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Bowl of orange tofu, broccoli, and onions served over rice in a bowl.

Orange Tofu

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Chinese Takeout Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan


Crispy seared tofu coated in a delicious sticky, sweet sauce made with fresh orange. This Crispy Orange Tofu satisfies every craving and ready in 30 minutes.




  • 1 (450 g) block of extra firm tofu, pressed and drained of water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 12 tbsp avocado oil

Orange Sauce

  • Zest of 1 orange, about 2 tsp
  • 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1 large navel orange)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth (I used 1/4 tsp of Better Than Bouillon mixed in 1/4 cup water; feel free to also try their Vegan Chicken Base)
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Vegetables, optional

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets


  1. To a dish or bowl, add the cornstarch, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and give it a good mix to combine. Take the tofu toss them in the mixture to coat.
  2. Warm your oil in a large skillet. When hot, add the tofu pieces in and allow to cook and sear for 3-5 minutes or until golden before flipping to the other side to cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Try not to disturb the tofu too much as it cooks to avoid it sticking to the pan. You’ll know the tofu is ready to flip when it easily releases from the pan. Continue to toss the tofu until fully cooked and crisp.
  3. While the tofu cooks, combine the orange juice, zest, vegetable broth, maple syrup, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a bowl and whisk together. Give the sauce a taste, and adjust flavor as needed. Then, whisk in the cornstarch and set aside.
  4. Remove the cooked tofu from your pan and place on a plate covered in paper towel. To the same heated pan, sauté the onions and broccoli florets for 2-3 minutes along with a pinch of salt. To further soften, add a splash of water and cover the pan for the broccoli to steam until bright green, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Whisk your sauce once more and then pour it into the pan and allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes or until it has slightly thickened.
  6. Add your tofu back to the pan and coat with the sauce and stir to coat. Serve on top of rice or quinoa and enjoy.


Taste your sauce before adding the cornstarch. This will give you an opportunity to adjust your sauce. One of the biggest issues I see with a lot of orange sauce recipes is that when using fresh orange is that the taste of it will vary. So adjust the flavor with more sweetness for your sweetener, umami from the soy sauce or tang from the vinegar as needed.

The type of orange you use will impact the flavor of the dish. To pick the best orange, go for a navel orange and pick one that is heavy for it’s size. Also make sure that your orange is firm and has finely textured skin. If your orange feels spongy or bruised, it will likely not give you the best flavor. I often will pick out 3 oranges just in case. And when juicing the orange, give it a small taste to get an idea of how sweet or tangy it is. This can help with adjusting ingredients.

In order to help avoid the tofu from sticking, make sure you give it enough time to cook undisturbed. When the tofu is fully cooked on one side, it will release easily from the pan to flip. Too early, and it will tear apart.