Crispy Orange Tofu

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This scrumptious Chinese-inspired orange tofu is made by smothering crispy pan-fried tofu chunks in a sweet, gingery orange sauce. Serve it with rice and steamed broccoli for a delicious dinner that can be ready in a flash!

Often I find the best source of vegetarian cooking inspiration stuffed into my kitchen junk drawer. That would be a Chinese take-out-menu!

Crispy orange chicken is a dish that I see featured on lots of those menus, so I’m guessing it’s a favorite. I decided to create a vegan version using tofu instead of chicken. As luck would have it, crispy orange tofu turned out to be one of my favorite dishes. It’s really easy to make and incredibly delicious.

Watch out, because these sweet little tofu bites are pretty darn addictive. You may want to make a double batch!

Jump to:
  • What You’ll Need
  • How to Make Orange Tofu
  • Leftovers & Storeage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Chinese-Inpsired Tofu Recipes
  • Crispy Orange Tofu

What You’ll Need

  • Tofu. I recommend using extra-firm or super-firm tofu for this recipe. Extra-firm tofu will need to be pressed before you start cooking.
  • Orange juice. I usually just buy a couple of oranges and juice them myself. This allows me to use the zest from them as well.
  • Cornstarch.
  • Brown sugar. Be sure to use organic sugar to keep the recipe vegan.
  • Soy sauce. Tamari or liquid aminos can be substituted.
  • Fresh ginger.
  • Garlic.
  • Orange zest.
  • Salt.
  • Peanut oil. Any high-heat oil can be substituted.
  • Fresh broccoli.
  • Scallions.
  • Sesame seeds.
  • Rice. Just about any variety works. I’m a big fan of jasmine rice for this dish.

How to Make Orange Tofu

The following is a summary of the process for making this dish, along with some tips. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the post if you’d like to skip to the full recipe!

  • To make the sauce, simply simmer orange juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and orange zest in a pot for a few minutes. To thicken the sauce, mix a bit more orange juice with some cornstarch, then add it to the pot. The sauce should thicken up as it simmers.
  • While the sauce simmers, fry your tofu. Dredge bite-sized pieces in cornstarch, then fry them in a small amount of oil in a skillet. Fry the pieces for a few minutes on each side until they’re crispy.
  • Tip: Don’t let your tofu pieces touch each other while they fry or they’ll stick together. Consider cooking the tofu in batches, transferring each batch to a paper towel-lined plate to drain between batches.
  • Pour the orange sauce over your cooked tofu. Toss everything to coat the tofu in sauce, and cook it for a minute or so, until it’s nice and hot.
  • Top your orange tofu with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.
  • Serve it with cooked rice and steamed broccoli.

Leftovers & Storeage

This dish is best served right away, as the tofu won’t stay crispy for long. If you do have leftovers, they’ll probably be a bit soggy (but still tasty). Store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this recipe be made gluten-free?

Sure! Just use gluten-free tamari in place of soy sauce.

Can this recipe be made oil-free?

Possibly. You could try leaving out the cornstarch and simply baking your tofu. Place it on parchment paper-lined baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes on each side at 400°F. You could also try making a reduced oil version by pan-frying your tofu without cornstarch using this method, or baking it using the method from this teriyaki tofu recipe.

Can I substitute a different vegetable for the broccoli?

Absolutely! Use your favorite steamed or stir-fried veggie, or a mix of them! Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, and snap peas would all be great choices.

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