This is our plant-based take on the classic Chinese takeout dish, General Tso’s Chicken. It’s named after Oing 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 flavor, you could toast the sesame seeds briefly in a dry pan before sprinkling over the dish. This goes great with our Homemade Tofu (page 222).
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Here’s how to make it:
- Marinate the tofu. Cut the tofu into 3/4-inch cubes and put it in a bowl with the soy sauce and apple cider vinegar. Toss to coat, Set aside for 10 minutes.
- 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 a boil. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and leave covered for about 12 minutes while you fry the tofu.
- Fry the tofu. Drain the tofu, setting the marinade aside for the sauce. Put the tofu in a clean bowl with the cornstarch and toss to coat. Place the skillet over 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 paper towels. Turn off the heat and leave the hot oil in the pan.
- 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 to medium and pour in the sauce. Stir until it starts to thicken. Toss in the tofu and stir to coat.
- 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 chilies or chili flakes, snip over the chives, and serve.
Excerpted from BOSH! on a Budget by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby. Reprinted with permission of HarperCollins, 2022.
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