Most people know this dish as General Tso’s chicken, but we vegans and vegetarians know it as General Tso’s tofu. Either way, the dish is good and it’s quick and simple.
I’ve tried various versions of this dish over the last year or so and I’ve decided that this one, from Minimalist Baker (surprise!), is the best that I’ve run across.
Just a little background on this first. General Tso’s chicken is widely known in the Western world but not so much in China. General Tso, or spelled Zuo Zongtang or Tso Tsung-t’ang, was a general during the Qing Dynasty. He has a pretty impressive military record and participated in the Taiping Rebellion, a civil war that lasted 14 years and was started by some quack that thought he was Jesus’ brother (sorry my history background is coming out).
On to the recipe! The little one and I were still recovering from the stomach bug but I wanted to make something substantial that was easy on the stomach yet still had some nutritional value to it…not just having toast. The tofu and broccoli has got your covered in this dish. Tofu has protein, calcium, iron, and broccoli is loaded with vitamins A and C.
I cooked my rice first and then cubed my tofu. Then I started the sauce by mixing the sesame oil, cornstarch, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, sugar, tamari, and water.
After you cube your tofu, put it in a bowl and then toss in some tamari, chili garlic sauce (I used honey garlic), sesame oil, and maple syrup.
You’ll mix everything together by tossing the tofu. Make sure the tofu is coated and then let it sit for a bit. Next, you’ll put it in a ziplock bag and add the cornstarch.
Close your bag and make sure you have a tight seal, and here comes the fun part: you SHAKE! Shake everything to coat the tofu. The little one wanted to help with this part.
When you’re done pour it in a pan. She says to get a slotted spoon and leave the excess cornstarch behind, but I didn’t have any. I don’t know why; it just happened. While you’re cooking, she says to watch for the tofu to turn golden brown. She has a photo of how it’s supposed to look. I didn’t know what she was talking about but then it started to happen to mine. I think it’s the sugars caramelizing.
She says to scoop out the tofu and then cook your vegetables. I thought I was going to run out of time so I just tossed in the green onions with my tofu. I didn’t use the red chilis. Then you pour in the sauce that you made earlier, and watch it thicken up.
While the sauce was thickening, I cooked my broccoli. I had some frozen ones and just poured some boiling water on it until it was cooked. When everything is ready, you go ahead and serve!
I really liked this dish over the many other versions I’ve tried, and the little one ate his even the broccoli! So this one will definitely stay in my recipe stash. This recipe even took the 30 minutes she said it would cook! I’m definitely going to make this again.