Crispy Orange Tofu

Enjoy a bowl of this delicious Crispy Orange Tofu recipe with Sticky Orange Sauce rather than calling out for takeout. This recipe delivers the best crispy, battered tofu is served in a sweet, sour vegan orange sauce. It’s an easy gluten free tofu recipe that you can fry in a skillet or even bake. Imagine this Chinese take-out classic, sauce and all, made in your very own kitchen. It’s the best way to go!

Crispy Orange Tofu sits in a white plate with chopsticks nearby and green onion at the top.
This tofu orange stir fry is delicious!

There are a few words you can combine together that sound pretty amazing. I think crispy and orange are great examples. But, here’s the question. Is this a case where two’s company and three’s a crowd? Because some of you might be thinking the last word in vegan orange tofu stir fry, spoils the fun.

You’ll just have to trust me when I say, it’s perfect! If you haven’t tried tofu before, this would be a great first recipe, because it’s easy, orangey, crispy, and pretty darn tasty too! If you want to make this even healthier, consider serving it with some super easy Cauliflower Rice.

Who would have thought that orange would taste so good in a savory dish. I mean, orange is meant for orange juice. Or orange juiliases or orange cake.

But sweet and savory flavors have been coupled together since humans first discovered they had taste buds. OK. I don’t actually know that for a fact, because I wasn’t there, but we do know for sure that savory and sweet has been around for quite awhile.

How to Make Crispy Orange Tofu Chicken

It might look like too many steps involved to take on this vegetarian orange chicken recipe like this, but I promise you, it’s pretty easy. You simply chop the tofu into cubes, dip them in the batter, lightly sauté/fry them in a skillet, pour on the tofu orange sauce, and serve it over rice.

First, you’ll want to make the batter. This is what you’ll be dipping the pressed and cubed tofu in. Combine ground flax seeds, water, cornstarch, and flour.

A white bowl sits on a white table with creamy sauce in the middle and a blue spatula.

Dip the tofu in this tofu marinade recipe. This is what creates a crispy crust on the tofu. It’s a gluten-free mixture and since tofu is gluten-free as well, this is a great option for folks looking for vegan gluten free recipes!

A white bowl sits on a white table with tofu cubes sitting in a sauce to create a coating for the tofu before frying.
Look at this! Vegan recipes with tofu are SO good!

Fry the battered tofu in a skillet. Unless you have a large frying pan, it’s best to do this step in batches.

Quick Fix Tip

Skip the pan frying and use Air Fryer Tofu! Prepare the air fried tofu as recommended in the recipe, then add it to a skillet, coat with the sauce and serve with rice and the orange sticky sauce. Delicious!

Once the tofu is done, return everything to the skillet and add the orange sauce. Cook it for up to a minute or two to let the sauce thicken. The combination of crispy and sticky in this pressed tofu recipe is pretty irresistible.

A white bowl on a white table with brown sauce and a tablespoon waiting to stir it.

Most of the time I would recommend pre-marinading tofu because it needs to bathe in something flavorful for awhile in order to be tasty. The question of how to flavor tofu is an important one, because straight from the box, tofu can be kind of bland.

However, you could look at this sauce as sort of an orange tofu marinade because it adds flavor too! Yes, it’s the sauce with that serves an important purpose in providing flavor and texture to the crispy tofu. Somehow it all works.

Note: Add 1 teaspoon of ground ginger to the sauce to make orange ginger tofu. Add 1 teaspoon red chili paste for spicy orange tofu. There are lots of ways to adapt this sauce to your particular tastes!

If you’re curious about which tofu to buy, I recommend checking out my tofu buying guide. For this recipe I recommend an extra firm tofu. The firmer the better!

Is Tofu Gluten Free?

Tofu is made from soybeans, which means it is gluten free. In fact, everything in this recipe is gluten-free, including the “soy sauce.”

Because soy sauce is made from wheat, I use Tamari instead, which is basically a gluten free soy sauce. There are so many tasty vegetarian tofu recipes to create too!

Is Tofu Healthy?

Because tofu is made from soybeans, it’s a great source of protein that’s perfect for a plant-based diet! It also has iron, calcium and other important phytonutrients. I love this article on the health benefits of tofu!

Crispy Orange Tofu is a favorite easy weeknight meal at our house!
This mandarin tofu is amazing!

What You’ll Love About This Crispy Orange Tofu

This is basically a vegan orange chicken tofu recipe, with no chicken! Look, calling for takeout is always a temptation, but it doesn’t really have to be, especially when you’ve got tofu orange chicken on the menu!

Besides. I like to know exactly what’s in the food I’m eating. And sometimes I don’t feel so great after eating Chinese takeout. It makes me wonder exactly what I just ate.

So, why not just make your own? This easy orange glazed tofu recipe is similar to any stir fry. Just throw on a pot of brown rice, chop up the flavored tofu and go to town.

Oranges are loaded with Vitamin C so you know you want that in your life. The tofu has lots of protein and we all know how important that is!

Also, this vegan orange chicken recipe is crispy (did I say that already), sweet, savory, filling, and nutritious, all at the same time! We love serving orange tofu and broccoli together. It’s a great combination!

Love Easy Vegan Tofu Recipes?

If you love a good vegan recipe with tofu, you’ll fall head over heels for how I made these tofu recipes vegan! Check these out:

So many tasty tofu veg recipes!

Crispy Orange Tofu on a bed of rice with sliced green onions on top.
The orange makes this one of the best vegan tofu recipes!

That’s it for this tofu a la orange!

I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!

Crispy Orange Tofu sits in a white plate with chopsticks nearby and green onion at the top.

Crispy Orange Tofu

Enjoy this easy and delicious Crispy Orange Tofu with Sticky Orange Sauce rather than calling out for takeout. You’ll enjoy the food and how you feel too!
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Crispy Orange Tofu
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 309kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

  • 14 oz package extra firm tofu drained and pressed dry
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed ground
  • ½ cup water
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil toasted is best

Orange Tofu Coating

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • zest of 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup or honey

Sticky Orange Sauce

  • Juice of one orange (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup or honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

Instructions

  • Press the tofu and then chop it into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • In a small bowl combine the flax, water, corn starch, and GF flour. Stir until combined. Add the tofu (in batches works best) and thoroughly coat each piece.
  • Place a skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Place 2-3 sheets of paper towels on a plate on the counter near your skillet.
  • Use tongs to place half of the batter-coated tofu in the heated oil, being careful not to burn yourself. Allow space between each piece for all the sides to get browned. Cook the tofu on each side until browned. Place finished pieces of tofu on the paper towels to drain any excess oil.
  • Add a little more oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining tofu.
  • In a small bowl combine the Orange Coating ingredients and give them a quick stir.
  • When all the tofu is cooked, return it all back to the pan and add the Orange Coating and cook over medium heat until thickened.
  • Prepare the Sticky Orange Sauce by combining all the ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Stir to combine. Heat in the microwave in 30-second increments until thickened. It shouldn’t take very long. If it gets too thick, add a little hot water and stir to incorporate.
  • Serve the tofu over brown rice with additional chopped green onions, Sticky Orange Sauce, and sesame seeds. A side of steamed broccoli goes nicely with this dish too!

Recommended Equipment

Notes

Note: You don’t have to make the Orange Sauce, but it’s nice to have this to drizzle over the rice.
You can substitute one batch of Air Fryer Tofu in place of the fried tofu from this recipe.
Nutrition Facts
Crispy Orange Tofu
Amount Per Serving
Calories 309 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 1049mg44%
Potassium 334mg10%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 155IU3%
Vitamin C 10.1mg12%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Enjoy!

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22 Responses to Crispy Orange Tofu

  1. Ohmygosh, this has me drooling. As I was reading the recipe, I had my fingers crossed that I’ve got all the ingredients here to make this tonight. I do! 🙂

  2. Looks delicious! In reading through the recipe, I could not locate the step where the “Orange Coating” is introduced. Do all the ingredients get combined and added at some point? Thanks. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Oh, Lisa, thanks for this comment because I can see where I instructions got a little confusing. I’m fixing it right now so hopefully it will be more clear. Let me know if you have more questions. Thanks!

  3. I made this tonight. I used a large orange and it made the whole dish too orange-y. The dish was okay, but I would not remake it.

    • Hi Olya. I know orange is not a flavor for everyone, especially if you’re not used to orange in a savory dish. One idea if you wanted to try it again, would be to leave the orange zest out of the topping and just have the orange juice in the sauce. That way you can put less sauce on (or more) based on your preference.

  4. My friend ordered this at a small, family owned restaurant. She and I are both lacto-ovo but lean toward veganism. I tested her’s as I had never enjoyed Orange Tofu. This recipe sounds delish and simple. I am cooking it for supper tonight.

    • It is one of our favorites! To be honest, I prefer making it at home so I can reduce the amount of oil. We also love serving it with a LOT of steamed broccoli. So good!

  5. Made this however I didn’t have flax seed so I omitted it, also used regular flour. I think it would’ve turned out even more amazing if I had used a gf flour. this was time consuming for 1 person to make however one of the tastiest dishes i’ve ever cooked. Thank you!

    • Hi Darsey! I’m so glad you liked this recipe! We’re out of town visiting family and you’re inspiring me to think about making this recipe for them! Sometimes spending a little more time on a dish can be so worth it. Hugs to you! ❤️

    • Hi Lawanda. I haven’t used almond flour in this recipe, but I certainly would give it a try. I think it should work just fine. Let me know how it goes!

    • Hi Natasha. Yes, absolutely you can use arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch! Hope you love this as much as we do!

  6. Could I use your basic airfryer recipe then add the orange sauce at the end? I’m really trying to avoid regular frying anything at this point….

    • Hi Susan. I think that’s a great idea! And it makes this recipe easier to make too. I’ll add this as a note to the recipe. Thanks!

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