General Tsao’s Tofu

Not sure if you like tofu? How about tofu deep-fried in a delicious sort of spicy, sweet glazed doughnut? Best served over sticky-rice alongside matchbook carrot pickles. Sliced cucumber and peanut sauce complete the meal.

1/4 cup and 1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup and 1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup hot broth
1 lb. firm tofu
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brewer’s yeast
1 cup vegetable oil
5 -6 chives
6 Thai chilis

In a medium bowl combine 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water. Mix together. Add garlic, ginger, sugar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, and white wine vinegar. Add broth and whisk together. Set aside the sauce or refrigerate until needed.

Slice the tofu into pieces about the size of a domino. In a large stockpot, whisk the 1/2 soy sauce, pepper, and egg. Place the tofu in the egg / soy sauce mixture, mix carefully, and allow to marinade at least twenty minutes. Then stir in the 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1/2 cup flour, and brewer’s yeast. Add a splash of oil to help separate tofu and stir to coat.

Heat the vegetable oil in a cast iron pan over medium high heat. Add the tofu, using a slotted spoon or fork. Fry until crisp and brown on each side, then set aside on a cloth-covered plate to drain.

Wipe out the pan and return to heat. Add a splash of oil and dice the Thai chiles and chives very small. Add these to the warm pan.* When these have heated through, add the sauce and stir. As this warms, add the fried tofu and stir until thickened. Serve immediately.

*You may want saute the thai chilis separately as a sort of choka to pour on top later. The sauce as-is is probably too hot for most little ones.

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