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Forget about takeout! This General Tso’s tofu tastes much better and can be made in less than 45 minutes with simple ingredients. This Chinese-American classic is sweet, salty, tangy, and infused with plenty of fresh ginger and garlic. Serve it with white rice for a filling and delicious meal!

Tofu tossed with a sweet and salty sauce in a skillet.

⭐️ Why You Should Try It

  • Well seasoned. Our General Tso’s tofu is not too tangy, neither too sweet nor salty. It’s perfectly balanced and flavored with fresh aromatics such as ginger, garlic, and green onions. It’s garlicky, citrusy, and has a subtle tanginess that will make you crave more!
  • Super saucy. The sauce here is undoubtedly the star of this dish, and we have made sure there was enough of it to drizzle on top of your rice or whatever grain you plan to serve it with!
  • Simple to make. The process of making this tofu is simple. It consists of dicing tofu, coating it with cornstarch, and baking until crispy and golden brown. Then, cook it with the sauce and toss to coat it evenly. It’s that easy!

📘 What is General Tso’s Tofu

General Tso’s tofu is a plant-based alternative to the classic Chinese-American dish General Tso’s chicken. The original dish consists of fried chicken tossed in a sweet, spicy, and tangy sauce made of soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and chili paste or chili oil.

General Tso’s chicken is named after Zuo Zongtang, a Chinese military leader, although there is no relation between the dish and the general.

In this recipe, we will replace the chicken with tofu and skip the frying step for a healthier version.

🧄 Ingredient Notes

Here are the ingredients that you will need to prepare this General Tso’s tofu:

  • Tofu – Firm tofu works best for this recipe as it stays tender and chewy after baking. We advise against using extra firm tofu as the texture wouldn’t be as pleasant.
  • Cornstarch – To coat the tofu and give it a slightly crispy texture. It also helps the tofu to absorb the sauce better.
  • Soy sauce – For umami and saltiness.
  • Vegan oyster sauce – You can use store-bought vegan oyster sauce or homemade vegan oyster sauce. Note: If you don’t have vegan oyster sauce, feel free to use hoisin sauce. It will obviously taste different but it’s still a good substitute.
  • Vinegar – For tanginess. We went with white vinegar but apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar will also work.
  • Ketchup – In addition to extra sweetness, ketchup also gives the sauce an orange color.
  • Sesame oilToasted sesame oil brings a delicious nuttiness to the sauce.
  • Sugar – To balance the tanginess and saltiness. You can use granulated white sugar, light brown sugar, or maple syrup.
  • Garlic
  • Ginger – Fresh ginger works best in this recipe. Do not use ground ginger as it would only bring spiciness without any citrusy flavor.
  • Sriracha – Optional. For a hint of spiciness. You can use sriracha, sweet chili sauce, or garlic chili oil.
Ingredients like tofu, soy sauce, sugar, and ginger.

🥣 How to Make It

1. Prepare the tofu

  1. Press and dice the tofu. Start by wrapping the tofu in a few layers of kitchen paper towel and slightly press it to remove the extra moisture. Next, dice the tofu into 1-inch cubes and transfer them to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Season it. Pour in one teaspoon of soy sauce and one teaspoon of maple syrup and toss to coat. Let the tofu absorb the sauce for a couple of minutes.
  1. Toss with cornstarch. Sprinkle the tofu with one tablespoon of cornstarch. Carefully toss to coat the tofu. Add another tablespoon of cornstarch and toss again. Repeat once more or until the tofu no longer appears moist. Note: The amount of cornstarch needed will depend on the type and brand of tofu used. We used 3 tablespoons.
  1. Arrange on a baking sheet. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly oil it using a kitchen paper towel. Arrange the cubed tofu on the baking sheet into an even layer, leaving 1-2 inches between each cube.
  2. Bake until golden brown. Bake for about 25 minutes in a 355 °F (180°C) preheated oven, flipping once halfway through baking, until the tofu is golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

2. Cook the sauce

  1. Sauté the aromatics. Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the minced ginger and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  1. Add the tofu. Next, add the golden brown tofu and cook for one more minute.
  2. Add the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the vegan oyster sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, toasted sesame oil, sugar, and water. Pour the sauce into the skillet.
  3. Let simmer. Let the tofu and the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to coat the tofu with the sauce. The sauce will thicken after a couple of minutes.
  4. Garnish. Finally, top the tofu with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions. Serve immediately with white rice or your favorite grain!

📔 Tips

  • Do not add too much cornstarch. While it can be tempting to add more cornstarch, we do not recommend adding more than 4 tablespoons. Adding too much cornstarch will make your tofu floury/powdery.
  • Adjust the seasonings of the sauce to taste. We developed this recipe to suit our taste but feel free to play with the ratio of soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. If you prefer your tofu on the sweeter side, add an extra tablespoon of sugar or maple syrup.

🌶️ Variations

Here are some suggestions on how you can customize this tofu to your liking:

  • Add five-spice powder: Add about 1/4 teaspoon of five-spice powder to the sauce to give the tofu a char siu flavor.
  • Make it spicy: Sauté about 1/4 teaspoon of minced Bird’s eye chili with the garlic and ginger to make extra-spicy tofu.
  • Add greens: Before adding the sauce and the tofu, sauté some baby spinach, morning glory, or broccolini!

🍚 What to Serve It With

We love pairing General Tso’s tofu with white rice, but you can also serve it with any other grain that you like. A few options are quinoa, farro, or couscous. It’s also delicious served with steamed or sautéed greens such as garlic winged beans or air-fryer green beans.

❄️ Storing and Reheating

  • To store: You can store this tofu in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze: We do not recommend freezing this dish as it would change the texture of the tofu.
  • To reheat: Reheat in a non-stick skillet over medium heat for a few minutes. If the sauce has thickened too much, add a splash of water.
Close-up of saucy tofu with green onions and sesame seeds.

💬 FAQ

Can I air-fry the tofu instead of baking it?

Yes, you can air-fry the tofu for 15-20 minutes, flipping it once in a 355°F (180°C) preheated air fryer.

Can I make General Tso’s tofu ahead of time?

You can make it ahead of time but we found that it tastes better when served immediately. After a few hours, the tofu will slightly harden and the sauce won’t be as saucy.

General Tso’s tofu is a delicious dish that packs bold flavors. It’s surprisingly easy to make at home and is sure to win over even the tofu skeptics!

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

General Tso's tofu with white rice in a bowl.
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Recipe

General Tso’s Tofu

5 from 1 vote
Author: Thomas Pagot
Forget about takeout! This General Tso's tofu tastes much better and can be made in less than 45 minutes with simple ingredients. This Chinese-American classic is sweet, salty, tangy, and infused with plenty of fresh ginger and garlic. Serve it with white rice for a filling and delicious meal!
Prep Time : 15 minutes
Cook Time : 30 minutes
Total Time : 45 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 295 kcal

Ingredients
 

Tofu

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp vegan oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp garlic chili oil optional
  • green onions and toasted sesame seeds for topping

Instructions
 

Tofu

  • Preheat the oven to 355 °F (180°C).
  • Press and dice the tofu. Start by wrapping the tofu in a few layers of kitchen paper towel and slightly press it to remove the extra moisture. Next, dice the tofu into 1-inch cubes and transfer them to a large mixing bowl.
  • Season it. Pour in the soy sauce and maple syrup and toss to coat. Let the tofu absorb the sauce for a couple of minutes.
  • Toss with cornstarch. Sprinkle the tofu with one tablespoon of cornstarch. Carefully toss to coat the tofu. Add another tablespoon of cornstarch and toss again. Repeat once more or until the tofu no longer appears moist. Note: The amount of cornstarch needed will depend on the type and brand of tofu used. We used 3 tablespoons.
  • Arrange on a baking sheet. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly oil it using a kitchen paper towel. Arrange the cubed tofu on the baking sheet into an even layer, leaving 1-2 inches between each cube.
  • Bake until golden brown. Bake for about 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through baking, until the tofu is golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Sauce

  • Sauté the aromatics. Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the minced ginger and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add the tofu. Next, add the golden brown tofu and cook for one more minute.
  • Add the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the vegan oyster sauce, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, sugar, water, and garlic chili oil if using. Pour the sauce into the skillet.
  • Let simmer. Let the tofu and the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to coat the tofu with the sauce. The sauce will thicken after a couple of minutes.
  • Garnish. Finally, top the tofu with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions. Serve immediately with white rice or your favorite grain!
  • You can store this tofu in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

  • Do not add too much cornstarch. While it can be tempting to add more cornstarch, we do not recommend adding more than 4 tablespoons. Adding too much cornstarch will make your tofu floury/powdery.
  • Adjust the seasonings of the sauce to taste. We developed this recipe to suit our taste but feel free to play with the ratio of soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. If you prefer your tofu on the sweeter side, add an extra tablespoon of sugar or maple syrup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 295 kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.5 g | Protein: 14.5 g | Fat: 16.9 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Sodium: 812 mg | Potassium: 245 mg | Fiber: 0.8 g | Sugar: 9.2 g | Calcium: 244 mg | Iron: 3 mg
Course : Dinner
Cuisine : American, Chinese
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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Amazing dish! My family loved it. We’ll make this again soon. Thank you for sharing Thomas!

5 stars
This is the best General Tso’s Tofu recipe I’ve ever tried. The other ones are too sweet to enjoy. Love the balance of the sweetness, sourness, and saltiness of this recipe. Gonna make this again. Very soon 🙂