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.
There is not one recipe of yours that I haven’t tried and LOVED!!! I have been a vegetarian for over 40 years and your website is the only one that I go to for recipes and tips. Keep up the great work and thank you for all the amazing recipes.
I am so appreciative of your kind and encouraging words, Mary! I am thrilled you are loving ing my recipes! Thanks for sharing your fabulous feedback and review! Happy cooking!
This was so good! I had frozen the cubes, then thawed and pressed them I find it gives them a meatier chew. One question – how do you get your sauce to stay so orange? I am guessing mine was brown due to using Better than Buillion vegetable, the soy sauce and maple syrup. Not ever having made vegetable stock at home, I have no idea what it might look like! Oranges are a scarcity around here. I was able to get some navals. Are other types orangier in taste? Is there a reason you use fresh versus either reconstituted frozen or just the reconstitue? I was looking for more orange flavor. Thanks.
I’m so happy you loved it, Kathy! The orange color mostly comes from the orange juice, and using vegetable broth rather than bouillon definitely helps to NOT darken the sauce. Freshly squeezed juice is always the best choice because it has the very best orange flavor and no added sweetness, however, if you can’t find oranges to make your own juice, go ahead and use bottled orange juice instead. You can use less sugar if the juice is already sweetened.
Wow yet another amazingly tasty dish from Nora!! I only had orange juice (with lots of pulp) and used this and it came out soooo delish! I added a little broccoli mixed in sauce too which was super nummy! Thanks again Nora ?
Oh, this is soooo gooood!!!
I added a bit more fresh squeezed orange juice & zest- and served with a side of roasted broccoli.
I ❤️ Nora Cooks recipes!
Thank you, Nora!!!
Hi Pam. I’m so glad you are loving my recipes! Thank you for sharing your fantastic feedback on the orange tofu! Wishing you happy cooking!
If the sauce is made in advance and cooled (unsure of that due to the stickiness), could it be used to marinate the tofu? Or would you recommend a complimentary marinade for this recipe? I’m a bit new to tofu and still have trouble getting flavor to stick– I have not tried this recipe yet however! Generally I try to avoid relying on sauces alone for flavor– I don’t doubt that this sauce will blow it out of the water, simply curious how it would go as a marinade!
Hmm, I don’t think the orange sauce would be very effective as a marinade. My marinated tofu recipe is a great starting point for tofu beginners, however, the baked tofu in this recipe is delicious and the orange sauce imparts a ton of flavor!
My husband and I love this. Thank you for including how to make the recipe oil-free.
You are so welcome, Robin! I’m glad you guys are loving the tofu! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback!
Hi Nora, the flavor is great! I used arrowroot powder in place of corn starch, and totally forgot to put the sugar in until after the slurry was added and sauce thickened. It ended up being a slimy consistency. Which thing do you think contributed to it?
Hi Kelsey, the sauce was most likely slimy because of the lack of sugar. Sugar is what makes it sticky. Hope this helps!
Beat tofu recipe, and easy to follow.
Thank you for sharing your great review! I’m glad you loved the tofu recipe!
We’ve made this recipe more times than I can count now. It’s so easy and sooo good!! We also added the zest of an orange and it’s just fantastic! Thanks!
Sounds delicious, Cassie! Thanks for using my recipe, and for sharing your review and feedback!
This recipe is so easy and SO SO SO delicious! I used to love orange chicken before I went vegan for the environment. I have been looking for a recipe like this for SO long, and I have finally found it 🙂 thank you
Hi Melaine. I am so glad you found the orange tofu delicious! Thank you for taking time to share your great review and feedback!
This was surprisingly really close to meat! My son loves orange chicken and I told him I’d make him a vegan version. He loved it!!! So happy I could make something that he likes and it’s vegan!
I am so happy your son loved the orange tofu! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and comments!
Excellent! Probably could have used less sugar and it would have still been really good. Sauce thickened on standing. We added a little orange zest. LOVED the pressed, baked tofu. This was a big hit, and we will definitely make it again. Thank you so much for sharing!
Hi Jessica! I’m so glad you guys loved the orange tofu! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and comments! Happy cooking!
Not a vegan family but we love it. Superb crispy tofu . Quick and tasty sauce.
Thank you for sharing your great review and comments! I’m so glad you and your family love the recipe!
I’ve made this recipe a handful of times and it’s always a hit no matter the crowd. Thank you for your recipes!
Hi Jessica! I am so glad that you love the this recipe, and that it’s always a hit for you! Thank you for taking your time to share your wonderful review!
Delicious! Baked the tofu for 20 minutes and it was perfect not chewy at all. Sauce was great- tangy and something different! Thank you
Thanks for sharing your wonderful review! I’m glad you love the tofu!
This is really tasty and easy cooked in air fryer. Thank you
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Mike! Thanks for your sharing!
Amazing! Made it three times this week already ?
Thank you for sharing your review! Glad you love the tofu!
Like another reader, I added the zest of one of the oranges to the sauce along with the 1/2 c juice. I loved the baked tofu—more crispy and less greasy than fried. My sister said, “I don’t know why we’re goin’ up to (a Chinese take out restaurant nearby) when you can make things taste like this!!” 🙂 I definitely will check out your other baked tofu recipes. Thanks!
LOL, I love it! Thanks, Holly, for sharing your great and fun review! I’m glad you guys love the orange tofu!
This turned out great! I used palm sugar, which does have a little stronger flavor, but still turned out delicious. I’ve been experimenting with adding more tofu to our diet, this recipe is going into “the book”. Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you for sharing your terrific review, Roy! I’m glad you guys love the tofu!