Wednesday, April 11, 2007

General Tao's Tofu (vegan)

I had come across this recipe in a forum somewhere, and when I went to VegWeb.com, I saw review after review of praise for this recipe. I've had it in my to-try pile for quite some time. The recipe can be found here but I'll go ahead and copy and paste it.

General Tao's Tofu

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

1 box of firm tofu
egg substitute for 1 egg
3/4 cup cornstarch
vegetable oil for frying
3 chopped green onions
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2/3 cup vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
4 Tablespoons sugar
red pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon sherry (optional)
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
steamed broccoli


Drain, dry and cut tofu into 1 inch chunks. You can freeze tofu the night before to get a more chicken-like consistency, but it isn't necessary. Mix the egg replacer as specified on the box and add an additional 3 tablespoons water. Dip tofu in egg replacer/water mixture and coat completely. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cornstarch over tofu and coat completely. Watch out that the cornstarch doesn't clump up at the bottom of the bowl.

Heat oil in pan and fry tofu pieces until golden. Drain oil.

Heat 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil in pan on medium heat. Add green onions, ginger and garlic, cook for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn garlic. Add vegetable stock, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper and vinegar. Mix 2 Tablespoons water with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and pour into mixture stirring well. Add fried tofu and coat evenly.

Serve immediately with steamed broccoli over your choice of rice.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 30 Minutes

Jenny's Notes: I have to admit, I have had a hard time coming across a box of egg substitute down here, so I just used an egg with a little bit of water, and that worked fine. I was confused by the recipe - was I supposed to deep fry or pan fry the tofu? I wasn't sure and chose to pan fry, which worked fine. I also salted the tofu right after it came out of the pan.

Instead of steaming the broccoli, I made a double batch of the sauce and cooked the broccoli in the hot oil before finishing the sauce. It tastes best with the sauce on both anyway, in my humble opinion.

I would definitely make this again - I had to omit the garlic since I was out and I think that would greatly improve the flavor which was good to start with - and I would add a greater variety of vegetables, and possibly some nuts or sesame seeds. And maybe some heat. Back when I ate meat I recall a really tasty dish of General Tso's Chicken, and it was a little spicy but still sweet and garlicy, and I miss that element.

Categories: Broccoli, Chinese Food, Tofu, Vegan


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