Nothing says “hello weekend” like Chinese Food. General Tso’s chicken is a Chinese food staple for takeout that has a superb balance of heat and sweet. Today’s plant-based version of the recipe lives up to its weekend vibes while keeping the ingredients as basic as possible.
While General Tso’s Chicken’s heat typically comes from dried chili peppers or flakes, this recipe uses ground red pepper to keep it simple. I had everything for this Vegan General Tso’s “Chicken” already in my pantry with the exception of hoisin sauce, which was super easy to find at the grocery store. Whether you’re having a few friends over or you are planning a weekend night Netflix binge, I promise that this recipe will be a worthy weekend companion!
Vegan General Tso’s “Chicken”
- 14 oz package Tofu
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon Corn Starch
- 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
- 3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 3 tablespoons Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Broth/Stock
- 3 cloves, minced Garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Red Pepper
- 2 cups Broccoli Florets
- 1 cup chopped Scallions
1. Open the package of tofu and drain all of the water.
2. Slice the tofu into 1/2-inch thick slices and lay flat on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Cover with another layer of paper towel and place something heavy on top like a cast iron skillet or a couple of small pans with canned goods in them for weight. Allow the tofu to drain for 1 hour.
3. Remove the weighted items, paper towel, and slice the tofu into cubes about 1/2 inch in size.
4. Place the cubed tofu in a bowl and add 1/3 cup cornstarch. Using clean hands, toss the tofu in the cornstarch until evenly coated.
4. In a deep skillet, add 1/3 cup vegetable oil and heat the pan at medium heat. Allow the oil to heat for 2-3 minutes until hot (not smoking).
5. Add a single layer of tofu into the skillet (I had to do this in 2 batches to complete all of the tofu). The oil should sizzle when you add the tofu if it’s heated enough.
6. Allow the tofu to panfry until golden, about 2 minutes, and then turn it to the other side using tongs or a fork and repeat until golden (about 4 minutes total for the whole piece but timing may vary).
7. Remove the tofu from the skillet and place on a paper towel-lined tray or plate. Complete all of the tofu in the same way and then set aside.
8. Mix the sauce together in a medium bowl by combining the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, water, vegetable broth, ginger and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Set aside.
9. Discard all of the oil from the skillet except approximately 1-2 tablespoons. Maintain medium level heat on the skillet.
10. Add the minced garlic and stir until very fragrant, approximately 30 seconds.
11. Add the ground red pepper and continue to stir-fry with the garlic for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
12. Add in the broccoli florets and half of the chopped scallions. Stir to incorporate with the garlic and ground red pepper.
13. Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir.
14. Add the tofu, reduce the heat to between low and medium and allow everything to cook together while stirring regularly for approximately 10 minutes.
15. Serve on top of steamed rice, cauliflower rice or quinoa and top with the remaining scallions. Let the weekend vibes begin!
Also by Colette: Slow Cooker Vegan Vanilla Oatmeal
Related: Vegan Spicy Eggplant Tofu
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Photos: Colette Goguen