Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Tribute to the General

General Tso's is a top favorite Chinese dish of both J and mine. I actually have several favorites, but it is a very rare occasion when J does not order General Tso's when we get Chinese food. Because of our love for the dish, we thought it was about time to try to make it ourselves.

We had a lot of the ingredients that I wanted to use, but did have to buy the chili and ginger. I decided that we'd try it without the red pepper and onions this time to make it more simple and to concentrate on the flavors of the sauce.

Though it didn't turn out tasting as much like General Tso's Tofu from a restaurant as I wanted, it was still yummy! I think for next time, a little less soy sauce is needed as well as a little more sugar, chili, and vinegar. With this disclaimer, here is the recipe I created (with changes to use for my next attempt!):

2 pounds of firm tofu
1 red pepper, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
4 thinly sliced green onions
4 Thai chili peppers
Cornstarch for dipping
Canola oil for frying

Ingredients for Marinade:
2 Tablespoons minced ginger
4 cloves minced garlic
2 Thai chili peppers, diced
2 cups vegetable stock
4 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Slice and drain tofu. Freeze at least overnight.

Mix all ingredients for marinade except cornstarch. Defrost tofu chunks and let soak in marinade for at least 30 minutes. Once ready, drain tofu from marinade and set aside the liquids for sauce.

Dip tofu in cornstarch to lightly coat. Heat Canola oil in a pan and gently place tofu pieces. Fry until crispy.

In a separate pan, gently fry slices of red pepper with minced garlic and ginger. Add marinade mixture, chilies, and half of the green onions. Mix cornstarch with equal amount of cold water and add to marinade, stirring well.Bring to a boil and keep stirring over low heat till sauce thickens.

When tofu is crispy, serve with rice and broccoli. Top with sauce and remaining green onions.

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