|

Vegan Orange Tofu Recipe

Share this with a buddy!

Vegan Orange Tofu | This sweet and tangy plant-based twist on your favourite takeout indulgence, orange chicken. Crispy tofu pieces tossed in a homemade sticky orange sauce, served over rice with a sprinkle of sliced green onion. This easy orange tofu recipe will be your new go-to dinner!

Orange tofu in a bowl.

This crispy orange tofu recipe is the BEST. With an abundance of vegan protein options, and sauces bursting with flavour, this vegan orange chicken recipe proves that cooking can be commpassionate and flavourful.

Most Chinese restuarants offer orange chicken on their menus. This vegan version completely captures the essence of orange chicken, just with plant-based ingredients. The flavoured tofu and the sticky orange sauce create a perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and savoury, making this the ultimate crowd pleaser.

This recipe combines crispy baked tofu with a sweet orange sauce to create the perfect balance of sweet, savoury and tangy.

What type of tofu should I use for orange tofu?

The best type of tofu to use for orange tofu is anywhere from medium-firm to extra-firm. The firmer the tofu is, the less it will fall apart. Tofu with a lower water content, like extra firm, is best for coatings, breadings and frying.

Orange tofu in a bowl.

How to make tofu taste good

Flavourful tofu starts with preparing the tofu! Make sure to press the tofu by gently squeezing the liquid out by hand, and then wrapping it in paper towel and placing it under a heavy kitchen object, like a cast iron pan. This will press the liquid out of the tofu, allowing it to soak up more flavour from marinades and seasonings.

Then, tear the tofu cube into bite size pieces rather than cutting it into smaller tofu cubes. This provides a rougher texture that makes the tofu crispier when baked, and also provides more surface area for more sauce to coat.

Freezing the tofu seriously elevates the texture. The freezing changes the structure of the tofu, resulting in a meatier texture. The water in the tofu expands and then retracts once thawed, leaving tiny holes throughout, which are perfect for absorbing more sauce.

Should I use fresh oranges or orange juice?

I used fresh oranges for this recipe because fresh orange juice is a bit less sweet than store-bought orange juice, and tends to have more nutrients which can be destroyed during the factory processing of orange jucice. Use whichever you prefer. Nutritional value and sweetness may vary depending on which you choose.

If you use fresh oranges, you can also use the orange zest for in the sauce, or for a garnish.

Ingredients

More about the ingredients in this recipe. Exact measurements are below.

  • Extra firm tofu – This type of tofu has a fairly low water content which makes it sturdier than other types. You can also freeze the tofu and then thaw it for a meatier texture which is great for picking up sauce.
  • Orange juice I used fresh squeezed orange juice for this recipe but you can use any kind you want. Store-bought orange juice tends to be sweeter.
  • White vinegar – Vinegar brings a nice tanginess to the flavour profile.
  • Soya sauce – Umami flavour that makes this the perfect sweet and savoury dish.
  • White sugar – The right amount of sweetness will ensure the perfect balance of tang and sweetness. You could use brown sugar or experiment with maple syrup or agave.
  • Ginger and garlic – For depth of flavour. Ginger provides a fresh spiciness while garlic provides a powerful warmth.
  • Cornstarch – Used to make the tofu crispy while baking, and to thicken the orange sauce.

Instructions

  • Freeze the tofu in it’s original packaging and then thaw it. Freezing creates a meatier texture, and allows for the tofu to absorb more flavour.

Drain the liquid from the tofu package and then gently squeeze it the tofu brick in your hand. Then wrap it in paper towel and place it under a heavy kitchen object, like a cast iron pan. This will remove the liquid from the tofu brick.

Then, tear the tofu brick into bite size pieces. This will create a rougher texture and more surface area for sauce.

Place the tofu cubes into a medium sized bowl.

Tossing tofu pieces in cornstarch.

Drizzle the soy sauce over the tofu and gently mix. Then add the cornstarch and toss the cubes to evenly distribute it over alll of the cubes. Place them on a baking sheet and air fry for 7-8 minutes or bake for 12-14 minutes. Flip halfway through baking.

Mixing sauce ingredients.

Heat a sauce pan on medium heat. Add the orange juice, soya sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic and sugar. Whisk to combine.

Orange sauce starting to simmer.

Heat until the sauce is simmering.

Adding slurry to sauce.

Mix the cornstarch with the water and mix with a fork until smooth, then add it to the orange sauce.

Orange sauce thickening.

Whisk until the sauce becomes thicker, this may take 4-5 minutes.

Orange tofu piece on spatula.

Once the tofu is done cooking, add them directly into the saucepan and stir to coat them with the sauce.

Serve over rice or noodles, top with sliced green onion and fresh orange zest.

Orange tofu in a bowl with chopsticks.

Tips for making orange tofu

  • Freeze the tofu: Freeze the tofu block in it’s original packaging, and then thaw on the counter a few hours before making this recipe. Freezing the tofu alters the texture, creating a meatier texture and allows for more flavour absorption.
  • Tear the tofu into cubes: This creates a rougher texture and more surface area for the sweet orange sauce to cover.
  • Sweetness: Store-bought orange juice can taste sweeter than fresh orange juice, so taste the sauce as you make it and adjust the sugar levels by adding more or less sugar than the recipe card calls for.
  • Garnishes: Garnish with sliced green onion and orange zest for a little kick. For a nutty crunch, add toasted crushed cashews or almond to the top of the dish.

What to serve with vegan orange tofu

For an easy and satiating meal, serve the orange tofu with rice, rice noodles or chow mein and a side of sauteed veggies.

For an extra protein packed meal, enjoy a serving of quinoa with the orange tofu. Quinoa is super nutritious!

For a light and zesty crunch, make up a quick asian inspired slaw with sesame dressing.

Enjoy a yummy appetizer like my Vegan Lumpia. Try my Chinese inspired Vegan Chicken Balls.

Try another Chinese inspired recipe, try Vegan San Choy Bow.

Substitutions

  • This recipe is vegan!
  • Make this recipe gluten free by using certified gluten-free soy sauce, or by swapping out the soy sauce for tamari.
  • Feeling a spicy kick? Add some red pepper flakes to the orange sauce or top the dish with your favourite hot sauce.
  • Instead of serving the orange tofu with rice, try stir fried rice noodles and sauteed veggies.

Storage

Store leftovers in an air tight container and keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

For freezer storage, store in an air tight container to avoid freezer burn and store for up to 5-6 months.

This recipe is perfect for meal prep! You can make the entire recipe, as well as some rice and portion enough for 3-4 days. Keep in the fridge or freezer.

At meal time, simply reheat a single portion in the microwave for 4 minutes or until hot.

Orange tofu in a bowl.

FAQ’s

Is orange tofu good for meal prep?

Absolutely! Orange tofu is meal prep friendly and perfect for busy lives. You can make the orange tofu and some rice and then portion it into 3-4 servings. At meal time, heat a portion in the microwave until hot.

How can I adjust the sweetness of orange sauce?

Yes. For a sweeter sauce, add a tad more sugar or maple syrup. To tone down the sweetness, add a splash of rice vinegar. Taste as you go and you’ll nail the perfect balance.

Orange tofu in a bowl.

Vegan Orange Tofu Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Author: Erika Piper
This sweet and tangy plant-based twist on your favourite takeout indulgence, orange chicken. Crispy tofu pieces tossed in a homemade sticky orange sauce, served over rice with a sprinkle of sliced green onion. This easy orange tofu recipe will be your new go-to dinner!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
 
 

For the tofu

  • 300 grams tofu extra firm
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

For the orange sauce

  • 1 cup orange juice fresh or store-bought
  • 3 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger finely grated
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  • Drain the tofu of the liquid and then wrap in paper towel. Place under a heavy object like a cast iron pan, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Tear the tofu into bite sized pieces and place in a medium sized bowl. Drizzle the soya sauce over and mix. Then add the cornstarch and toss to evenly coat the pieces.
  • Transfer the tofu pieces to a parchment lined baking sheet, or to your air fryer basket. Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes or in the air fryer for 7-8 minutes. Flip halfway through.
  • While the tofu is baking, heat a pan on medium heat and add the orange juice, soya sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic and ginger. Whisk to combine and heat until simmering.
  • Stir together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and add it to the sauce to thicken it. This may take up to 5 minutes. Whisk occasionally.
  • Add the tofu pieces to the orange sauce and mix until fully coated. Serve with rice and top with sliced green onion.

Video

Notes

Freeze the tofu block in it’s original packaging, and then thaw. This alters the texture, creating a meatier texture, allowing for more flavour absorption.
Tear the tofu until bite sized pieces. This creates a rougher texture and more surface area for the sauce to cover.
Garnish with sliced green onion and orange zest for a little kick. For a nutty crunch, add toasted crushed cashews or almond.
Make this recipe gluten free by using certified gluten-free soy sauce, or tamari.
For spoce, add red pepper flakes to the sauce or top the dish with your favourite hot sauce.
Store leftovers in an air tight container and keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
For freezer storage, store in an air tight container to avoid freezer burn and store for up to 5-6 months.
This recipe is perfect for meal prep! You can make the entire recipe, as well as some rice and portion enough for 3-4 days. Keep in the fridge or freezer.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 134kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 8gFat: 2gFiber: 0.5gSugar: 9g
Tried this recipe?Mention @theveggieyaya or tag #theveggieyaya!

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.

Pinterest pin of vegan orange chicken in a bowl.

SHARE THIS RECIPE

Rating, commenting, and sharing my recipes really helps. Thanks for taking the time! Mention @theveggieyaya on Instagram.

Save this image to your Vegan Mains board on Pinterest.

Pinterest pin of vegan orange chicken in a bowl.

Share this with a buddy!

Similar Posts

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating