General tso chicken is one of the most famous Chinese dishes in Americans restaurants. If you ever tried the chicken version, you should never miss this general tso tofu. In additionally, for vegetarians, General Tso tofu is a perfect substitution.
The series of those General Tso dishes are named after a famous General Tso Tsungtang (左宗棠) in Hunan province. But the dishes have nothing to do with that general. General Tso Chicken is named after him by the creator cook Peng, for more information about the history; please check my General Tso Chicken.
One of the reasons why tofu can be used as a substitution for the chicken is because tofu is also suitable for deep-frying firstly and then stir-frying with sauces.
The cooking method is named as “溜” which means quick stir fry with sauce. And adding water starch is named as “勾芡” which means add a mixture of water and starch when the food is almost cooked. The theory behind this cooking method is that when the starch encounters with heat, it will become bibulous, adhesive and smooth. Adding water starch can help the ingredients to absorb the sauce and create a better color.
This General Tso's Tofu is adapted from the General Tso's Chicken recipe.
- 1 box firm tofu around 1 pound
- 1 small head of broccoli
- 6 dried chili pepper (cut into small section)
- 1 inch root ginger, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 cups of cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons water or chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Cut tofu into small cubes around 2 cm. Also cut the broccoli into small bite size.
- In a small bowl, add light soy sauce, sugar, cooking wine, chili oil and salt to make the stir-frying sauce.
- In another bowl, add 2 teaspoons of corn starch and 2 teaspoons of chicken stock or water. The ratio should around 1:1.
- Boil the broccoli in a wok around 2 minutes. Move out and drain.
- Heat up the oil in wok to deep fry the tofu cubes until the skin becomes blown. Transfer the tofu cubes to a plates.
- Leave around 1 teaspoon of cooking oil in wok, add chili pepper until the color turns darker use middle fire. Return fire tofu cubes and water cooked broccoli in with chopped ginger and garlic with high fire. After 30 seconds, add stir fry sauce in and mix evenly.
- Pour water starch and sesame oil in the last step. Mix thoroughly and remove out quickly.
- You can garnish some sesame seeds or chopped spring onions at the very end.