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Looking for a 30 minute plant-based dinner recipe? This General Tso’s Tofu is made with good-for-you ingredients like maple syrup and tamari and served over rice and broccoli for a healthy and filling meal.
If you know me at all, you know I love tofu. I love it baked in the oven, or in a bowl of ramen. And, not surprisingly, I love it in this general tso’s tofu recipe! If you like any sort of general tso’s, you’re going to want to try this version ASAP.
Why you’ll love this:
- The whole meal comes together in just 30 minutes
- The general tso’s sauce is out of this world! You’ll want to lick your plate clean
- It’s a delicious way to convert tofu skeptics into fans
Tofu – Make sure to buy super firm or extra firm tofu. That way, there’s less moisture in the packaging, and the tofu will crisp up nicely instead of crumbling when you cook it.
Tamari – Or sub soy sauce if that’s what you have on hand. Tamari and soy sauce are essentially the same thing, but tamari is gluten free and soy sauce is not.
Cornstarch – Or you can sub arrowroot if you prefer.
Maple syrup – No substitution here. The syrup adds a sweetness to the sauce, and I don’t think there’s a proper substitution for it.
Step 1: Add the pressed and cubed tofu, along with the tamari and cornstarch, to a plastic bag. Seal the bag and shake it so that the tofu is completely coated.
Step 2: Make the sauce by whisking the syrup, tamari, sriracha, orange juice, or cornstarch together until the cornstarch is dissolved.
Step 3: Add oil to a large skillet, then wait a minute or so for it to heat up. Drop the tofu into the oil and pan-fry the tofu until it’s crispy on all sides.
Step 4: Add the scallions, orange zest, garlic, and ginger and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Step 5: Pour the sauce into the skillet, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens and the tofu is coated.
- Remember to press your tofu beforehand. This is VERY important and should not be skipped. Either use a tofu press, or lay the tofu on top of a clean towel, then place another towel on top of it and use your hands or a heavy object to press the moisture out of it.
- Substitutions: You can use soy sauce instead of tamari, and arrowroot instead of cornstarch
How should I slice the tofu?
I like to slice tofu into long strips, then rotate it and slice it into 1″ cubes. If you need a visual, check out this post.
Can I prep this ahead of time?
Yes! If you want to meal prep this general tso’s tofu in advance, simply press the tofu, then pan fry it and place it in the refrigerator. Before you’re ready to eat it, add it back into a skillet to warm it up, then pour the sauce over top. Basically, I wouldn’t coat it in the sauce until you’re ready to eat it; otherwise, it may become soggy.
Disclaimer: This is a recipe from Chloe Coscarelli’s cookbook, Chloe Flavor. I was gifted the cookbook and tofu press, but all opinions are my own.
If you made this recipe, I’d love it if you could leave a review and star rating below. Thanks!
General Tso's Tofu
for the tofu:
- 16 oz. super firm tofu pressed
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
for the sauce:
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 1 orange
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 scallions cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
- steamed rice and broccoli for serving
- 2 tsp sesame seeds for garnish
- Make the tofu: Press the tofu ahead of time. Then, in a large zip-top bag, combine the tofu, tamari, and cornstarch. Toss to coat--the cornstarch will become goopy; set aside.
- Make the stir fry: In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, tamari, sriracha, orange juice, and cornstarch until the cornstarch has dissolved.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the tofu, working in batches as needed, and sear for about 3 minutes on each side, until crispy all over. Add more oil between batches as needed.
- Return all the tofu to the skillet and add the scallions, orange zest, garlic, and ginger. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the scallions begin to break down.
- Add the sauce and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 5 minutes more, until the sauce thickens.
- Serve over rice and broccoli, and garnish with sesame seeds.
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in March 2018. It was updated with new text and photos in May 2020.