Crispy Orange Tofu | Better than Takeout!

GFGluten FreeNFNut FreeVVegan

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This Crispy Orange Tofu is drenched in a sweet & tangy citrus sauce for a cozy meal that’s better than takeout! Vegan & Gluten-Free.

Orange Chicken (now tofu!) is a Chinese-American fusion dish made from fried chicken coated in a sticky orange glaze. Easily veganized with tofu, this sweet & tangy Crispy Orange Tofu is reminiscent of that yummy, takeout-style orange chicken, but can be made from the comfort of your own home with easy-to-find ingredients! 

crispy orange tofu in bowl with broccoli and rice

INGREDIENTS + INSPIRATION

One of my favorite dishes to order from my local Chinese restaurant is orange tofu and broccoli over warm white rice. The bright, citrusy flavors of the tofu drenched in orange sauce is so comforting that I could eat it on a regular basis. Anytime I find myself craving a restaurant dish often, I get so excited to try and recreate it myself and share it with you. Once I perfected my own homemade version, I KNEW it had to go on the blog! *For the record, Orange Tofu is more of a Chinese-American fusion recipe rather than traditionally Chinese – its definitely still delicious though! 

Ingredients for orange tofu arranged on marble countertop

I like my orange tofu to be extra saucy, because we all know you want to drizzle that yummy orange sauce on everything anyways! 😉 If you would prefer to only have enough sauce to glaze your tofu, simply cut the sauce portion of this recipe in half.

HOW TO MAKE CRISPY ORANGE TOFU

side-by-side photos of tofu on baking sheet before and after baking

This vegan orange tofu recipe can be made faster than it would take you to pick up takeout or get delivery! Just 10 minutes of prep and 30 minutes of cook time before you’re enjoying a cozy bowl of crispy, saucy homemade orange chicken!

  1. Tear or cut the tofu into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Toss the tofu in a bowl with oil and tamari, then toss with cornstarch. Bake until crispy, flipping halfway through. 
  3. Sauté garlic, ginger, and optional red pepper flakes in a pan with sesame oil, then add orange juice, tamari, vinegar, and orange zest and let simmer. Add cornstarch and water slurry and simmer until thickened. 
  4. Coat the tofu in sauce and serve as desired! 

side-by-side photos of orange sauce in pan and tofu tossed with orange sauce in pan

COOKING TIPS + FAQ:

  • Do I have to use tofu? No, you can opt to use any of your favorite brands of vegan chicken!
  • Can I pan-fry the tofu? I highly recommend baking the tofu for a crispier texture for this recipe—pan-fried tofu doesn’t dry out as much and gets soggy faster. But, you can also coat it in tamari and cornstarch and pan-fry in a couple of tablespoons of oil, rotating the tofu until all sides are crisp. 
  • Storage: This dish is best served fresh but will still be delicious stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you’re making this ahead of time for easy meal prep, be sure to store the baked tofu and sticky sauce separately until reheating to serve so that your tofu stays nice and crispy! 🙂

Orange tofu in bowl with white rice and broccoli

This easy orange tofu recipe is the perfect dish for a cozy night in! Sit back, relax, and forget all your worries with a warm bowl of orange-coated comfort food! I love to serve mine with white or brown rice and freshly steamed broccoli, but this would also be incredible over thick, chewy noodles, or combined with your favorite stir fry! Any leftovers you have will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Orange tofu in bowl with white rice and broccoli

If you’re looking for more better-than-takeout recipes, you HAVE to try this Vegan “Beef” & Broccoli, this Vegan Sesame “Chicken,” and this Vegan Takeout-Style Fried Rice!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂

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Crispy Orange Tofu | Better than Takeout!

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5 from 53 reviews

This Crispy Orange Tofu is drenched in a sweet & tangy citrus sauce for a cozy meal that’s better than takeout! Vegan & Gluten-Free.

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Oven, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

For the Tofu:

  • 1 14 ounce block extra firm tofu, pressed*
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (29 g) cornstarch

For the Orange Sauce: *reduce by half if you don’t want extra for drizzling

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • ½” knob of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup (236 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice, strained* 
  • 1/3 cup (55 g) loosely packed brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) reduced-sodium tamari
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (about 1 small orange)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch*
  • 2 tablespoons cold water 

For Serving: (optional)

  • Cooked rice or noodles
  • Steamed or stir-fried vegetables 
  • Green onions, thinly sliced
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Instructions

  1.  Prep: Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Tear the tofu into bite-sized chunks for a more chicken-like texture, or cut into small cubes. 
  2. Tofu: Add the tofu to a medium bowl and add in the oil and tamari. Toss with a spatula until evenly coated, then sprinkle the cornstarch on top and toss again. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread out the tofu pieces so they aren’t touching. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through. 
  3. Sauce: Once the tofu has gone into the oven, begin prepping the sauce. Warm the sesame oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the garlic, ginger, and optional red chili flakes. Sauté for 60 seconds, then add in the orange juice, brown sugar, tamari, vinegar, and orange zest. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with the water until dissolved, then add the slurry to the sauce and simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and can coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Serve: remove the tofu from the oven and add it to the pan, coating all sides of the tofu in the glossy orange sauce. Serve warm, over rice or as desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Tofu: This recipe works great with the crispy tofu, but you can also make the orange sauce and coat it in store-bought vegan chicken or veg chicken nuggets! 
  • Orange Juice: I recommend using fresh squeezed orange juice for this – pasteurized will work in a pinch, but it will be less sweet and more bitter! You’ll need 3-4 large oranges to get ~1 cup of juice
  • Substitutions: brown sugar can be replaced with maple syrup or coconut sugar. Cornstarch can be swapped with arrowroot powder to help thicken the sauce, but I recommend using nutritional yeast instead of cornstarch for the sauce instead of arrowroot powder, which can make baked things slightly gummy.
  • Meal Prep: If you plan on making this recipe for meal prep, I would keep the tofu and sauce separate; warm them separately, then toss right before serving. This will keep your tofu crispy!
  • Oil-Free: Make my Crispy Tofu instead for a slightly different (but still delicious!) flavor and texture. Sauté the aromatics in step 2 in water or vegetable broth instead of oil.

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About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. Your tofu recipes are incredible! My family is currently just making different tofu recipes from your site multiple times a week and they are always amazing!!!!! You’ve got the texture down perfectly. So yum.

  2. Obsessed with this recipe! I added a can of white kidney beans (drained and rinsed) to the sauce right before adding the tofu for an extra protein + fiber boost and it was delicious.

  3. Can you substitute the orange with something else? I am allergic to oranges and we are making this recipe along with you on a webcast with Dell and I want to get all my ingredients beforehand.

    1. Instead of orange juice, you can use a combination of pineapple juice and lemon juice. Mix together equal parts of pineapple juice and lemon juice to achieve a tangy and sweet flavor similar to oranges. Adjust the quantity according to your taste preference and the amount needed for the recipe.

      This substitution will provide a citrusy flavor profile without the use of oranges, making it suitable for your allergy. Enjoy your cooking experience and the delicious Crispy Orange Tofu!

      1. For the Crispy Orange Tofu recipe, any mild vinegar works well. I’d recommend using rice vinegar for its subtle flavor that complements the sweetness and tanginess of the orange sauce. Enjoy cooking!

  4. Excellent
    The best and most flavorful tofu recipe I have found. The tofu gets nice and crispy in the oven, too.
    Takes some time to make but is worth it.






  5. Delicious and easy, minus juicing the oranges. I used blood oranges because that’s what they had at the store, and it was a fun twist.






  6. This recipe is fantastic! I used to really like the Trader Joe’s orange “chick’n,” but I don’t live near a TJ’s anymore. This tastes better than my old favorite and it is so easy to cook on a weeknight. Definitely follow the recipe as written if you’re serving with a veggie side so that you can make that saucy too. 🙂






  7. Really truly better than take out! It’s everything you want in a orangey flavored dish. And really not difficult to make.






  8. I cooked my tofu a little differently but used the recipe for the orange sauce, and oh my goodness, it is sooo good. I ate way more than I should have and was still craving more of it days later……so I made it again! Thank you for a fabulous recipe.






  9. The method of roasting the tofu in the oven resulted in a perfect crispy on the outside, soft in the center piece of tofu. Honestly, if I had added a bit of salt would be eating what tastes like french fries.

    We loved this, my kids recommended less sugar since it was pretty sweet. It had a nice citrus balance and we’ll make it again.






  10. Fabulous recipe! I have made this dish twice and found it easy and satisfying! I baked the tofu a little longer until it was nice and crispy. I also used bottled orange juice in addition to the zest from a small mandarin, and it turned out awesome! The sauce is great for dipping crispy vegan spring rolls or egg rolls too. I found it way more flavorful than sweet and sour sauce.
    Thanks, Caitlin!






  11. This is the most appetizing crispy tofu I’ve prepared and I will definitely do it again! The detail of tearing the tofu into pieces really make it look like chicken pieces and just made the outside crispy texture so good!






  12. This is absolutely delicious and the prep is not too bad… I’ll be putting this on my regular rotation, thanks! Had with jasmine rice and steamed broccoli. I upped the chilies to make it a wee bit spicier.

  13. Absolutely delicious! This is going on the list of regular meals. It was easy to make and incredibly tasty. I subbed coconut sugar and I was out of cornstarch so I subbed potato starch and it turned out great.