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If you are looking for a quick and incredibly tasty recipe with tofu, you just found it!
Delicious caramelized tofu with basmati in just 20 minutes!
General Tso's tofu. A vegan recipe that will amaze you!


History and origins of General Tso's recipe

The Chinese chef Peng Chang-kuei (Peng Chang Gui / 彭长贵), from Hunan Province, created the dish of the same name to be served to the US Navy crew when the latter visited Taiwan. They tasted it, they loved it, and they ordered it again. So Peng decided to give it a name. He named him after General Tso, who was an emblematic figure in his hometown of Hunan. The General's full name was Zuo Zongtang (Tso Tsung-t'ang / 左宗棠) and he lived from 1812 to 1885. General Tso was also a politician and was one of those distinguished for his assistance to the last Chinese Qing dynasty.

Peng then opened his own restaurant in Taiwan (or Taipei, the capital of the Republic of China) with traditional Hunan cuisine that also included General Tso's.

But the popularity of the dish today is attributed to various Chinese chefs in America who have included the dish in their menu by making several variations of it, adapting it to American culture. But mainly it is attributed to the chef Tsung Ting Wang in New York, where he spread the traditional Sichuan cuisine in America. Tsung Ting Wang added a variant of General Tso's to his menu, as it is said that he was the one who added sugar to the recipe. This variation of General Tso's recipe has become so popular that it is even served in Hunan Province (where the original recipe first originated).

Our vegan General Tso's tofu recipe

Our vegan General Tso's tofu recipe is inspired by the traditional recipe, which is not plant-based (General Tso's chicken 左宗棠雞). We veganized it using tofu. Thus, it's also fasting and vegetarian!

The tofu is tender with a light crust, sweet and salty. It is perfectly balanced with orange juice, ginger, garlic, sesame, and spring onion.

It is packed with flavor and you will literally be licking your fingers!

Try our vegan recipe for caramelized tofu with basmati rice or else General Tso's tofu today!


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Photo of a vegan dish of general Tso's tofu with basmati rice in a bowl and a pair of chopsticks.

Caramelized tofu with basmati - General Tso's tofu

Caramelized tofu with basmati in 20 minutes, garnished with sesame seeds and spring onion. General Tso's tofu, a quick and easy vegan recipe that will amaze you!
5 from 4 votes
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Course: Main Courses, Appetizers
Cuisine: Asian, Vegan, Chinese, Vegetarian
Keywords: tofu, vegan, caramelized, Chinese, rice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 portions
Calories: 472kcal
Author: Thodoris Tibilis


For the marinade

For the tofu

  • 200  g natural tofu (firmed tofu)
  • 3 Tbsp corn flour
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp crushed ginger or ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

For the sauce

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp corn flour

For the rice

  • cup basmati rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 slice ginger (optional)
  • salt


  • 1 fresh onion
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds



  • Add the water, rice, ginger, and salt in a pot and simmer for 15 minutes.


  • Mix well all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl.

Caramelized tofu (General Tso's tofu)

  • We press the tofu gently between our palms to get rid of the many liquids. Cut it into small cubes. Put the cubes in the marinade and leave them for 5 minutes.
  • Put the corn flour with the tofu (without the marinade) in a plastic bag and shake to cover the tofu. Alternatively, lay the tofu on a plate, sprinkle with corn flour, and mix well.
  • Sauté the tofu, with 3 Tbsp olive oil, over medium heat until golden brown on all sides (about 10 minutes) and keep aside on kitchen paper.
  • Make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients for the sauce in the same bowl you made the marinade keeping any marinade left.
  • In a hot pan sauté the chopped garlic for half a minute over very low temperature. Add the crushed ginger and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the sauce and once caramelized, add the tofu and stir well.


  • Serve immediately. Put the rice in a bowl, then the tofu, and sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped spring onion.


To save time, while the tofu is being marinated, bring the rice to a boil and finely chop the garlic, spring onion and crush the ginger.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1034mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 56IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 2mg

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