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 54 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. I love this meal! As a vegetarian, one of the meat meals I miss sometimes is orange chicken and this is a great substitute 🙂






    1. This sauce is phenomenal! Great recipe. I served it with pearled farro + pan-roasted broccoli. No leftovers!! Thank you!!






  2. This recipe was absolutely delicious. I fed my family of four with only one vegan and we all loved the tofu. It was crispy and delicious. I did add a little water as it was a tad thick. Next time I will double it because we have nothing left over.






  3. I have never left a comment on a recipe post before this one! I LOVE Asian food and in particular, orange tofu. I’ve tried (no kidding) at least 15 different orange tofu recipes – this is theeeeeee onnneeeee! I’ve screenshotted the ingredients list and will most definitely remake this many times in the future. Thanks for sharing, and I’m so glad I found this one!

  4. This recipe is THE BEST orange tofu recipe ever! I make this weekly and my husband (not vegan) loves it better than orange chicken! So so good






  5. This is a winner! I’ve been trying orange tofu recipes and this is the best of the bunch. I did the tofu in the air fryer – 10 minutes at 400 F after pre-heating, steamed the broccoli 3 minutes, then finished them in the sauce. This recipe will go in the go-to file. Thanks!

  6. This was delicious! I loved that the recipe made enough sauce to moisten the quinoa that I served it with!






  7. Soooo good. Hit the craving and my nonvegan friends also loved it!! Served with green beans and white rice twas delish






  8. Hi! I’ve done this recipe before and loved it – but I only have white sugar rather than brown. Do you think this would be ok?

    Thanks!!






  9. Easy and delicious! I made my tofu in the air fryer and it came out so crispy. The sauce is perfect. I used blood oranges (it’s what I had). 😋
    I’ll definitely make this again.






  10. This is absolutely incredible. It satisfies by craving for orange chick’n, but doesn’t leave me feeling heavy like takeout! The sauce is flavorful and zesty and the tofu is crispy. This is absolutely going into the regular rotation. I’ve been following Caitlin for years now, and she always nails it. I feel extremely grateful to have found her.

  11. Really good. Definitely won’t use parchment paper next time. Aluminum foil and spray oil instead. Ripped up my tofu. Idk. Tastes super good though. Recommend.






  12. Super good and easy to follow recipe! I made this with the cilantro lime rice and some broccoli and carrots. I subbed the coconut sugar for 1/4 cup of maple syrup and still came out great. The whole family loved– even our two year old : )






  13. This was so lovely!! Strong but not overwhelming orange flavor thanks to the zest and fresh juice, and perfectly sticky. The way the tofu is prepped gives it a really nice chew.

    I added extra chili flakes and some good old fashioned MSG powder to mine but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I can’t wait to try some of the other recipes out!!






    1. This was super good. Even my super picky teenage son and my meat loving husband loved it. This one’s a keeper! Thanks for the awesome recipe!






  14. It was my first time making tofu and this recipe was a hit! We used the bake function on our air fryer and it came out just the right amount of crispy. We will be making this again!

  15. Excellent. Tried to make something all of us would enjoy and it was a hit! I used fresh squeezed oranges as suggested.






  16. This was great! A little too sweet for my taste but easily fixable with some heat, in addition to the 1/4tsp red chili flakes (I dolloped some sambal olek on to my portion) and less brown sugar next time I make this (because I will certainly coming back for this recipe!).
    A note for you Caitlin, the video states to roast the tofu at 450 but the written instructions on the recipe card says 425.
    Thanks for the delicious recipes!






    1. Def a family favorite! From my toddler to my mother in law, everyone is a fan 🙂 Perfect balance of sweet, tangy, citrus, and savory. Will continue to be a staple in this house!






    2. This is a terrific recipe! I used blood oranges this time and they really upped the ante – the sauce was extra tangy and tart. I served with steamed bok choy and rice. ❤️