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!

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

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. Omg this is sensational!!! I made this and my husband and I both loved it so much! I was out of red chili flakes so at the end of the sauce cooking I stirred in 2 tbsp of sambal olek chili paste to add a little spice and it was amazing! 100% will be making this in the future 😋






  2. Absolutely delicious! Didn’t have oranges, so used about 8 clementines to make up the 1 cup (and zested 2 of them) of juice! So, so good! I doubled my tofu and still had plenty of sauce to coat my rice and veggies! Highly recommend! Another banger recipe! Thanks Caitlin!






  3. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it can be very easily modified to be FODMAP compliant- just sub garlic for garlic infused olive oil. I did this and it turned out delicious! Made a double batch of the sauce and added some dry koleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) for crunch, delicious! Thank you!






  4. Delicious! Reminds me of Orange Chicken from a Chinese food restaurant. Thank you for this quick and easy recipe!!






    1. I haven’t included nutrition info in this post, but if you wanted to find out you could easily plug in the ingredients on any online nutrition calculator 🙂

  5. Very good. Made with ingredients as listed. If it was the zombie apocalypse I would go with frozen oj or dry garlic … but otherwise fresh is best. It was very tasty.






  6. So freaking good. Followed almost exactly, except I only had 2 oranges and used about half cup of Trop50 and got nice, punchy orange.






  7. Alright I love all of your recipes that I make but THIS is my new favorite! The tofu was so crispy, the sauce had perfect flavor, and I paired it with noodles to complete the meal. My boyfriend will eat anything I make him, but he definitely has his opinions when it comes to my meals with tofu..but this one he raved about the entire meal and even the next morning! 5 stars for sure






  8. I made this tonight for dinner, amazing! My tofu skeptic husband loved it. I subbed maples syrup for brown sugar because that’s what I had on hand. I will be making this for my non-vegan friends.






  9. This came out fab! I served it over rice and before I cleaned my pan I sautéed some green beans with garlic and tamari to have on the side.






  10. Made this yesterday and I can’t believe it’s baked! Came out so crispy and perfect. I served with brown rice and used the extra sauce on gai lan, perfectly balanced meal. Will be making again, it was so straightforward and delicious! That tofu method is genius. I used sesame oil in place of avocado since that’s what I had on hand and worked perfectly, otherwise I followed the recipe to a T.

  11. WOW! I’ve made this 2x within the past week and it doesn’t disappoint. This reminds me of an orange chicken dish that I used to get from a fast food restaurant when I was at University – only it doesn’t make me feel crappy after I eat it. The first time I made it, I didn’t have fresh squeezed OJ so I used OJ from a carton. It turned out a little sweeter than I wanted, so the second time I made it I used fresh squeeze OJ and a little less sugar. Delicious both times! Served mine with white rice and broccoli sautéed in sesame oil. YUM!