SugarHouse Mama

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

General Tao's Tofu

Now before you start rolling your eyes and grumbling about the tofu, I'll have you know this recipe is delicious. Robert and Adjoa gave a hearty thumbs up. It also received rave reviews and is incredibly popular on vegweb.com. Oh, and it only has about 300 calories per serving.

So there.

General Tao's Tofu


  • 1 box of firm tofu
  • egg substitute for 1 egg - I just used an egg. It increases the calories and isn't very vegetarian, but I don't really care about all that at the moment.
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • vegetable oil for frying - I used olive oil because I don't typically have vegetable oil on hand unless I'm baking a lot of goodies. Which I haven't been lately. Sigh. Olive oil is also sweeter than vegetable oil, so you can get away with using less sugar than the recipe calls for later.
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger - I recommend using fresh ginger. This really makes the dish and is soooo yummy. I added a little extra ginger because I love it.
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic - I also recommend using fresh garlic. The flavor is just so much better than dried garlic.
  • 2/3 cup vegetable stock - I was out of vegetable stock, so I had to use chicken stock. It helped give the dish more of a chicken flavor.
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce - Use low sodium soy sauce, if you have it.
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar - This is a lot of sugar, and the dish is sweet. You can easily reduce the amount of sugar and still have a super yummy dinner.
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon sherry (optional) - I didn't put this in and we didn't miss a thing
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • Cayenne Pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups steamed vegetables - I used a frozen stir-fry mix

Tofu Preparation:

This takes a little forethought and a little preparation, but it makes all the difference in the world. Whenever you are using tofu as a meat substitute, I would highly recommend taking a few extra steps here. It makes all the difference in the world and helps the tofu have a more chicken-like consistency. You are going to drain, press, and freeze the tofu.

  • When you get home from the store, immediately remove and drain the tofu.
  • Place a dish towel on the counter, lay a paper towel on top and place the tofu in the center.
  • Cover the tofu with another paper towel and another dish towel.
  • You need to add some weight. A book or two works. I put a plate on top and a water bottle filled with water. The extra weight will help press out the water.
  • Let it sit for a while.
  • Slice the tofu horizontally so you have 2 rectangles, half as thick.
  • Put it in the freezer. I remove the tofu the day before I want to use it and just stick it in the refrigerator.

Directions:

Cut prepared, thawed tofu into 1 inch chunks. Mix the egg replacer as specified on the box and add an additional 3 tablespoons water. Dip tofu in egg replacer/water mixture and coat completely. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cornstarch over tofu and coat completely. Watch out that the cornstarch doesn't clump up at the bottom of the bowl.

Heat oil in pan and fry tofu pieces until golden. Drain oil.

Heat 3 Tablespoons oil in pan on medium heat. Add green onions, ginger and garlic, cook for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn garlic. Add vegetable stock, soy sauce, sugar, red bell pepper and vinegar. Mix 2 Tablespoons water with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and pour into mixture stirring well. Add cayenne pepper to taste. Add fried tofu and steamed vegetables and coat evenly.

Serve immediately over your choice of rice.

Serves: 4 - We actually got about 5 servings out of this. Once you add the rice, it fills you up fast.

Preparation time: 30 Minutes

2 comments:

PLANET HANSEN said...

I love Tofu! I lived in Japan for 7 1/2 years and learned there are LOTS of ways to eat it but I have never seen this recipe!! I'm excited! Thanks for sharing it Jessica.

The Hullingers said...

Is it socially acceptable to drool on one's keyboard? This looks and sounds tasty. I would have to hide the Tofu from the boys but I've done it before.