Good morning friends! We’ve been gone for a few weeks. I’ve been trying to stack up some recipes for you guys so that we can start getting them out more consistently, I know, I’m all over the place! But, I promise we have some really good stuff in the works including some really good crockpot recipes, more lunch wraps and some amazing game day recipes for football season! I won’t waste more time making excuses, let’s get to brass tax here, Today’s Just Like Take Out, 30 Minute General Tso’s Tofu.
It’s been on and off between gloomy and really nice weather in Chicago lately but when it’s gloomy I instantly start wanting comfort food! Soups, stews and of course ,anything deep fried. To me, as far as different cuisines go, there are few more comforting than really delicious and totally unhealthy Chinese food.
This dish is the absolute perfect comfort food for rainy gloomy days and it’s perfect to make on days you just want to sit on the couch and lounge because it tastes just like take out but only takes you 30 minutes to make! And I actually mean 30 minutes, I timed it myself.
This dish is loosely based on General Tso’s Chicken. This is not only a throwback for Andrew because it was one of his favorite dishes his mom used to make but when he works late, General Tso’s Tofu is also his favorite food to order in. So I attempted to make a copy-cat and dare I say this turned out even better! The deep fried tofu pieces are honestly amazing all on their own but this sauce ….. OH MY GOD, it’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s tangy, it’s everything you’re favorite take-out Chinese food is and more. I hope you try it and LOVE it!
As always thank you so much for visiting Almost Like Mom’s! Don’t forget to share if you like this recipe and subscribe to our email list for even more delicious recipes straight to your inbox! Thank you, I love you all.
Just Like Take-Out, 30 Minute General Tso's Tofu
A quick and easy make at home version of a classic Chinese take-out dish, General Tso's. Crunchy, Sweet, Spicy and ready in under 30 minutes!
Author: Jackie DeSana
Recipe type: Dinner, Quick 30 Minutes
Cuisine: Vegan, Chinese, Vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 servings
- 2 tbs vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbs fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tbs red pepper flakes
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 4 tbs chili paste
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbs lime juice
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbs Sriracha
- 2 tbs corn starch
- 2tbs water
- Tofu and Batter
- 1 14 oz. package extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into ½ inch squares
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbs corn starch
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup soda water* (see notes)
- 3-4 cups vegetable oil (enough to fill the bottom of a large pot about 1 inch.
- Start by combining two tablespoons of cornstarch and two tablespoons of water, whisk them together and set aside. Heat two tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large pan. Add in the garlic, ginger and pepper flakes and cook for about 2 minutes stirring frequently, be sure to not burn the garlic or ginger.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, chili paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, maple syrup, brown sugar and Sriracha until fully incorporated. When the garlic and ginger are fragrant, pour the sauce mix into the pan with the garlic and ginger and whisk. Continue whisking until the sauce starts to bubble, then pour in the corn starch and water mixture and whisk until incorporated. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce, whisking frequently for 10 more minutes.
- When the sauce is thickened, remove it from the heat and set it aside. Now it's time to fry the tofu! Heat 3-4 cups of vegetable oil, enough to fill about 1 inch at the bottom of a large pot over medium heat. The oil is ready to fry when it sizzles and pop upon flicking water into it. Prepare the batter by whisking the flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in a large bowl. Pour in the soda water and whisk until it forms a thick batter, it should be a similar consistency to pancake batter.
- You can dip the tofu pieces in the batter one by one until coated and drop them into the oil. I added all of the tofu chunks together and toss until fully coated in the batter and them dropped 8-10 pieces in the oil at a time. It takes about 3 minutes for the tofu to fry, it will start to slightly brown. Remove the tofu and place on a large plate lined with paper towel to soak up the oil. Repeat until all the tofu has been battered.
- Place the tofu into a bowl and add the sauce, stirring softly until the tofu is completely covered in the sauce. Serve with steamed rice and veggies! I added broccoli to mine and it was delicious!
Soda water here is what helps give the batter that light airy texture like a tempura batter almost. However, I've used plain water here as well for the batter and it works fine!