Put all our prejudices aside and make this recipe. If you used to think tofu is boring, you will be proven differently. We have got the sweet and slightly spicy flavours of orange and chilli combined in a sticky sauce that covers the tofu. Definitely not your average tofu.
Orange Tofu is a dish that originally is made with chicken instead of tofu and therefore also called orange chicken. Orange Chicken originated in China, where it is rarely found in traditional restaurants today. It got really popular in the US through Panda Express. There the chicken is battered, then fried and then tossed in a orange sauce, which thickens and caramelizes.
What’s special about this dish?
It is a vegan version if the orange chicken and a mich healthier one too. It is not battered and deep fried and also not tossed in a sauce loaded with white refined sugar. It is a much healthier, easier and quicket version of the original and still tastes really intense and good! So you could say that it rather is a Chinese inspired dish and less the original one.
Is this dish healthy?
Yep yep. What is it made of? Well our main ingredient is tofu. Tofu is really high in protein and also comes with some fiber. Then our main „ingredient“ is the orange sauce. This is mainly made from freshly squeezed orange juice, which is a vitamin C bomb. Then we have some soy sauce, vinegar, fresh ginger and garlic and some honey, plus some cornstarch in which the tofu is tossed and then fried in a little hot oil.
Contrary to regular orange chicken, we have rather little fat here because instead of deep frying it, it is simply stir fried in a pan. Also, we are using honey instead of white refined sugar. Honey still contains sugar but less per 100g in comparison to regular sugar and it actually comes with antioxidants.
How to make this dish:
This is super simple. So, we start by pressing the tofu. To do so we just lay some kitchen paper beneath and on top of a block of tofu and them let something heavy press it down for a few minutes. This will make the liquid drain from the tofu so it gets crispier in the pan later on.
Next we just chop it up into about 1 cm sized cubes. These are then tossed in some cornstarch. The cornstarch binds the remaining liquid and kind of forms a crust when frying. After that, the tofu is fried in some hot oil from each side for about 1-2 minutes till crispy.
In the meantime we combine the orange juice & zest, soy sauce, honey or maple, cornstarch, ginger, garlic and vinegar in a bowl and then pour it over the tofu and let it simmer on low heat for a few minutes. Because of the cornstarch the sauce will thicken and the honey makes it caramelise. That already pretty much is it, we now only have to divide it onto plates or bowls and garnish with some greens!
Meal prep friendly
You can easily make this dish in advance and reheat it. If you have a stove I would prepare everything in advance and store the tofu and sauce separately and heat it up together whenever you want to have it. If you do not have a stove when eating it, you can simply heat it up in the microwave all together. Maybe you’ll then need to add a little water.
Super Easy 20-Minute Sticky Orange Tofu
Easy, delicious and healthy. A vegan and lighter version of the american-chinese classic and let me tell you, it at least is as delicious!
What you will need
- 300 g tofu
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- some rice or quinoa to serve with
For the sauce:
- 1 orange zest & juice
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cm ginger
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 60 g honey or maple
- 1 tbsp vinegar
Lay the tofu onto some kitchen paper and cover it iwth some more. Lay something heavy on top and let it press for abou 5-10 minutes, so as much liquid as possible goes out in order for the tofu to become crispy when frying. Then cut into 1 cm sized cubes and toss it in the cornstarch
In the meantime grate the orange, then press it. Combine it with the remaining ingredients for the sauce.
Heat up the oil in a pan and fry the tofu on each side for about 1-2 minutes until crispy and golden. Turn the heat down to medium heat and pour in the orange sauce. Give everything a good mix and let simmer for about 3-4 minutes until it has thickend a bit.
Serve with some rice or quinoa and garnish with some cilantro! Serve and enjoy!
Honestly, this dish is so quick, so easy to make and so good! You’ll really, really love it and it is so so simple! I hope you’ll like it as much as we do and have a great time cooking it!
Katie // Une Petite Cuisinière