This Crispy Baked Orange Tofu is reminiscent of the popular Chinese dish. A sticky, sweet orange sauce is paired with the most amazing crispy BAKED tofu! Serve this mouthwatering Orange Tofu over brown or white rice.
Before going vegan some 8 years ago, I barely EVER cooked and we ate out a lot. I cringe when I think of the way I used to eat back then! It’s no wonder my stomach hurt so often after meals! I never could have imagined how much I would grow to love cooking once I cut animal products out of the picture. Yes, I still have a sensitive stomach, but I feel so much better than I did when I still ate animal products!
Anyways, one of those meals I ate all the time was Panda Express Orange Chicken. Oh my gosh, I loved that. Mostly I loved the sauce, not so much the chicken. I have been wanting to create the perfect vegan version of that dish for a long time, and I’ve finally done it! Except this one is SO much better than the original. The sauce is super fresh. The tofu is perfectly crispy, but not greasy at all (since there’s no oil involved).
This recipe makes enough for about 5 large servings, so if you don’t need that much food, feel free to halve the recipe. This does make some excellent leftovers though!
Looking for more kid-friendly, plant based dinner ideas with tofu? Check out one of these:
Crispy tofu adapted from Cookie and Kate.
Crispy Baked Orange Tofu
Crispy Baked Tofu:
- (2) 14-16 ounce blocks extra-firm tofu
- 3 tablespoons tamari, or low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, or arrowroot starch
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 tamari, or 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
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 (or 2 if necessary) with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Slice the tofu into 2 inch squares or rectangles and place in a large bowl. Drizzle on the tamari or soy sauce and toss gently to combine.
- Sprinkle on the cornstarch and toss to combine. You can also use your fingers to gently rub the cornstarch into the tofu, until almost no powdery spots remain.
- Arrange the tofu evenly on the prepared pan(s), and bake for 15 minutes. Flip and bake for 15 more minutes, until the tofu pieces are crispy and lightly golden brown.
Make the Orange Sauce:
- In a large pan (like a wok or stir fry pan), 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. Whisk over medium-high heat constantly for a couple of minutes, until the sauce thickens.
- Now add the Crispy Baked Tofu to the saucepan and stir to coat the tofu in the sauce.
- Serve over brown or white rice. Sprinkle with cilantro, green onions and/or sesame seeds. Add a side of steamed broccoli if desired.
- To make this recipe Gluten Free, make sure to use tamari, not soy sauce.
- This recipe makes enough for 5 people. It does make great leftovers, but feel free to halve the recipe if desired.