Friday, October 31, 2008

general tao's tofu & veggies

the original recipe is one of vegan folklore on i made some serious modifications to the recipe, partially because the original calls for so much sugar. i do realize that general tao's sauce is sorta sweet anyway, but i just couldn't bring myself to do it. so, although vegweb was the inspiration, below you will find miss v's own less sweet general tao's tofu & veggies.

  • 1 container of extra firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1½ tablespoons sesame or coconut oil
  • 1½ tablespoons ginger (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1-1½ tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup vegan hoisin sauce
  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) vegetable stir fry medley (or more)

tofu prep:
gently squeeze tofu to drain initial water, and then press to rid it of excess moisture. to press: place two layers of papers towels on a plate, place tofu on towels, and another two layers of paper towels on top. put on another plate, an top with a can of veggies or something for a weight. so basically, you will have plate-towels-tofu-towel-plate-weight. let stand for about 15 minutes. after pressing tofu, cut tofu into 1-inch cubes, and freeze. this gives the tofu a firmer and 'meatier' texture. be sure and thaw for at least 4 or 5 hours prior to making recipe.

after thawing, place tofu on paper towels again to remove some moisture that will drain off. on a large plate, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. put tofu cubes on plate and press into cornstarch. sprinkle the other 2 tablespoon of cornstarch on top, and gently roll tofu around until it's lightly coated. heat sesame or coconut oil in wok on 350 (medium-high heat).
drop tofu in and let brown on each side for about 4 to 5 minutes. after about 20 minutes of browning (if needed), turn the heat up to 400 (high) and crisp up the tofu. pull out and place in bowl. if you follow the tofu prep instructions, you should have nice crispy cubes, *scarily* similar to chicken.

in wok on 350, heat ginger, garlic, chili oil, rice vinegar, agave nectar, chili garlic sauce and soy sauce. after about 30 seconds, put in the vegetable medley (i use asparagus stir fry). then add in about 1 cup of a pepper strips medley. after stir frying veggies for about 5 minutes, add the vegetable broth and hoisin sauce. turn up heat to about 375 and cook for about 7-10 minutes, until sauce has thickened. turn off wok, and immediately drop tofu in and stir up.

top with sesame seeds and serve with rice. i add additional siriacha sauce to my bowl because i like a lot of heat. so although it's not as sweet as traditional general tao's, this is soooo good and to me it tastes exactly like chinese take out. total kitchen time is about an hour, and i'd say it serves about 3-4, depending on the appetites involved.


Georgia said...

THANKYOU!! I have also been scared off by the insane amount of sugar in that recipe and so never got round to making it - this may be the inspiration I need - it looks good and I am sure it tastes mmmm....

Mihl said...

That looks really great! Thank you for the step by step.

Meg said...

Thank you! Thank you! This is awesome. It is one of my favorites and now I can make a healthy version with veggies!

allularpunk said...

thanks for making a version of this with less sugar! that's one of the main reasons i've never tried it on my own. that scary chickeny tofu looks awesome!

...wouldn't this be better with some kraut mixed in...?

Anonymous said...

general tso's is my FAVORITE! nice idea!

Adam said...

Yo Miss V... you just rocked my childhood memory world. This is the true go-to Chinese-American dish, but all dressed up and healthy-ized. Great job. I always thought it was too wicked sweet too :)

And you run in 5 feet of snow? Well it's nice to know I have a friend to bail me out when the roads are closed :)

Kirstin said...

Love that you can see the garlic and tofu floating around in the sauce in the photo!

jessy said...

oh WOW! thanks for the recipe! oh my goodness - your general tao's looks absolutely amazing! i love the recipe and the use of agave nectar. totally gonna have to try this! thanks again! :D

Chef E said...

Have you ever cooked with TVP? I have and I wonder if TVP chunks would work with this? I have tasted it at Whole Foods Market.

The Peanut Butter Boy said...

Looks wonderful, General Tso's is a great dish, way to healthy it up!
I agree, I wouldn't add too much sugar either, it's still dinner...

Usha said...

Looks yum....there is an award waiting for you at my blog, please check it out :-)

Destiny's Vegan Kitchen said...

That shit is addictive! I agree that it is really sugary though.

JennShaggy said...

No, YOU, Ms. V, are freakin' vegan-tastic.