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Vegan Orange Tofu

This recipe for orange tofu was more than heavily inspired by the orange chicken at Panda Express. If you're craving a vegan version of that dish, then look no further. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: America, Chinese
Servings: 4 people
Author: Michael Monson
Ingredients
For the orange sauce:
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced (or sub ¼ cup orange juice)
  • ¼ rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated or finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, grated or finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon chili flake
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • toasted sesame seeds
For the tofu:
  • 1 block firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 to 1 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • Black pepper
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
To make the orange sauce:
  1. Combine all ingredients, except for the sesame seeds, in a bowl, and stir well to combine. The sugar will not dissolve, but you want to make sure that the corn starch is fully incorporated.
  2. Pour the mixture into a sauce pan on medium-low heat. Stir the mixture as it heats up, making sure that nothing burns to the bottom of the pan. Once the sauce begins to bubble, it will immediately start to thicken. When the sauce is no longer cloudy, and is fairly thick, remove it from the heat and set aside.
To make the tofu:
  1. Cut your well-drained tofu into 1 inch cubes. Place the cubes in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In smaller bowl, or measuring cup, combine the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and water. Stir well until there are no more lumps. You are looking for the consistency of a thin pancake batter.

  3. Pour the flour and cornstarch batter over the tofu cubes. Very gently stir the tofu around until every piece is coated in the batter.

  4. In a deep fryer, or a high-walled pan or pot, heat your frying oil to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. One by one, gently place your coated tofu cubes into the heated frying oil. Make sure not to overcrowd your pan or deep fryer. Allow the tofu to cook until they are just golden brown and crispy. You will probably have to work in batches, so set your cooked tofu on a drying rack or paper towel lined plate until all of your tofu is cooked.

  6. Toss the cooked tofu in the orange sauce and coat completely. Top with toasted sesame seeds.
Recipe Notes

Note: Don’t want to use tofu? Cauliflower is also incredible in this dish. Don’t want to deep fry? Then just use my recipe for air-fried tofu and cauliflower.