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Vegan General Tso’s Tofu and Veggies

Delicious vegan General Tso’s with all the taste of take-out, but low-oil, low-fuss, and no deep-frying!

The well-known dish we are referencing here is, of course, General Tso’s Chicken that can be found in Asian restaurants almost everywhere. It’s a spicy-sweet, crunchy, deep-fried dish that hits all kinds of taste spots (namely salt and sweet). Even vegan versions (often called General Tso’s Bean Curd or something similar) are high-fat meals featuring deep-fried or pan-fried chunks of tofu in a tasty sweet/sticky/spicy sauce on top of rice. We’ve had many versions as take-out and made several ourselves. And, let’s be honest, it’s a yummy dish so it’s no surprise that it is as popular as it is.

Was There Really A General Tso and Did He Make A Chicken Dish?

But first, let’s learn a little bit about the history of this dish. I mean, who is this general, anyway? Well, we looked around and it seems that there was a General but it’s unlikely that he had anything to do with this dish. Plus, although there seems to be evidence of an origin in Taiwan-based Hunan cuisine, the current western dish is clearly a version sweetened up for western tastes. source: Wikipedia

General Tso’s But With Veggies

Of course, we love all the flavors of General Tso’s, as much as anybody else. But along with the high-fat content, the deep frying, and everything else, we wish there were more veggies. I mean, we can’t help it – that’s what we are all about, after all. So we decided to get to work on making our own version that was a lot more veg-friendly and veggie-heavy but also used dramatically less fat. (and of course, no chicken) But, still with all the flavor!

Seriously, just LOOK at all those veggies!

Our Delicious General Tso’s Tofu with Veggies

This version that we’re sharing with you has all the wonderful taste of take-out, with fresh ginger, fresh garlic, scallions, and a wonderful sweet sauce. Plus a whole bunch of fresh vegetables, like carrots, celery, and broccoli. Add air-fried tofu, toss it all with a delicious sauce, put it all on top of delicious hot basmati rice and we think it’s a winner for sure.

We love these triangles of tofu, but the shape is up to you!
Are you ready for some vegan General Tso’s Tofu? We are!
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General Tso’s Tofu

  • Author: Georgia & Greg @ www.fullofbeans.us
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Delicious vegan General Tso’s with all the taste of take-out, but low-oil, low-fuss, and no deep-frying! Plus, the bonus of a load of fresh veggies!


Ingredients

Scale

Sauce

  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced. separating white and green portions
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs of fresh ginger, minced
  • 5 small dry red chilies
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbs mirin
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch

Main

  • 1 block tofu pressed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stalk of celery, sliced
  • 11 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • sesame seeds (for garnish)
  • 2 cups cooked Basmati rice

Instructions

First

  1. Start your rice*
  2. Press tofu for 10-15 minutes**
  3. slice your veggies and set aside

Prepare the Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan heat the sesame oil for a minute or two
  2. Add the white part of scallions, garlic, ginger, and chilies. Cook fr 1-2 minutes
  3. Add water, soy sauce, mirin, and rice vinegar. Simmer for 5 minutes
  4. in a small bowl whisk together the sugar and cornstarch
  5. add 3-4 Tbs of liquid from the simmering sauce to the sugar and cornstarch. whisk until smooth
  6. add the mixture to sauce in the pot
  7. add green pieces of scallions
  8. continue to simmer on low, for an additional 5 minutes

Meanwhile…

  1. add 3 Tbs of water to a wok on medium-high heat (the goal is to steam veggies, not boil them. as veggies cook, add water 1 Tbs at a time just to keep the pan from going dry and the veggies from sticking)
  2. add the sliced carrots and cook, occasionally stirring, for a minute or two
  3. add celery and broccoli. cook until broccoli is bright green but still slightly crunchy
  4. add the air-fried tofu chunks and immediately add the sauce
  5. gently toss to combine and evenly coat with the sauce
  6. serve on basmati rice, garnished with the sesame seeds

About the tofu

We air fry the tofu until nicely crunchy, which stands up nicely to the tossing and the sauce. If you don’t have an air fryer you can use a scant amount of oil in a non-stick pan for a similar result. Air frying will take about 10 minutes. If you need to pan-fry you might consider doing it before cooking the veggies so you don’t have quite some much going on. 🙂


Notes

* get the rice started first. You will want it ready, warm, and standing by as soon as the veggies and tofu are done (saying this for all the people who might have forgotten how long rice takes – which happens occasionally even with us, lol)

** we use a tofu press but you can also wrap your block of tofu in a clean dishtowel, put it on a cutting board, and place a heavy pot on top. A press is easy, cleaner, and doesn’t generate laundry.

Crispy Air Fried Tofu: https://www.fullofbeans.us/crispy-air-fried-tofu/

The Tofu Presshttps://www.fullofbeans.us/kitchen-gadget-of-the-week-how-to-use-a-tofu-press-how-to-press-tofu/

Keywords: general tso, vegan general tso's chicken, vegan asian recipes, general tso's tofu

Full of Beans

Husband and wife, father and mother, working adults – Greg and Georgia formed Full of Beans to share encouragement, inspiration, and tips to get you started on, and maintain, a plant-based vegan diet (even if you think you don't have the time/money/skills/energy). See the About page for more.

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