Orange Tofu that is better than takeout! This vegan and gluten-free dinner recipe is easy to make and full of flavor thanks to the zesty orange glaze that perfectly coats the pan-fried crispy tofu.
Every bite is packed with flavor. You're going to want to add this to your weekly dinner rotation.
It's incredibly flavorful and the sauce would be amazing with other vegan protein sources as well. Feel free to switch it up and use seitan, vegan chicken, or tempeh!
So thankful for RAVE reviews I've gotten over this recipe! I've received countless photos on social media and everyone loves it. It was originally created January 2022 but I thought it deserved more love and new pictures. The recipe is exactly the same.
This orange tofu is sweet, tangy, and easy to make. Made with simple ingredients that you probably have in your pantry and fridge!
Extra-Firm Tofu: Extra-firm tofu is drained and pressed for at least 15 minutes. Pressing tofu will help get that perfectly crispy texture.
Seasonings: The tofu is tossed in cornstarch, garlic, onion, black pepper, and salt.
Vegetable Broth: Use a low-sodium soy sauce. This is the base of our zesty orange sauce.
Orange Juice: Fresh is best but bottled orange juice will work in a pinch. This gives our sauce it's strong orange flavor. Don't forget the orange zest as well.
Cane Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness to the sauce which is key to a balanced sauce. Sweet, tangy, and savory!
Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar is my personal favorite but white vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used as a substitute.
Tamari or Soy Sauce: Use tamari if you're gluten-free.
Chili Sauce: You can use your favorite chili sauce or sriracha sauce.
Cornstarch: This will thicken the sauce. It's very important!
See recipe card for quantities.
I highly recommend investing in a tofu press if you make a lot of tofu recipes. It has completely changed the way I cook tofu!
How to Make This Recipe
This orange tofu stir-fry is a delicious and easy dinner to make when you're craving takeout but want to save money.
I strongly believe this will turn any tofu hater into a tofu lover!
The full recipe can be found in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Press the tofu for at least 15 minutes to remove excess water. You can do this by using a tofu press or by making a DIY tofu press.
Step 2: Cube the tofu and toss in a large bowl.
Step 3: Coat in the tamari and toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle in the cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and a pinch of salt and toss carefully to coat.
Step 4: Heat a large pan on medium-high heat and coat the base of the pan in vegetable oil. Add the tofu to the pan in batches and pan-fry on each side until crispy and golden brown, 2-3 minutes each side.
Step 5: Don't overcrowd the pan. Once crispy, set aside.
Step 6: In a large pan, whisk together the sauce ingredients including the cornstarch until well incorporated.
Step 7: Bring the sauce to a soft boil and then reduce to a simmer on medium heat. Simmer until the sauce has thickened. Whisking often.
Step 8: Add the crispy tofu and toss in the sauce to coat. Allow the tofu to simmer in the sauce for a minute or two more until the sauce has reached your desired thickness.
Step 9: Top with orange wedges, green onions, and sesame seeds.
Step 10: Serve with rice and enjoy!
This zesty orange sauce can be served a variety of different ways. Try it on vegetables, tempeh, store-bought vegan chicken, or more! Get creative.
Extra-Firm Tofu: You can use seitan, tempeh, or store-bought vegan chicken for this vegan orange chicken recipe.
Fresh Orange Juice: I usually use freshly squeezed orange juice but if you're in a crunch, bottled orange juice does the trick.
Tamari: Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce so I use that but you can use regular low-sodium soy sauce as a good replacement. Liquid aminos will also work.
Rice Vinegar: White vinegar or apple cider vinegar will work just as well.
I often serve this vegan orange chicken over a bed of jasmine rice and topped with green onions. Simple yet satisfying dinner!
Rice or Noodles: Serve over a bed of jasmine rice, rice noodles, or udon noodles.
Vegetables: I often add sautéed onions and red peppers to mine but broccoli and bok choy are also delicious!
Cucumber Edamame Salad: My absolute favorite side is this simple cucumber edamame salad. It pairs perfectly with this orange tofu dish!
Storage & Reheating
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
Reheating: Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.
Freezing: I do not recommend freezing this recipe as it will change the texture of the tofu. You can however freeze the orange sauce.
Tips & Tricks
Press your tofu. Pressing improves the texture of the tofu and will also help the tofu crisp up in the pan.
Tofu Press: I recommend investing in a tofu press but you can make a diy tofu press easily by putting the tofu in between two plates and stacking heavy items on top.
Use cornstarch. Coating the tofu in cornstarch is key to getting the best crispy tofu. When combined with a little moisture it creates a coating that gets perfectly crisp and golden brown every time. I don't recommend ever skipping this step.
Don't overcrowd the pan! Be sure not to overcrowd the pan when frying. Overcrowding will cause the tofu to steam and it will never get crispy. I recommend frying in batches with lots of room in between each piece and removing the crispy pieces to a wire rack while you continue to fry the rest. Placing them on a paper towel or a plate will cause one side to become soggy.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you want crispy tofu, make sure to press your tofu and don't overcrowd the pan. Allow it to crisp up on each side before flipping.
You don't always have to but it depends on the recipe. It helps the tofu have a better texture and crisp up more evenly. I do recommend it for this recipe.
Tofu has a bland taste that needs flavor! Learn more about tofu by reading Tofu 101: What Does it Taste Like & How to Cook It?
More Tofu Recipes
If you love this recipe, try these tofu dishes next!
Vegan Orange Tofu
- ½ cup Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
- ¼ cup Fresh Orange Juice
- ¼ cup Organic Cane Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Low-Sodium Tamari or soy sauce
- Zest of ½ an Orange
- 1 teaspoon Chili Sauce or Sriracha
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- Press the tofu for at least 15 minutes to remove excess water. You can do this by using a tofu press or by making a DIY tofu press. To do so, simply wrap the block of tofu in paper towels or clean dishcloths and place it in a shallow bowl. Then, stack heavy items on top to drain the excess water.
- Cube the tofu and toss in a large bowl. Coat in the tamari and toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle in the cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and a pinch of salt and toss carefully to coat.
- Heat a large pan on medium-high heat and coat the base of the pan in vegetable oil. Add the tofu to the pan in batches and pan-fry on each side until crispy and golden brown, 2-3 minutes each side. Don't overcrowd the pan. Drain on wire rack. See above for more tips on frying tofu.
- In a large pan, whisk together the sauce ingredients including the cornstarch until well incorporated. Bring the sauce to a soft boil and then reduce to a simmer on medium heat. Simmer until the sauce has thickened. Whisking often.
- Add the crispy tofu and toss in the sauce to coat. Allow the tofu to simmer in the sauce for a minute or two more until the sauce has reached your desired thickness.
- Serve over rice and top with green onions, orange slices, and sesame seeds. Enjoy!