Surely you’ve heard about the famous General Tso’s Chicken. I guess when a dish is named after someone, it must have been his favourite, right? But after much googling, apparently it’s not 🙂 So, who is this General Tso and why named after him when it’s got nothing to do with him?
According to China Sichuan Food, General Tso dishes are created by a famous chef in Taiwan, Changgui Peng, who specialises in Hunan dishes. This well-loved American chinese dish was created accidentally one night when the Taiwan Premier visited Peng’s restaurant. Without many ingredients on hand, he quickly whip up a chicken dish stir-fried with ginger, chopped garlic, vinegar and soy sauce. The Premier loved it so much that he asked for the name of the dish. Peng quickly named the dish after General Tso.
So, after hearing so much of General Tso, I have attempted Domestic Superhero‘s vegetarian version by using tofu, which by the way, tastes awesome too! The crispy skin tofu and sauce goes really nicely with a bowl of hot steamed rice.
General Tso’s Tofu (adapted from Domestic Superhero)
1 block firm tofu
3 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
3 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 shakes chilli flakes (optional)
4 green onions, chopped
3 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
1. Firstly, we need to dry the tofu. Drain excess water from tofu by placing the tofu on 2 clean kitchen towels on a plate. Then place another 2 clean kitchen towels to cover the tofu. Sit a plate on top of the tofu for about 30 minutes. This help to drain excess liquid from the tofu.
2. While waiting for the tofu to drain, mix the sugar, hoisin sauce, ketchup, rice vinegar, soy sauce, water and chilli flakes together in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Heat a pan on medium heat. Pour about 1 inch of vegetable oil and let it heat up. Cut the tofu into 1″ squares. Dust each tofu squares with corn starch and then slowly place it into the hot oil and let it fry until brown all around and crispy outside. Repeat with the rest of the tofu. Make sure you don’t over crowd the pan. Remove and drain.
4. Heat the pan again and add sesame oil, onions and chopped ginger. Fry about 1 minute or until fragrant. Pour the sauce mixture into the pan and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer and leave it for about 2-3 minutes. Return the fried tofu back in the pan and toss to evenly coat the tofu with sauce.
5. Serve with steamed rice.