General Tso's Tofu
*THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS
I have been on a major Tofu kick lately! It's probably because I've discovered the saving grace of Tofu-cooking that is the Tofu Press. Seriously, this thing is amazing!
I also have a love for salty noodle dishes. I mean, who doesn't love noodles?! But, being gluten-free, it can sometimes be challenging to create a hearty noodle dish at home that doesn't taste like cardboard…until now! This combo of rice noodles and tofu really, really hit the spot for me!
In one of the last posts (Crispy, Sweet & Spicy Tofu), I relented over how difficult it can be to make a "crispy" tofu. I've spent many hours trying to cook tofu just right, and I've probably wasted more tofu than I care to admit. I usually managed to make something delicious, but it was definitely not without effort! Then, one day, I was walking down an aisle at Trader Joe’s and I happened to notice something that made me jump up and down in excitement AND give myself a major face-palm at the same time for all the time I wasted struggling with soggy soy bean bits.
Did you know there is such a thing as "Super Firm" tofu?! Typically, at most grocery stores I frequent, they only have Silken, Medium, Firm, and Extra Firm. I've heard that Extra Firm is the way to go, but it requires so much work to get it right, and sometimes after a long day, I just need a "lazy," quick recipe in the kitchen. Well, my friends, let me tell you…Super Firm is completely effortless!!
No more accidentally demolishing your tofu block, no more making sure you coat it with just enough (but not too much) corn starch, and no more sticking to the bottom of your pan and ruining your tofu dreams! This product is a straight-out-of-the-package, press, and GO kind of tofu that is so crispy and so easy to work with! (Cue angelic harp music!)
For this recipe, you'll want to cook everything separately and then simmer it all together for a few minutes at the end. Start boiling a pot of well-salted water. Once the water is boiling, remove it from the heat, add the rice noodles, and let sit for 8-10 minutes. Give it a stir, occasionally, to ensure the noodles are not clumping together. When the time is up, drain and rinse the noodles with cold water and set aside.
While the noodles are doing their thing, you can start making your sauce. Mix Soy sauce, rice vinegar, cooking sherry (or rice wine), minced garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper, and chili paste (optional) together in bowl and save for tossing everything together in the end. If you like your General Tso Sauce to be on the thicker side, you can whisk in about ½ tsp of corn starch to this mix. For this recipe, I wanted the sauce to have more of a "Low-Mein consistency" versus a "Dan Dan Noodle-like" sauce, so it's really all about your own personal preference.
Next, slice your pressed tofu into bite-sized pieces and give them a quick toss in some salt, pepper, and 1 tsp of lime juice before throwing them in a pan with 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil. If you'd prefer a more nutty flavor, you can also use sesame oil, but I find that it sometimes destroys my pan if I don't use enough, due to its low burn temp. Sauté the tofu on medium heat until golden brown and set aside.
Take the same pan and add the last 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil. Sauté the broccoli and onions for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Finally, throw the cooked tofu, noodles, shredded carrots, and sauce mix back into the pan with, stir really well to coat everything with sauce, cover, and simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow the tofu and noodles to absorb the flavors from the sauce.
This dish was really simple to make, especially since I've found that Super Firm tofu. It really makes all the difference! This recipe will definitely be added to my weekly rotation!