General Tso Tofu
Let me tell you how I came to know about General Tso Tofu. I really loved the vegan General Tso Chicken at a Restaurant near me. Since I ate the vegan version, I fell in love with it hard and decided to make it at home, so I don’t have to order it every time I crave it.
Since I love gluten-free protein filled meals, I decided to use tofu instead of vegetables or a gluten meat substitute, and I am glad that I did, because it turned out to be awesomely delicious. In other words, this recipe is a healthier and vegan version of the General Tso chicken.
You can make a vegetarian General Tso with just vegetables, which will still taste delicious because of the amazingly flavorful sauce, but I really enjoy it with tofu as well to make it into a full meal.
Because I am all about eating healthy, I decided to bake tofu instead of frying them, and it turned out just as good. General Tso tofu calories decrease immensely if you bake the tofu instead of frying it, so if you are calorie conscious, this is the way you will want to use to cook vegan general tso’s tofu.
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General Tsao Veggie Chicken was one of my favorite dishes near me at the Vegetable Garden Restaurant in Rockville, Maryland. I fell in love with it ever since I ate it and wanted badly to make it at home. I don’t recall eating General’s Tso’s Chicken but the veggie version was amazing. Since eating gluten-free, I decided to make a version using tofu.
Benefits Of Tofu
Tofu is a superfood. Made from soya milk. It is jam-packed with so many healthy nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. It’s astonishing how something so delicate can have so many benefits. Here are some of the main benefits of tofu:
- Tofu is high in protein. A 100 grams serving of tofu contain 8 grams of protein. That is quite a high amount. This is the reason why vegetarians use tofu to fulfill their body’s protein requirement.
- It has many minerals. For instance, 100 grams of tofu serving contain minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, potassium, selenium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper. As I said, it is a superfood.
- Because tofu comes from soy, it contains a naturally occurring compound called isoflavone. The isoflavone has several health benefits. For instance, it reduces the risk of developing heart diseases by protecting your heart’s health and fight against harmful fatty acids.
Which Tofu To Use?
There are several types of tofu-based on firmness. For this particular recipe, I use extra firm tofu. The reason is that for making general tso tofu, we have to dip it in the batter and bake it. Extra-firm tofu holds the shape and the batter coating perfectly well. However, you can also use firm tofu. That will do as well.
You might also like silken tofu, but for this very recipe, I won’t recommend it. That’s because it is so delicate that it won’t hold shape and fall apart easily. So, the perfect texture for this recipe is the firm or extra firm tofu. Also, it holds its shape the best. My personal favorite is Trader Joe’s high protein tofu. It is perfect.
What is special about the General Tso tofu recipe?
Now, if you are thinking about what’s special about this recipe, the list is quite long. Here are some highlights of this amazing dish!
- Flavor profile
General Tso tofu is known for its versatile and complex flavor profile. It has a sweet and savory flavor with a bit of spicy heat. Furthermore, the battered and baked tofu adds a decadent and wholesome taste to the dish. The tangy and sweet sauce binds everything up so beautifully have the taste lingers on your tongue afterward. It is a perfect blend that gives an umami flavor.
It is no secret that tofu is full of health. It is high in protein; thus, it is a perfect and healthy alternative for meat. If you are looking for a vegan general tso, tofu is the best option you have. It is low in calories and offers great healthy nutrients ideal for people who wants to reduce weight and adopt a vegan lifestyle.
Not everyone can digest gluten. So, if you are one of those people who search for gluten-free recipes, you don’t have to look any further. You can make this tso tofu recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free soya sauce. Couldn’t get any simpler!
What to serve with General Tso Tofu?
The best thing about this general tofu dish is that you can serve it with anything. even if you eat it without any complimentary dish, it will still taste great. However, I usually pair it up with vegetables and carbs.
It also goes perfectly well with rice. Whether you like white rice or brown, I think it tastes delicious with either. Moreover, another interesting idea is to serve it with cauliflower rice. Sounds fancy, right?
I love pairing it up with broccoli. It not only gives it a vibrant look but also adds flavor and texture to the whole dish.
How To Make General Tso Tofu
To prepare General Tso Tofu, prepare the batter and sauce in two separate bowls. Drain tofu and squeeze excess water, cut tofu into cubes and coat with the batter. Transfer battered tofu cubes onto a prepared baking sheet and bake until crispy.
My secret for the best texture is to purchase super firm tofu which has little water and holds its shape well. It is best for cubing. My favorite tofu superfirm brand is Trader Joes high protein tofu.
While the tofu is baking, I prepare the garlic, ginger and green onions. I saute them in oil, add sauce mixture and cook stirring constantly until thick. Stir in baked tofu cubes to coat and serve with cooked rice and broccoli.
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- Energy: 218 kcal / 911 kJ
- Fat: 13 g
- Protein: 6 g
- Carbs: 22 g
- Preparation: 25 min
- Cooking: 35 min
- Ready in: 1 h
- 4 servings
For The Batter
- 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter, or tahini paste
- 3 tablespoons Bragg's liquid aminos, Tamari/soy sauce (gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
For The Sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch, or cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, or coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
To Prepare Tofu
- Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Squeeze excess water from tofu by placing it between 2-3 paper towels and putting something heavy on top of tofu for about 20 minutes. In the meantime prepare the batter and sauce.
- For the batter: In a medium bowl, combine tahini paste, Bragg's liquid aminos, lemon juice, cornstarch, and water. Mix well to form a smooth paste.
- For the Sauce, mix together water, molasses, tapioca starch, lemon juice, maple syrup, and sesame oil.
- To Prepare Tofu, cut tofu into cubes and dip into batter to coat. Place battered cubes onto a well-greased baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crisp, turning halfway. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger and green onions. Cook stirring for 1 minute.
- Add sauce mixture and cook stirring until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add baked tofu and stir to fully coat with the sauce. Delicious served with steamed broccoli and rice.