This General Tso’s tofu is an amazing vegan interpretation of a popular Chinese takeaway dish. It’s sweet, spicy, tangy, sticky, and absolutely irresistible!

General Tso’s chicken is a popular sweet and spicy dish typically found in North American Chinese restaurants. It’s named after Zuo Zongtang, a Qing dynasty statesman and military leader, although ironically this dish isn’t widely known in China. However, it combines explosive flavor with beautiful texture, and I absolutely couldn’t resist making a vegan version!

I’m using extra firm tofu to convey the same “meaty” texture, but instead of deep-frying it, I used an air fryer. It created a beautiful crisp on the outside, and it’s much healthier! If you’re the kind of person who thinks tofu is bland, I dare you to try this recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • General Tso’s is such an incredible combination of flavors. You shouldn’t miss out on it just because you’re vegan!
  • Instead of a deep-fried version, this General Tso’s tofu is much healthier! You can bake it in the oven or use an air fryer.
  • This recipe doesn’t call for any fancy or unusual ingredients, which means it’s accessible and affordable to most people.
  • If you live in a remote area, this is a great alternative to Chinese takeaway. And it’s faster to make, too!
  • It’s a dish for any occasion. Whether you’re craving some comfort food, having guests over, or having a celebration, General Tso’s tofu is a great option!
  • It can be served in a variety of ways, including rice, noodles, or a side of veggies.

How to Make This Recipe

Start by pressing your tofu. I’m no expert, but weighing it down with a heavy cookbook seems to do the trick. After pressing your tofu, tear into bite-size pieces. Toss them with olive oil, followed by flour.

Transfer your tofu to a parchment lined baking sheet, and air fry for 14 minutes at 450F. Alternatively, bake it in the oven for 25 minutes at 400F. What we’re trying to achieve is a crisp on the outside, while the inside stays spongy and “meaty”.

While the tofu is cooking, prepare your sauce by combining the ingredients in a jar or a similar container.

Heat a pan over medium heat with a small amount of olive oil. Add garlic, onion and pepper, and saute for 3 to 5 minutes until fragrant. If the vegetables start sticking to the pan, deglaze it with white wine, apple cider vinegar, or water. Pour in the sauce and simmer over low heat for a few minutes until it thickens. Add the tofu into the pan and stir until each piece of tofu is coated.

Serve with a side of your choice, topped with green onions and sesame seeds.

Hack It!

  • While tofu is the star of this recipe, you can still enjoy a General Tso’s dish if you’re soy-free. You can use Burmese tofu (made with chickpea flour), seitan pieces, or baked cauliflower. Soy sauce can be subbed for coconut aminos, and voila!
  • General Tso’s tofu can be served with rice, noodles, potatoes, and even roasted vegetables.
  • If you’ve made a large batch, you can add your tofu to wraps, sandwiches, tacos, and more!
  • It’s up to you how spicy you want to make your dish. You can always add more chili flakes if you want to make your sauce hotter.
  • If you’re gluten-free, all it takes is a couple of simple modifications. Replace flour with cornstarch, and use tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos.

Store This Recipe

If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you’re serving the dish with rice, don’t store the rice for any longer than 3 days, and make sure to reheat it thoroughly before eating.

Other Recipes You’ll Love

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General tso's tofu

The Recipe: General Tso’s Tofu

A sweet and spicy tofu dish most delicious served with rice or rice noodles.
5 from 28 ratings

Ingredients

For the tofu

  • 1 400g Extra Firm Tofu, Pressed for 30 minutes
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Flour

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp sweet chili sauce, or ketchup
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp flour, whisked with 1/4 cup water

For the stiry fry

  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ red bell pepper, diced

Equipment

  • Air fryer or oven
  • mixing bowl
  • baking parchment
  • frying pan
  • Jar
  • Whisk or spatula

Instructions 

  • After pressing your tofu, tear into bite sized pieces. Toss with olive oil, and then flour. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, and air fry for 14 minutes at 450F. Alternatively bake for 25 minutes at 400F.
  • Meanwhile, prepare your sauce by combining all ingredients in a jar or container.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat with a small amount of olive oil. Add the garlic, onion and pepper and saute for 3 to 5 minutes until fragrant. Pour in the sauce and simmer over low for a few minutes until thickened. Add the tofu into the pan and stir until covered.
Calories: 73.1kcal, Carbohydrates: 13.6g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 0.8g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 0.2mg, Sodium: 919.9mg, Potassium: 90.8mg, Fiber: 1.1g, Sugar: 3.1g, Vitamin A: 315.7IU, Vitamin C: 10.7mg, Calcium: 15.2mg, Iron: 1mg
General Tso's Tofu