General Tso’s Tofu combines crispy baked tofu with a sticky and spicy sauce. Serve the sauce-covered tofu over rice with broccoli on the side. This popular takeout dish has never been better!

lots of tofu in sauce over white rice with sesame seeds

This General Tso’s Tofu is easy and delicious. Golden brown and crispy baked tofu is coated in a sticky, savory, and spicy sauce to create this better-than-takeout meal. Say goodbye to intimidating fryers because baking tofu is way easier and clean up-friendly!

Here’s why I think you should make your General Tso’s at home:

  • The flavors are fresh, bold, and just a little spicy.
  • Golden brown baked tofu comes out perfect every time thanks to 1 special ingredient.
  • It’s ready to eat in less time than it takes for your order to arrive at your door!

I love a big scoop of this saucy vegan General Tso’s Tofu over freshly cooked Basmati Rice and steamed broccoli on the side. Complete the meal with more copycat takeout favorites, like Vegan Beef and Broccoli and Tempeh Stir Fry!

close up of general tsos tofu with chopped green onions and sesame seeds

What is General Tso’s?

General Tso’s chicken is a popular choice at most North American Chinese food restaurants. The original dish is made with chicken and sweet and spicy sauce, but I have veganized the dish with tofu.

General Tso sauce is made with soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, red chili flakes, and sugar. The sweet and savory flavors balance nicely when coated over the protein of your choice. I used tofu but you can swap it for cauliflower, tempeh, or chickpeas!

How to make General Tso’s Tofu

Start by pressing the tofu to remove any excess liquid. Slice the brick, then rip those slices into medium-large pieces (these will act as the General Tso’s “chicken” pieces).

Place them in a ziplock bag (or a large bowl) along with the oil, cornstarch, and salt. Shake to coat, then place the tofu pieces on the prepared baking pan. Bake until golden and crispy.

tofu cooked on a pan

Make the General Tso sauce while the tofu bakes. Sauté garlic and ginger in a pan with oil over medium-high heat. Next, stir in the rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, water, sugar, and red chili flakes.

Stir the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl. Pour it into the sauce and stir until it has a thick consistentcy.

Toss the baked tofu in the sauce. Serve over bowls of rice with sesame seeds and green onions on top.

How to press tofu

Tofu is packed in water, which needs to be drained before it’s baked. The less water in your tofu, the crispier it will be! 

I like using a tofu press to press my tofu. If you don’t have one, wrap the block of tofu in paper towels and place a plate or pan on top of the wrapped tofu. Put a couple of heavy books on top of that. 

If you’re in a rush, leave the tofu to press for at least 20 minutes. Otherwise, it can be left to drain for a few hours or overnight!

cooked tofu in a sauce in a large pan

Serving suggestions

It isn’t traditional General Tso’s without the rice! Scoop the saucy tofu over basmati rice or cauliflower rice and top it with sesame seeds and green onions. Steamed veggies, like broccoli, bok choy, green beans, or carrots, are delicious on the side.

With its Asian-influenced flavors, General Tso’s tofu is best served alongside your favorite takeout recreations. Make some to serve alongside Teriyaki Noodles, Spring Rolls, and Vegan Fried Rice for a better-than-takeout family meal!

Variations

  • Instead of tofu – Use cauliflower florets, soy curls, chickpeas, tempeh, or vegan “chicken”.
  • Gluten free – Use gluten free tamari instead of soy sauce and make sure the hoisin sauce is certified gluten free.
  • Tofu – You must use extra firm or firm tofu. Medium and soft tofu is much too delicate and will fall apart.
bowl with white rice and lots of general tso tofu in sauce

More copycat vegan take-out recipes

square image of tofu over rice
4.98 stars (34 ratings)

General Tso’s Tofu

General Tso’s Tofu combines crispy baked tofu with a sticky and spicy sauce. Serve the sauce-covered tofu over rice and broccoli on the side. This popular takeout dish has never been better!
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
tofu pressing time: 20 mins
Total: 1 hr
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

For the tofu

  • 2 (16-oz) blocks firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger *may use 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger if needed
  • 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce *tamari for gluten free
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 1/4 cup water

For serving

  • 4 cups cooked rice, white or brown
  • chopped green onions
  • sesame seeds
  • Optional: steamed broccoli

Instructions 

  • Press the tofu: Wrap the block of tofu in paper towels. Place a plate or pan on top of the wrapped tofu, and put a couple of heavy books on top of that. Let the tofu press for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease a large baking sheet with oil (or line with parchment paper).
  • Slice the tofu into 6 slices. Now, rip each slice into medium-large pieces. You can also simply cut them into cubes, if you prefer, but ripping gives the tofu a great jagged texture.
  • Add the tofu pieces to a large ziplock bag (or large bowl), along with the olive oil, cornstarch and salt. Close the bag, and shake gently to coat. Arrange the tofu evenly on the prepared pan, and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
  • While the tofu bakes, cook your rice and make the sauce. In a large pan, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Next, add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, water, sugar and red chili flakes. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
  • In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch and water together, then pour into the pan with the sauce. Stir constantly, until the sauce thickens.
  • When the tofu is done baking, add it to the sauce and stir to coat the pieces. Serve with rice, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, chopped green onions and perhaps a side of steamed broccoli. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Nutrition facts do not include rice.
  2. Could substitute cauliflower for the tofu, or even soy curls, chickpeas or vegan “chicken”.
  3. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The dish does not freeze very well.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 720mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 49IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 195mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

This post has been updated with updated photos and instructions. The recipe was originally published May 2020.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Read my full disclosure here.

Posted In: , , , , , , , , , ,

you may also like:

Comments

  1. Do you have any substitutions for the sugar and possible measumemts? Thank you for your time! I love your recipes and have made many! I have had to eliminate processed sugar . 

    1. Hi Jen. You can try replacing the sugar with maple syrup or another natural liquid sweetener instead (1/4 to 1/3 cup, depending on your desired sweetness level).

  2. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. We have this almost every weeks. We fix corn and I enjoy putting that on top as well. We are empty nesters so to simplify things we use the air fryer to cook out tofu. I like mine with a crisp outside and a soft inside. When we started eating vegan this became a must have recipe.

  3. This recipe rocks! Super easy and the texture of the tofu is perfectly chewy. The sauce is also addicting! The recipe is a keeper. Thanks?

  4. Yet again, another amazing recipe from Nora! I planned to make this last night and got really excited when I read someone else’s review about how it causes arguments in their family and how some think your butter chicken is the best and others think this is. Your butter chicken is my absolute favorite dish so when I read that I was extra excited to try this one. Surely, it was absolutely fantastic and will be another regular in my house for dinner. Thanks!! ???

    1. Hi Carissa. I’m thrilled that you loved the General Tso’s Tofu recipe! Thanks for taking time to share your fun feedback! I’m so happy this will be part of your regular meal rotation! Happy cooking!

    2. I thought the sauce was a bit too vinegar-forward. When I do this one again I am going to cut it down a bit. 

      Otherwise: great!

  5. I am new to eating tofu, so I tried this recipe today. Loved it! Definitely will be making again. Thanks!

    1. Hi Andrea. That is so great! I’m so happy you loved it! Thank you for sharing your fantastic feedback and review! Wishing you happy cooking!

  6. I’ve been looking for a better way to make crispy tofu and this was amazing! Sauce came out great and it was super easy to make. 10/10 will be making again 

  7. This General Tso’s Tofu looks wonderful, excited to try it this weekend! Please tell me, can the sauce be prepared in advance then just warm up & add crispy tofu before serving? Thank you!

  8. Absolutely delicious!!! I made it exactly the way the recipe reads. You hit it outta the ballpark, Nora!!! Can’t wait to make it again!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m thrilled you loved the tofu! Thank you for sharing your positive feedback and review! Happy cooking!

  9. Really good! I am slowly making my way through all of your tofu recipes and none have disappointed! My omni family said is their favorite so far! 

    1. Hi Allie! Thank you for your wonderful review and feedback! How fun that you are trying all the tofu recipes! I appreciate you using my recipes, and wish you happy cooking!

    1. You are welcome! I’m thrilled this will part of your meal rotation! Thank you for sharing your fantastic review and feedback!

    1. Thank you for sharing your terrific review! I’m so glad the recipe turned out delicious for you, and that you’ll be making more of it! Happy cooking!

  10. I make this all the time and love love it!! Question: I am having family over and thinking of doing a Tofu/Buddah Bowl Bar. Planning on prepping the tofu like this and then making a variety of sauces to have on the side. Do you think this sauce, your Butter Chicken sauce, BBQ, and Orange sauces will work well on the side?? Or should they really coat the tofu first? Thank you for all of your amazing recipes!! I share them all over social media 🙂

    1. That is such a fun and delicious idea! Yes, I think all of those would work well with the cooked tofu. I hope everyone loves this yummy meal, thank you!

  11. Another fabulous recipe..easy to prepare and delicious!  I steamed broccoli florets and added them to the sauce before serving it over brown rice.   Everyone loved it and agreed we should add it to our regular rotation.    Thank you!

    1. Hi Debora! I’m thrilled this will become part of your meal rotation, and that everyone loved it! Thanks so much for sharing your review and comments!

  12. Definitely five stars! Easy to make and loved by my whole family. We’ll be using this one over and over, I’m sure 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.