Orange tofu is a sweet, sour, and spicy recipe that evokes this classic Chinese-inspired dish's tastes and flavors without the need for any meat!
Our recipe takes extra-firm tofu prepared with a crispy outer coating, and it cooks it up in a deliciously vegan, tangy orange sauce. You can serve your orange tofu as a stir fry, with noodles, or with a steaming bowl of healthy brown rice.
Get your tofu press ready because this recipe is one sweet and sour dish that you’ll be hooked on! Here’s how to make orange tofu.
How to make orange tofu
Makes 2 servings of orange tofu
Ingredients for crispy tofu
- 16-oz package of extra-firm tofu
- 3 Tbsp of cornstarch
- 4 Tbsp of sesame oil
Ingredients for orange sauce
- 1 c of orange juice
- ¼ c of soy sauce
- ¼ c of maple syrup
- ¼ c of rice vinegar
- 1 tsp of sriracha sauce
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp of ground ginger
- 2 Tbsp of cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp of water
Ingredients to serve
- Brown rice
- Chopped green onions
- Sesame seeds
- Press the excess liquid from your block of extra-firm tofu using a tofu press. For the best results, press the tofu for a minimum of 20 min.
- While you’re pressing your tofu, get your rice cooking on the stove. Set up a large pot of water on the stovetop, bring it to a boil, and allow your rice to cook for the length of time specified on the packet.
- When your tofu is pressed and drained, cut the block into small cubes, roughly 1-inch each in size.
- Measure out cornstarch into a mixing bowl and thoroughly coat each cube of tofu.
- Heat sesame oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and pan-fry the tofu cubes for 3 min. on each side.
- When your pan-fried tofu is golden brown on the outside, turn off the heat. Place the tofu onto paper towels or a drying rack to remove any excess oil.
- Next, mix together the orange chicken tofu sauce by measuring the orange sauce ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- Keep the cornstarch and water in a separate mixing bowl. Mix both sets of ingredients independently.
- Wipe the oil out of your pan, and return it to the heat. Pour your orange sauce into the pan and bring to a boil.
- Then add your cornstarch to thicken the sauce in the pan.
- Add your tofu to the sauce to create your mandarin tofu, then gently fry it for a minute while ensuring each cube is coated.
- Serve your orange tofu with your brown rice, and garnish with chopped green onions and a few sesame seeds!
Orange Tofu FAQs
That’s it for the orange tofu recipe, but this is one recipe with a little room for variation. Check out our top tips for cooking up the best orange tofu at home. Keep reading to find out more.
Can I bake my orange tofu instead of frying?
Instead of pan-frying your tofu, you can bake your tofu in the oven.
To bake the tofu in the oven, you’ll prepare your tofu in the same way, by pressing it, slicing it, then coating it in cornstarch. Preheat your oven to 400°F, and place your cubes of tofu onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray (to stop them from sticking). Bake your tofu in the oven for 30 minutes or until they reach the desired crispness.
You then prepare your orange sauce in the pan and mix the two together once your tofu has baked through. Baking is a little healthier than frying, as you don’t need to use any oil, and you reduce the number of saturated fats in the meal. It’s also easy to crisp up your tofu in the oven for a nice, golden-brown finish!
Can I add vegetables to this recipe?
You’ll notice that our recipe only focuses on the tofu and the sauce, but you can easily add extra ingredients and cook up a full-on orange tofu stir fry. We suggest adding in a few stir fry vegetables for a crunchy addition to the dish.
Bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, and even a few fresh chilis all work really well. Simply fry them in a wok in a little oil, then mix them in with your orange tofu at the end before serving with rice.
Depending on how many vegetables you cook, you might want to prepare more orange sauce to cover them.
Can I use other types of tofu?
We need our tofu to hold its shape when it’s fried or baked at high temperatures for this recipe to work. We are essentially using the tofu as a meat substitute to replace what would usually be chicken in this sort of recipe. To create our tofu orange ‘chicken,’ we need extra-firm tofu.
Extra-firm tofu holds its shape well and becomes very meat-like when it’s cooked. This gives us the perfect texture and consistency we are looking for. Other types of tofu, such as soft or silken, are far too soft and delicate for this recipe. More delicate versions will collapse, leaving us with a mushy stir fry rather than solid tofu cubes.
Why do I need to press the tofu before cooking it?
The most crucial part of any tofu recipe is the pressing process. Remember to press your tofu before cooking because we need to remove the excess water. Pressing the tofu stops our tofu from tasting watery when we cook with it, and it allows the tofu to absorb more of the flavors of the orange sauce.
The best way to press tofu is by using a tofu press, but you can also use heavy kitchen objects to get the job done. Either way, leave your tofu to press for 20 minutes to remove excess water before cooking.
What does tofu taste like?
Because tofu is a secondary product of soymilk, it has almost no taste of its own. The taste Overall, tofu is pretty bland. Anyone who is very sensitive to taste may even liken the mild taste to beans. But this super bland initial taste is precisely what makes tofu so fantastic; it doesn't have its own flavor, so it readily absorbs any flavor of your choosing.
Will you be making orange tofu?
Orange tofu is a tangy and zesty addition to your dinner plans. Easy to make and quick to cook up, this tasty Asian- style orange sauce adds a new depth to tofu “chicken.”
Choose to cook up an orange tofu stir fry with rice or pan-fry tofu to top a plate of noodles!
Will you be making orange tofu at home? Save our orange tofu recipe for later!