just_eat_it (just_eat_it) wrote,

General Tso's Tofu

I was curious who General Tso was at all. Wikipedia has a couple articles on him and the food. 1 2. He's quite the celebrity.

The sauce used in General Tso stuff is something a lot of people are probably familiar with (usually chicken if you're at a Chinese take-out restaurant). Mine came pre-made straight out of a bottle, but if you don't have that it's probably easy enough to make. Here is a version from another website, though it doesn't sound very similar to what I used. Mine lists sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, food starch, tomato paste, garlic, red peppers and onions. Whichever type of thing you prefer, I guess.

What you'll need for this recipe:

-1/2 cup of olive oil
-14oz package of tofu
-6-10oz broccoli (steamed beforehand)
-2 red, yellow or green peppers cut into strips
-2 white onions peeled and cut into 8ths (the layers will separate when cooking)
-General Tso's sauce (explained below)
-2 cups (pre-cooked) white rice

The rice takes the longest amount of time to cook so you should so that before anything else. Just keep and eye on it so it doesn't get burned. Tofu, broccoli and the other vegetables all cook at different rates, so it helps if the broccoli is cooked separately, or steamed beforehand. Cooking broccoli along in with the tofu, peppers and onions won't work out so well.

Start by cutting the tofu into 1" cubes. Dump it into the pre-warmed olive oil. Fry and stir it around, being careful not to rip the tofu apart, for about 10 minutes or until it gets slightly brown on the outside. Dump in the peppers and onions, and stir them around for a minute. Now is the time to gradually pour the sauce over those ingredients, while stirring it all so the sauce mixes with the remainder of the oil in the pan and coats the ingredients evenly. I like a little mustard powder mixed in at this point (or a couple packages of that hot yellow mustard you can get at Chinese take-out places- chances are you have some in the bottom of your fridge from a year or two ago already). Cook all the ingredients for a minute before adding the broccoli. Cook more until the peppers and onions begin to get soft and the sauce has cooked into the tofu (around 3 minutes).

Put it over the rice, (which should be done by now).

Sambal is nice too, if you want it to be spicier. I've thought about adding pineapple or mandarin orange slices to the recipe, but it's all very sweet to begin with, so I'd have to make a different version of the sauce using less sugar if I wanted to do that (otherwise it'd be like eating candy practically). Also, if you're one of those people who turn your nose up at tofu no matter what, chicken can probably be used as a substitute easily enough, just make sure to cook it long enough.
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