General T'so Tofu
Why I Love This Recipe
FEATURING: Broccoli, garlic scapes (or garlic), green onions and, if you want (optional), zucchini (or pattypan squash).
A home-made version & plant-based version of "General Tao" tofu. There's a few steps but each is quite simple! This recipe was slightly adapted from Minimalist Baker who, in turns, loosely adapted it from Pure Wow and Food.com. Tofu method adapted from The Kitchn: https://minimalistbaker.com/general-tsos-tofu/
Ingredients You'll Need
FOR SERVING (optional):
3-4 cups cooked white or brown rice (1.5-2 cups of dried rice)
12 ounces (340 g) extra-firm tofu, cut into approx. 3/4-inch cubes (see photo)
3 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1 tsp chili garlic sauce (ex : Sriracha)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp maple syrup
4-5 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp sunflower oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp cornstarch
1 large garlic scape (or 2 small ones), chopped (~2 garlic cloves, minced)
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
1 Tbsp rice vinegar (or sub white vinegar)
1/4 cup maple syrup, (you can also add to 2 Tbsp more, to taste- but we don't)
3 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp sesame oil
3 green onions, roughly chopped
4-7 dried red chilies (optional for heat, or sub 1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce)
optional: Sesame seeds, for garnish
If serving with rice and broccoli, begin preparing at this time. Otherwise, move onto the next step.
Prepare sauce by combining sesame oil, cornstarch, garlic scapes (or garlic), minced ginger, rice vinegar, coconut sugar or maple syrup, tamari or soy sauce, and water in a small mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (I left mine as is).
Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Add cubed tofu to a shallow mixing bowl (see photo) and top with tamari or soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Toss to combine. Let rest 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Use a slotted spoon or fork to transfer tofu to a shallow dish (or large freezer bag). Add cornstarch 1 Tbsp at a time and toss to coat. Continue adding more cornstarch and tossing until tofu is coated in a gummy, white layer - about 5 Tbsp.
To the hot skillet, add 2 Tbsp sunflower oil and let warm for 30 seconds. Then use a slotted spoon or fork to add tofu to the pan (leaving any excess cornstarch behind).
Cook on all sides for 1 minute, or until light golden brown. You don’t want it blackened or burned, as you’ll be cooking it again later with the sauce. Aim for a consistent golden brown crust (see photo). Remove tofu from pan as it’s finished browning. Set aside.
Return skillet to burner and increase heat to medium-high. Add 1 Tbsp sesame oil, chopped green onions, and dried red chilies. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the sauce and tofu. Cook, stirring frequently, to coat the tofu (and vegetables, if using) for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through and the sauce has slightly thickened (see photo).
Remove pan from heat and add sesame seeds (optional). Toss to coat.
Serve with rice and steamed broccoli (optional), or other desired sides.
Best when fresh, though leftovers keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stovetop or microwave.