This delicious orange tofu features crispy pan-fried tofu and veggies in an addictive sweet and sticky orange sauce.
This tofu recipe is a plant-based adaptation of orange chicken you might find somewhere like Panda Express.
The tofu is coated in cornstarch and pan-fried for a crisp result, then paired with stir-fried veggies and a fresh orange glaze.
Why Make this Recipe
- It takes 20 minutes to press the tofu but once that’s done the recipe is super quick to make.
- It’s easy to customize with different veggies.
- The tofu can be baked, air-fried or pan-fried.
- You’ll love the addictive sticky, sweet orange sauce made with fresh orange juice.
- Light, fresh and zesty flavour.
- It’s made with simple, everyday ingredients.
You can find the full recipe with quantities at the end of the post. The following sections cover some notes on the ingredients and step-by-step photos to help you make this recipe perfectly every time.
- Tofu: Use extra-firm tofu for best results.
- Cornstarch: This makes the tofu have a crispy exterior.
- Garlic & Ginger: You can use garlic powder and ground ginger in a pinch but fresh garlic and ginger add the best flavour.
- Orange Juice: You’ll need about 3 orange to squeeze out 3/4 cup of orange juice. A citrus juicer works or you can use an orange juicer if you have one. If you have neither, just squeeze the best you can. If you prefer, you can use store-bought 100% pure orange juice.
- Orange Zest: Use a citrus planer, fine grater or sharp knife to make 2 tsp orange zest from the orange peel. Make sure you’re just using the outermost layer of peel, as the spongy white pith will make the sauce bitter.
- Soy Sauce: I’d suggest low-sodium soy sauce. For a gluten-free option you can use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos.
- Sweetener: Brown sugar or coconut sugar work well.
- Sriracha: Adds mild heat to the recipe. If you’re sensitive to spice, you can omit this.
- Veggies: The recipe calls for broccoli, bell peppers and green onions but you can customize these as needed or omit the veggies all together and just make the tofu.
How to Make Orange Tofu
Step 1: Press the tofu and prepare the sauce. Use a tofu press or heavy object to press the tofu for 20 minutes.
This will squeeze out excess moisture so the tofu can absorb more of the yummy orange sauce!
If you don’t have tofu press, cut the block of tofu in half lengthwise so you have two thinner rectangles. Wrap the rectangles in a dish towel or a couple layers of paper towel and place them on a plate or cutting board.
Place a heavy object like a cast-iron skillet, heavy pot or some heavy books on them and let them sit.
While the tofu is sitting, mix the orange sauce ingredients together in a small bowl or jar using a whisk or fork until fully combined.
Step 2: Fry the tofu.
When you’re ready to proceed, cube the tofu and toss with the cornstarch, garlic powder and salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tbsp oil (olive, avocado, coconut or sesame) in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the tofu and cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping occasionally until the cubes are golden brown and crisp on all sides. Remove the cubes from the pan and set aside.
Quick Note: If you prefer, you can place the tofu cubes on a baking sheet and bake at 400 F for 25-30 minutes until crispy.
Step 3: Cook the veggies.
Add the broccoli, bell peppers and most of the green onion to the same pan (save some for topping).
If needed, you can add a little extra oil if there isn’t enough left in the pan from cooking the tofu. Cook the veggies for 4-5 minutes until tender-crisp.
Step 4: Add the tofu and sauce.
Add the sauce to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring, until it starts to thicken. Add the tofu and cook for 3-4 minutes and cook until the sauce is thick and sticky and the tofu is well coated.
Serve the orange tofu over rice and topped with sesame seeds and the remaining green onions.
Tips & Notes
- Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
- Tofu Options: If you prefer, you can bake the tofu in the oven at 400 F for 30 minutes until brown and crisp (no oil needed, just toss and bake). The tofu could also be made in an air fryer.
- Veggie Options: Mix and match between broccoli, bell pepper, green onion, red onion, carrots, snap or snow peas, zucchini or mushroom. The amount used doesn’t have to be exact.
- Serving: Serve your orange tofu over a bed of fluffy white rice like jasmine or basmati. Brown rice, cauliflower rice or quinoa also works!
Tofu is naturally gluten-free but if you’re making this recipe and need it to be gluten-free, be sure to swap the soy sauce for coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari.
This recipe for orange sauce is vegan. If you’re ordering it at a restaurant, you’d have to double check the ingredients as it may contain butter, which would make it vegetarian but not vegan.
You can use avocado oil, olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil or coconut oil.
Make-Ahead & Storage Tips
- To Make Ahead: You can chop and store the veggies and press and cube the tofu and store separately in the fridge 1-2 days in advance. If you’re serving the tofu over rice, you can make that up to 2 days in advance and store it in the fridge in a sealed container.
- Storing: Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in a sealed container in the fridge.
- Reheating: For best results, reheat in a pan over medium heat. Otherwise, reheat in the microwave briefly until heated through.
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
This crispy golden tofu in sweet and sticky orange sauce is reminiscent of orange chicken and easy to make for a delicious plant-based meal the whole family will love.
For the Tofu
For the Orange Sauce:
- 5 garlic cloves, minced or grated (20 g/1 tbsp)
- 2-inch piece ginger, minced or grated (20 g/1 tbsp)
- ¾ cup fresh orange juice (juice from 3 oranges – could also sub 100% pure orange juice)
- 2 tsp orange zest (be sure to use peel only and not the white “pith”, as it’s bitter)
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar or brown syrup (44 g)
- ¾ tsp sriracha
- ¼ cup cold water + 1 tbsp cornstarch
For the Veggies:
- 4 cups broccoli florets (285 g)
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced (180 g)
- 1 green pepper, thinly sliced (180 g)
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- cooked jasmine rice or basmati rice, for serving
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Press Tofu: Cut tofu in half lengthwise, so you have two thinner rectangles, then wrap in clean kitchen towels. Place on a dinner plate or cutting board. Weigh tofu down with a heavy object like a cast iron skillet, or large pot for at least 20 minutes. Alternatively, use a tofu press.
- Mix Orange Sauce: To a medium bowl, add garlic, ginger, orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, rice vinegar, coconut sugar and sriracha. Whisk to combine. Add water and cornstarch mixture and whisk until fully combined. Set aside.
- Prepare Tofu for Frying: Cube the tofu or tear into bite-sized pieces (¾-1 inch). Add tofu, cornstarch, garlic powder, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Toss to coat.
- Fry Tofu: In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil of choice over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add tofu. Cook for 8-10 min, flipping tofu occasionally, until golden-brown and crisp on all sides. Transfer tofu to a plate and set aside.
- Cook Veggies: To the same pan, over medium-high, add broccoli, peppers and 3/4 of the green onion (reserve some for topping). You may have to add another 2 tsp oil here, if there is not enough reserved oil left in the pan. Cook veggies for 4-6 mins, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp.
- Add Sauce & Tofu: Add orange sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the tofu to the pan. Cook for 3-4 mins, until sauce thickens and veggies and tofu are well coated.
- Serve: Serve over rice. Sprinkle with remaining green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
Nutrition facts do not include rice for serving.
Storing: Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in a pan or the microwave until heated through.
If you just want to make the tofu and not the veggie stir fry. I’d suggest doubling the tofu (use 1.5-2 packages) or halving the sauce. You could leave the amounts as written if you like, it will just very saucy! The orange tofu can be served as an appetizer or side dish on its own or with rice.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 267
- Sugar: 23 g
- Sodium: 777 mg
- Fat: 6 g
- Carbohydrates: 41 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 15 g
Keywords: orange tofu, vegan orange tofu