe is gluten free (check your corn starch and use tamari) and vegan, and has suggestions for making it low fat (baking the tofu). I do have to say I highly recommend pressing the tofu then freezing it as suggest in the recipe, the texture is great.
I used rice wine vinegar (because we have 3 bottles for some reason), I used a little bit of honey (no agave) and only 2 tbs., I doubled the red pepper flakes and added a little sambal, as well as 1/2 of a white onion.
Vegan Tofu Kangjung (General Tso’s Tofu) Recipe!
(The Vegan 8 Korean)
1 16-19 ounce package of extra-firm tofu (frozen, then thawed)
1/3 cup corn starch (or more if needed)
1 cup of steamed broccoli ( if desired)
1 Tbs finely minced or shredded ginger
1 Tbs minced garlic
2 Tbs soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbs white vinegar
1 Tbs white wine
4 Tbs vegan sugar or agave syrup
1 cup water
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1Tbs & 1 tsp corn starch mixed with 2 Tbs water
- Press the tofu to drain the water from it (freezing the tofu
beforehand gives it a chewier texture and really makes a difference). To
press the tofu, place it between two absorbent towels on a cutting
board. Put several heavy books on top and let sit for 15 minutes to
half an hour, minimum, up to two hours. The longer, the better! The key
is to push out the water without breaking the tofu. If you’re in a
hurry, you can get away with squeezing the water out with your hands
(only if you’ve frozen it beforehand), just be careful not to break it.
- Slice the tofu into 1″ by 1″ cubes.
- Put the tofu in batches in a bag or container with a lid, add the corn starch and shake to coat. Add more corn starch if needed.
- Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat and fry tofu in batches
until crisp and slightly brown, turning to cook both sides. I usually
can get away with a couple of Tbs of oil to do the frying if the pan is
small enough, so you don’t have to deep fry; although, you certainly
can. Just be sure to use enough oil so that it doesn’t stick to the pan
and the level is high enough to cover half of each tofu cube.
- Cut broccoli into bite sizes and steam (if desired).
- Add 1 cup of water and all of the the sauce ingredients except
the cornstarch and water mixture to a large pan, stir to dissolve the
sugar, bring to a boil over high heat and cook for several minutes. If
desired, you can first saute the garlic, ginger, and red pepper in a
tablespoon of oil for a couple of minutes before adding the other
- Add the cornstarch and water mixture to the sauce and continue to
cook, stirring. When the sauce thickens enough to be syrupy remove from
heat. If the sauce is too runny, combine a little more cornstarch and
water and add to the sauce. When sauce has thickened enough, remove from
heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the fried tofu to the sauce and
stir and flip to coat (if desired, you can add the broccoli too).
- Serve with brown rice and the steamed broccoli on the side (if desired)!
* NOTE: if you’re looking for a lower fat version of these, skip the
corn starch, lightly spray the tofu with canola oil and bake the tofu in
an oven preheated to 450 F for around 20 minutes, checking to make sure
it doesn’t burn. It won’t be quite as crispy, but you cut out the fat
from the oil.