Crispy, saucy and full of flavor, this baked orange tofu is an easy weeknight dinner you’re going to love. It tastes just like your favorite take-out dish, but made with simple, every day ingredients.
I’m kind of obsessed with orange chicken, and you guys looooove my orange cauliflower, so I knew I had to create another recipe in the orange department.
This baked orange tofu is crispy, naturally vegan and gluten free and so easy to make. It’s perfect for a simple weeknight dinner but delicious enough to impress all of your friends.
It comes together in about 30 minutes and has a deliciously sweet, savory but tangy flavor.
On its own, tofu doesn’t really taste like much. However, it’s very spongey and soaks up just about whatever you put on it.
It’s a great plant-based protein and this particular recipe pairs really well with jasmine rice and steamed broccoli. If you love this recipe, try my baked tofu nuggets next!
How to make orange tofu
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the tofu from the package and drain off any excess liquid.
Wrap in a towel to dry out slightly. Cut into roughly 1 cubes and add to a bowl.
Toss with the 1 tbsp of soy sauce until combined. Then add in the cornstarch and toss to combine, then the breadcrumbs and toss until well coated.
Add to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread the tofu evenly. It crisps up best when the pieces aren’t touching. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
During the final 10 or so minutes, add the minced garlic and ginger to a pan with the oil.
Saute for about 3 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.
Add all remaining ingredients for the sauce aside from the cornstarch and whisk together.
In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water, then add to the pot. Let simmer over low heat to thicken.
Remove the tofu from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Toss with the sauce once it has thickened and serve immediately. I like to serve it with fresh white rice & steamed broccoli. Enjoy!
Air fryer instructions
You can easily make this tofu in an air fryer. Just follow all of the steps as listed and toss with the sauce after it cooks. Air fry at 380 Fahrenheit but for about 15 minutes.
An air fryer cooks things much faster than an over, so you don’t have to cook for as long!
Getting the perfect texture
I think one of the biggest things that turns people away from tofu is the texture. I get it, it’s kind of weird. But the good news is that you can prepare it so many different ways depending on your preferences.
One key to making sure it gets crispy is to use a combination of cornstarch and breadcrumbs.
The cornstarch coats the tofu first which helps absorb excess moisture, and then the breadcrumbs bake on top of the tofu and give a really nice crispiness so you won’t even realize you’re eating tofu.
If you want the focus of this orange tofu to be on the crispiness, just chop it extra small! That way you’ll have more breadcrumbs on each piece and the center will get firmer as it bakes.
Frequently asked questions
Does it keep? Unfortunately, once baked tofu cools, it loses it’s crispiness pretty quickly and doesn’t have a great texture once reheated. Once the sauce is added, you want to serve immediately for the best results.
Can I lower the sugar? This orange tofu calls for about 1/4 cup of brown sugar, which can easily be reduced or lowered. If you want more tang rather than sweetness, you can lower it to just 1 tbsp or use coconut sugar to keep it refined sugar free.
You can use a liquid sweetener like honey or maple syrup, but you may need to add a bit more cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
Ditching the breadcrumbs. While I think the breadcrumbs are one of the essential ingredients for getting the texture right, you can omit if desired.
The tofu won’t get as crispy, but you can sub for almond flour if you want a bit of crunch without the breadcrumbs as well.
Do I need to press tofu? If you want it to get really crispy, I suggest pressing it for 20-30 minutes. You don’t have to, but it will remove the excess water in the tofu which will help it get crispier.
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Vegan Orange Tofu
by: claire cary
- 1 16 ounce block extra firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons gluten free breadcrumbs can sub regular
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice see notes
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 2-4 tablespoons coconut or brown sugar*
- 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
- ¼ cup cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoon sriracha or to taste
- 1 ½ tablespoons corn starch
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the tofu from the package and drain off any excess liquid.
- Wrap in a towel to dry out slightly.
- Cut into roughly 1 cubes and add to a bowl.
- Toss with the 1 tbsp of soy sauce until combined. Then add in the cornstarch and toss to combine, then the breadcrumbs and toss until well coated.
- Add to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread the tofu evenly. It crisps up best when the pieces aren't touching.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- During the final 10 or so minutes, add the minced garlic and ginger to a pan with the oil.
- Saute for about 3 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.
- Add all remaining ingredients for the sauce aside from the cornstarch and whisk together.
- In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water, then add to the pot.
- Let simmer over low heat to thicken. If it doesn't thicken enough after about 5 minutes, make a second "slurry" with about 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water. Whisk that in until thickened.
- Remove the tofu from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Toss with the sauce once it has thickened and serve immediately. I like to serve it with fresh white rice & steamed broccoli. Enjoy!
Yum!!! I froze the pressed and cubed tofu and allowed it to thaw before I made it. I also subbed about a cup of orange marmalade instead of the fresh orange juice/zest because it’s what I had on hand and I was just as delish! These recipes are fail proof😋
Claire Cary says
Love the addition of orange marmalade!
Loved it! Left out the breadcrumbs and it was still amazing! I had gojuchang instead of siracha laying around so I added that for a kick. I served it with roasted broccoli, shitake mushrooms, and bok choy over a bed of farrow. Sprinkled with green onions and sesame seeds. Thanks for such a great recipe.
Claire Cary says
Delicious! So happy you enjoyed it!
Lynn Gilbert says
Not too difficult to make and it was delicious!!
Claire Cary says
Thank you Mrs. Gilbert! So glad you enjoyed it!