This magical orange tofu recipe reminds me so much of my pre-vegan Panda Express orange chicken days! The sauce is to die for, and the tofu is baked to crispy perfection instead of being fried. I prefer baking tofu, as you can see from my Sticky Sriracha Tofu and Peanut Tofu.
It’s an easy weeknight meal, especially if you press your tofu beforehand! All you have to do is get some rice cooking, bake the tofu, make your orange sauce, then mix the crispy tofu in it.
My 4 year old is obsessed with this dish. He asks me every couple of days to make his “favorite tofu” (this recipe), so we eat it quite often around this house!
How to make Crispy Baked Orange Tofu
This is my favorite method for baking tofu.
Add your pressed tofu cubes to a large ziplock type bag (large plastic containers work well, too). Now add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and olive oil (or soy sauce for oil free). Close the bag and gently shake it around to coat the tofu.
Place the tofu on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake for 15 more minutes until golden and crispy. It’s so much easier than frying, plus less oil too!
Simple Sticky Orange Sauce
The orange sauce is made of simple ingredients:
- Vegetable broth
- Fresh squeezed orange juice (from a few oranges)
- Sugar (or other sweetener)
- Rice Vinegar
- Low sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
- Sriracha hot sauce
- & Cornstarch/water slurry
Once the tofu is cooked and the sauce has thickened, add the tofu to the sauce and stir. That’s it!
Special Tips & Instructions
- Gluten-free: Use gluten free tamari instead of soy sauce.
- Tofu-free: Try using cauliflower instead! Bake it just like you would the tofu, then mix with the sauce.
- Sweetener options: Add less or more sugar to taste, or substitute pure maple syrup, agave or even coconut sugar.
- Fry instead of bake: If you prefer, you can pan fry the tofu instead. Simply toss the tofu with cornstarch, then fry in a thin layer of oil.
Want more vegan take out recipes that are easy to make at home?
- Vegan Curry
- Vegan Pad Thai
- Thai Peanut Noodles
- Red Thai Curry Vegetables
- Vegan Butter Chicken
- Sticky Sriracha Tofu
Crispy Baked Orange Tofu
Crispy Baked Tofu:
- (2) 14-16 ounce blocks extra-firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, OR low sodium soy sauce for oil free
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Sticky Orange Sauce:
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, from 2-3 large oranges
- 1/2 cup organic sugar (may sub coconut sugar, brown sugar or pure maple syrup)
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- 4-5 cups cooked rice
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped green onions
Make the Crispy Baked Tofu:
- Press the tofu by wrapping in paper towels (or a clean dry tea towel). Place a plate or pan on top of the wrapped tofu, and put a couple of heavy books on top of that. Let the tofu press for at least 30 minutes if possible and up to an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with oil.
- Slice the tofu into 1 inch cubes and add them to a large ziplock bag, along with the olive oil (or soy sauce) and cornstarch. Close the bag, and shake gently to coat the tofu pieces.
- Arrange the tofu evenly on the prepared pan, and bake for 15 minutes. Flip and bake for 15 more minutes, until the tofu pieces are crispy and lightly golden brown. Remove from oven.
Make the Orange Sauce:
- In a large pan (large enough to fit the tofu and sauce), add all sauce ingredients except the cornstarch and water. Bring to a boil, and cook for a minute or two. Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl to combine, and then add to the pot. Stir over medium-high heat constantly for a couple of minutes, until the sauce thickens.
- Now add the baked tofu to the pan and stir to coat the tofu in the sauce. Remove from heat.
- Serve over brown or white rice. Sprinkle with green onions and/or sesame seeds. Add a side of steamed broccoli or cauliflower if desired.
- Gluten Free: Make sure to use gluten free tamari, not soy sauce.
- Tofu Free: Try using cauliflower instead (roasted, just like the tofu!)
- Adjust the sweetness: If you don't like too much sweetness, add less sugar or other sweetener of choice. Start with a few tablespoons, and taste until it's to your liking.
- This recipe makes enough for 5 people. It does make great leftovers, but feel free to halve the recipe if desired.
- Fry instead of bake: If you prefer, you can pan fry the tofu. Simply toss tofu cubes with cornstarch, and fry in a thin layer of oil.
*This recipe was originally posted in Jan. 2018 and has been updated with new photos and writing Dec. 2019.