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General Tso's Tofu

General Tso's Tofu
General Tso's Tofu

This is our plant-based take on the classic Chinese takeaway dish, General Tso’s Chicken. It’s named after Qing dynasty statesman and military leader, Tso Tsung-t’ang, though no one knows why as it seems unlikely that he ever tasted the dish, which is a shame because it’s delicious! Crispy, sticky and sweet, this is tofu at its finest. For an extra nutty flavour, you could toast the sesame seeds briefly in a dry pan before sprinkling over the dish.

This recipe is super budget-friendly as it's from our latest book BOSH! On A Budget.


Before you start

Non-stick frying pan • Medium saucepan with a lid • Plate lined with kitchen paper


  • 280g plain firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp cornflour
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil

For the jasmine rice

  • 150g jasmine rice
  • 300ml cold water
  • 1 jasmine tea bag or jasmine flower
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

For the sauce

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp cane, coconut or brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese vinegar

To serve

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp dried Szechuan chillies or chilli flakes
  • handful of fresh chives


  1. 1.

    Marinate the tofu • Cut the tofu into 2cm cubes and put it in a bowl with the soy sauce and apple cider vinegar • Toss to coat • Set aside for 10 minutes

  2. 2.

    Meanwhile, make the jasmine rice • Rinse the rice under cold water for 1 minute • Tip into the saucepan and pour over the water • Add the tea bag or jasmine flower, star anise and salt • Cover and bring to the boil
    • Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and leave covered for about 12 minutes while you fry the tofu

  3. 3.

    Fry the tofu • Drain the tofu, setting the marinade aside for the sauce • Put the tofu in a clean bowl with the cornflour and toss to coat • Place the frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil •
    Fry the cubes in the hot oil until golden brown, then transfer to the plate lined with kitchen paper • Turn off the heat and leave the hot oil in the pan

  4. 4.

    Make the sauce • Peel and finely slice the garlic and add it to the tofu oil in the pan (it should sizzle and start to go brown) • Measure all the other sauce ingredients into a bowl • Pour in the leftover marinade
    • Whisk until smooth • Spoon a couple of large spoonfuls of starchy water from the top of the rice pan into the bowl • Turn the heat on to medium and pour in the sauce • Stir until it starts to thicken • Toss in the tofu and stir to coat

  5. 5.

    Serve • Fluff up the cooked rice with a fork and spoon it into bowls • Top with the tofu • Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and dried Szechuan chillies or chilli flakes, snip over the chives and serve