General Tso’s Tofu

5 from 21 votes
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General Tso’s Tofu is a Chinese-American takeout favorite. This recipes features crispy cubes of tofu tossed in a savory-sweet sauce with crisp-tender broccoli served over rice. Cubes of tofu tossed in General Tso's sauce over rice with broccoli

Why You’ll Love this General Tso’s Tofu:

General Tso’s typically consists of lightly battered and fried chicken tossed with a savory-sweet sauce–often served in North American Chinese restaurants. There are several stories concerning the origin of the dish, as well a number of variant names it goes by. However most recipes include soy sauce, rice wine (or rice wine vinegar), sugar, garlic, and dried chiles. 

In place of chicken, this recipe uses extra-firm tofu, which gets extra-crispy using a simple pan-fry method. Also in the mix is crisp-tender broccoli, green onion, and bed a fluffy white rice for serving. 

This is the type of dish that will satisfy a craving for takeout, yet deliver a much more nutritious meal. It’s also a great gateway recipe into trying tofu, if you’re new to cooking/eating it. It’s the perfect balance of spicy, sweet, and savory–not to mention rich in plant-based protein

Oh, and did I mention it comes together in roughly 30 minutes?

Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:Recipe ingredients in separate bowls with blue labels

  • Tofu: It’s important to use extra-firm (or “super-firm”) tofu for this recipe. The firmer the tofu, the less moisture you need to press out of it. (Less moisture = “meatier”, crispier cubes.) I purchase the super-firm, vacuum-sealed packs of tofu from either Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.
  • Soy Sauce: I suggest using a lower sodium version, if possible. This way, you have better control over the saltiness of the sauce. If making the dish gluten free, use tamari instead. 
  • Hoisin: If you’re not familiar with hoisin sauce, it’s a thick, fragrant, dark sauce commonly used in Cantonese cuisine. It’s made mostly of soybeans, chilies, garlic, and vinegar, and has a pungent salty-sweet flavor. You can find it near the soy sauce in most well-stocked grocery stores, or you local Asian market. 
  • Rice Vinegar: For quintessential sweet-and-sour flavor profile, a little rice vinegar adds assertiveness to the sauce. 
  • Corn Starch: Cornstarch does double duty here by creating a crispy outer layer on the tofu, as well as a slurry to help thicken the sauce.
  • Garlic: A must in General Tso’s recipes, garlic adds an aromatic backbone to the sauce. 
  • Chilies: Any dried chili peppers work here. My favorite are Szechuan dried chilies, however classic crushed red pepper flakes do the job just fine. 
  • Broccoli: Crisp-tender broccoli florets are most commonly served with General Tso’s dishes. Alternatively, you can use baby bok choy, snap peas, or mushrooms. 

General Tso's Tofu and Broccoli served over rice in a gold bowl

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare Tofu

Wrap tofu in a clean kitchen towel and press on all sides to remove as much moisture as possible. Alternatively, you can set something heavy on top (such as a cast iron skillet), and let it press for about 15 to 20 minutes, or even longer for firmer tofu. Slice tofu into cubes, and place in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. 

Add 1/4 cup cornstarch and a pinch of salt and pepper. Zip the bag and gently toss tofu until it’s fully coated in corn starch. Cubes of tofu tossed in corn starch in a gallon-sized bag

Step 2: Cook Tofu

Heat 3 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet (preferably non-stick) over medium-high. Once hot, shake off excess corn starch and add tofu cubes to pan. Cook, turning to crisp all sides, until the tofu is golden, about 12 minutes. Transfer tofu to a large bowl. Tofu being pan-seared until crispy

Step 3: Prepare Sauce

While tofu cooks, prepare General Tso’s Sauce. In a medium bowl, combine broth, soy sauce, hoisin, rice vinegar, honey, and remaining 1 Tbsp. corn starch; whisk to combine. Set aside. General Tso's sauce being whisked in a clear glass bowl

Step 4: Sauté Broccoli

Add broccoli to the same skillet you cooked tofu in. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Transfer broccoli to the bowl with tofu. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Broccoli florets being sautéed in a skillet

Step 5: Simmer Sauce

Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to pan. Add garlic and chili flakes; cook 30 seconds, until aromatic, watching closely to ensure garlic doesn’t burn. 

Next, add General Tso’s sauce to skillet and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Garlic and chili flakes being sautéed in a skillet

Step 6: Add Tofu and Broccoli to Sauce

Add tofu and broccoli back to pan with sauce, and toss to combine. Continue cooking 2 more minutes, stirring often to coat. Serve General Tso’s Tofu and broccoli over rice and garnish with sesame seeds and green onion, if desired. General Tso's Tofu and Broccoli Stir-Fry in a skillet

Is General Tso’s Tofu Vegan?

This dish can easily be made vegan with one simple swap: use maple syrup or granulated sugar in place of honey. Otherwise, this recipe checks all the boxes of a plant-based powerhouse meal. 

What to Serve with General Tso’s Tofu:

  • Rice. I love serving this tofu over a bed of fluffy white rice. I prefer a long-grain white rice, such as Jasmine or Basmati, however you can also use brown rice for extra fiber. If you’re looking for a lower carb alternative, cauliflower rice would also be delicious here. 
  • Vegetables. You can switch up the veggies in this recipe based on your preferences and what’s in season. I love serving it with broccoli, however you can also use bell peppers, mushrooms, or baby bok choy.
  • Salad: To complement the flavors of this dish, try my speedy Sesame-Cucumber Salad or 20 Minute Chopped Asian Salad

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:

  • To Make Ahead. Cut the tofu into cubes, and chop the broccoli up to 1 day in advance. Store each in a separate container in the refrigerator. You can also cook the rice up to 2 days ahead. 
  • To Store. Place leftover General Tso’s Tofu in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. To help the tofu re-crisp, rewarm this recipe in a skillet over medium heat. (If needed, add a splash of broth or water to loosen the sauce.) You can also reheat in the microwave in a pinch, however the tofu will remain quite soft. 

Asian tofu and broccoli in a gold bowl topped with sesame seeds

If you love this recipe, be sure to check out these other reader-favorite tofu recipes:

Orange Tofu

Tofu Tikka Masala

30 Minute Black Pepper Tofu

If you give this recipe a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

5 from 21 votes

General Tso's Tofu

General Tso's Tofu is a Chinese-American takeout favorite. This recipes features crispy cubes of tofu tossed in a savory-sweet sauce with crisp-tender broccoli served over rice. 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Large skillet
  • Mixing bowls
  • Large Zip-Top Bag

Ingredients  

  • 1 (14-oz.) pkg. extra-firm (or super-firm) tofu, drained
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. corn starch, divided
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbsp. neutral cooking oil (such as grapeseed, vegetable, or avocado), divided
  • 3/4 cup lower-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce (sub tamari if making gluten free)
  • 2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onion for garnish (optional)
  • Cooked white (or brown) rice for serving
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Instructions 

  • Wrap tofu in a clean kitchen towel and press on all sides to remove as much moisture as possible. Alternatively, set something heavy on top (such as a cast iron skillet), and let it press for about 15 to 20 minutes, or even longer for firmer tofu. Slice tofu into cubes, and place in a large zip-top bag. 
    Add 1/4 cup cornstarch and a pinch of salt and pepper. Zip the bag and gently toss tofu until it's fully coated in corn starch. 
  • Heat 3 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet (preferably non-stick) over medium-high. Once the oil is hot, shake off excess corn starch and add tofu cubes to pan. Cook, turning to crisp all sides, until the tofu is golden, about 12 minutes.
    While tofu cooks, prepare General Tso's Sauce. In a medium bowl, combine broth, soy sauce, hoisin, rice vinegar, honey, and remaining 1 Tbsp. corn starch; whisk to combine. Set aside.
    Once tofu is sufficiently crisp, transfer cubes to a large bowl and return pan to burner.
  • Add broccoli to pan; sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and transfer broccoli to the bowl with tofu.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to pan. Add garlic and chili flakes; cook 30 seconds, until aromatic, watching closely to avoid burning.
    Add General Tso's sauce to pan and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. 
  • Add tofu and broccoli back to pan with sauce, and toss to combine. Continue cooking 2 more minutes, stirring often to coat. Spoon tofu and broccoli over rice and garnish with sesame seeds and green onion, if desired. 

Notes

*Nutrition Information does not include rice.
To Make Ahead. Cut the tofu into cubes, and chop the broccoli up to 1 day in advance. Store each in a separate container in the refrigerator. You can also cook the rice up to 2 days ahead. 
To Store. Place leftover General Tso's Tofu in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To Reheat. To help the tofu re-crisp, rewarm this recipe in a skillet over medium heat. (If needed, add a splash of broth or water to loosen the sauce.) You can also reheat in the microwave in a pinch, however the tofu will remain quite soft. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.2cups | Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Sodium: 890mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

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27 Comments

  1. Rita Runstedler says:

    5 stars
    We were not big tofu fans but thought we would give this recipe a try in the hopes that we could then add tofu to our diets as we needed more protein. This recipe was amazing! So flavourful and easy to prepare. It will become. Staple in our home and we have already shared it with several of our friends.

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  2. Amy says:

    5 stars
    Like takeout only fresh and delicious. Enjoyed this one. I did air fry the tofu instead of pan fry and then just dumped it in at the end, to cut down on oil.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi, Amy! I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a review!

  3. Meaghan says:

    5 stars
    This is the most addictive tofu recipe I know! It’s my go-to dish when I have tofu. I do roast the broccoli in the oven or in a separate pan to speed things up, but otherwise it’s about as easy as can be.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Woohoo! I’m so glad you love this one, Meaghan. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  4. Andrea says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! Doubled the sauce and ate it with soba noodles.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Andrea – I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  5. Misty Fontenot says:

    5 stars
    I have made this recipe twice now. It was even better the second time. It is so good – it’s not too sweet. The tofu is crispy and delicious and the sauce is so yummy – tangy and only slightly sweet. Served this over brown rice once and white rice the other time. I literally make recipes from this blog at least 3 times a week! All are insanely delicious and prove vegetarian/vegan cooking can be even better than with meat!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Misty–I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! Thank you for taking the time to leave such a wonderful review!

  6. Angie says:

    5 stars
    I’m not a huge fan of tofu but have been trying to expand my horizons. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish. The sauce has great flavor. Thanks for a great tofu recipe.