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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
- 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.
More copycat vegan take-out recipes
General Tso’s Tofu
For the tofu
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
- 4 cups cooked rice, white or brown
- chopped green onions
- sesame seeds
- Optional: steamed broccoli
- 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!
- Nutrition facts do not include rice.
- Could substitute cauliflower for the tofu, or even soy curls, chickpeas or vegan “chicken”.
- Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The dish does not freeze very well.
This post has been updated with updated photos and instructions. The recipe was originally published May 2020.