Extra firm tofu gets coated in a sweet & sour orange sauce to create this delicious Vegan Orange Tofu Recipe, which tastes amazing over brown rice!
I've been cooking with tofu so much recently. Not just because I live in China and different types of tofu are everywhere (fuzzy, moldy tofu included), but I mainly just love how satiating and versatile it is. It's rich in plant based protein to keep me full and, because it has a neutral flavor, it can be transformed into any number of flavors and cuisines.
We love my easy marinade tofu recipe, but today I'm going to share with you how to make this Easy Vegan Orange Tofu Recipe and I hope you give it a try! It's so rich and flavorful and is the perfect vegan comfort food as we head into the chillier fall months.
How to Press Tofu
When making this easy Vegan Orange Tofu, I highly recommend pressing your extra firm tofu before stir-frying it. Pressing tofu is a way to remove any excess moisture from your tofu and it leaves you with a hearty, firm tofu that provides more of a meaty texture. To press your tofu, all you have to do is remove your extra firm tofu from the packaging, draining as much excess water in the process, and wrap it in a dish towel. Place your towel-wrapped tofu on a flat surface and place a flat heavy object on top. I often place a heavy object or weight in a baking dish and use that to press my tofu. Allow your tofu to press for 30 minutes to up to a few hours. If you want extra dry, firm tofu, you will want to swap out the dish towel after a little while.
How to Thicken Sauces
There are a number of different ways to thicken sauces. The most common way is to use cornstarch, which is what I used in this recipe, but you can also use a variety of different flours including tapioca flour, potato starch, arrowroot flour. It's important to whisk your starch with a small amount of liquid in a separate bowl before adding it to your sauce. This ensures that the starch doesn't form lumps, but instead distributes evenly and smoothly into your sauce. I found this wikihow "How to Thicken Sauce" post helpful so be sure to check it out!
Other Simple Tofu Recipes
In case you too are on a tofu kick, you can check out more simple tofu recipes below!
Vegan Almond Butter Soba Noodles with Tofu
4 Ingredient Baked BBQ Tofu Nuggets
I'd love to know if you give this Easy Vegan Orange Tofu Recipe a try and what you think. Be sure to leave a comment, rate the recipe and share it with others! I also love to see what recipes of mine your cooking, so be sure to snap a photo of the final product and tag @theconscientiouseater on Instagram!
Easy Vegan Orange Tofu Recipe
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 1 teaspoon oil
- Salt and pepper
- 3 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- ½ cup orange juice
- Zest of one orange
- ¼-1/3 cup liquid sweetener maple syrup, agave, honey, etc.*
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- Start by pressing the excess moisture out of your tofu. Remove the tofu from the packaging and wrap it an a dish towel. Place it on a flat surface and place a baking dish (with a heavy object inside) on top of the tofu. "Press" the tofu for about 30 mins-1 hour, changing the dish cloth if necessary, to remove as much excess water as possible. If you plan far enough in advance you can press the tofu for a couple hours.
- Once the tofu is almost ready, prepare the orange sauce by whisking together all of the ingredients, except for the cornstarch, in a bowl or blender. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoon of cornstarch with about ¼ cup of the orange sauce until combined. Then add the cornstarch mixture back into the orange sauce and whisk well to make sure the cornstarch is evenly distributed/dissolved.
- In a wok over medium-high heat, heat the teaspoon of oil.
- While the oil is heating, unwrap the tofu and cut it into cubes. Season the cubes with salt and pepper.
- Add the tofu to the hot wok and stir-fry until golden brown, 4-7 minutes.
- Briefly re-whisk the orange sauce before pouring it over the browned tofu. Stir everything together and allow the orange sauce to come to boil and continue to cook until thickened, about 2-5 minutes.
- Serve the Vegan Orange Tofu over brown rice with veggies, in a wrap or however you desire!
Emily Swanson says
OHHH yum! I loved seeing those GIANT blocks of tofu when you got back to China and you shared them on your stories. This sauce looks so thick and syrupy. 🙂 Yummm
I loved seeing how tofu was made too when we first moved here! Although, it did gross me out that it was sold on a wooden slab, uncovered, in the middle of a dirty market. But I've been fine eating it so far! I guess it's just building up my immune system:)
Sounds delicious!!! This may be a silly question but when you say orange juice do you mean from the zested orange or orange juice from a carton? Thanks!
Hi Erin! Either should work! I juiced fresh oranges because I can't read labels here in China and didn't know what kind of orange juice I would be buying or if it would have weird ingredients in it. From a carton would be easiest tho! I hope you like it!