General Tso's Tempeh

This sauce can be used for Tofu, Tempeh or even chicken if you roll that way. It is a little sweet, a little hot and very orange-y. Currently, my favorite dish. I know it is probably not exactly the General Tso you are used to, maybe it should be called General Tang's Tempeh or just a pseudo Asian dish I made up. Whatever it is, it is tasty.
Serves 2 generously

Vegetables

Use your favorites. Broccoli is traditional and can stand alone, but I often use onion, broccoli and carrots. I just made a batch with mixed veg. I used:

Sauce and Tempeh

  • orange peel: carve off the peel in large strips or chunks, cut into 1" lengths
  • fresh orange juice, from one orange (about 1/2 cup or more)
  • 1 T chopped ginger root
  • garlic, 2 cloves finely chopped (or 1/2-1 teaspoon of roasted garlic)
  • 6-10 small dried red chili peppers*, the number will depend on how hot you like things and the kind of chili you are using
  • 1/3 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T mirin
  • 4 T rice (or white)vinegar
  • 4 T sugar
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T sriracha*
  • 1/4 t. red pepper flakes*
  • 2-3 T. cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 6 oz tempeh, sliced
  • 2-3+ T of (organic) canola oil
  • 1T cornstarch mixed with 2T of water
  • 1/2 cup cashews or peanuts, optional, but adds some nice crunch and protein

* vary the amount of these ingredients to control the heat. The amounts I have listed make a medium HOT sauce. If you want a milder sauce, leave out the siracha, and use less red pepper flake.

Mix the sauce ingredients (from Vegetable stock to honey)together in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat 1-2 T of canola oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat. You may need to add a bit more oil as you cook. Brown the tempeh on all sides until is a deep golden brown. If using Tofu, you can pre-fry it now or stir-fry it before you add it with the vegetables.

Next, in the leftover oil cook the dried chilies until they are quite dark in color. Remove them from the pan and reserve.

Cook the orange peel until it begins to brown around the edges. Remove it from the pan and reserve with the chilies.

Cook the vegetables.
Methods (pick one):

  1. Par-boil any veg that takes a long time, such as mature green beans or large broccoli florets. This means you cook the veg in boiling water for 2-6 minutes depending on the doneness desired. The cooked vegetables can then be added back into the pan at the end of cooking with the sauce until re-heated.
  2. Sautee/stir fry each ingredient separately until almost done. Reserve each, to be added back into the sauce at the end of cooking.
  3. Stir fry the broccoli briefly, then toss 1/2 cup of water into the hot pan and cover for 2-3 minutes, over medium high heat to steam the broccoli. When the water has evaporated, continue to stir fry everything else.
  4. Stir-fry the vegetable to the correct doneness by adding each to the pan in succession. Begin with the vegetables that take longer to cook. Finish with those that do not take as long. This last method takes a bit more experience to master.

Just before the vegetables are done, add the reserved sauce, until it bubbles, then return the chilies, orange peel, cashews and tempeh to the pan. Stir the cornstarch and water mixture to combine and add to the sauce. When everything is heated through and thickened slightly, sprinkle the cilantro and nuts on top.

Serve over brown rice. Enjoy!

Links to fascinating articles about what is in the food you eat. Of course, you may never want to eat fast food again.

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