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Crispy Orange Tofu



For the Tofu:

  • 1 14 ounce block extra firm tofu, pressed*

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • 1 tablespoon low sodium tamari or soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons (29 g) cornstarch


For the Orange Sauce: *reduce by half if you don’t want extra for drizzling

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1/2 ” knob of ginger, peeled and grated

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated

  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)

  • 1 cup (236 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice, strained*

  • 1/3 cup (55 g) loosely packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) reduced-sodium tamari

  • 3 tablespoons vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (about 1 small orange)

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch*

  • 2 tablespoons cold water


For Serving: (optional)

  • Cooked rice or noodles

  • Steamed or stir-fried vegetables

  • Green onions, thinly sliced

  • Sesame seeds, for garnish


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Tear the tofu into bite-sized chunks for a more chicken-like texture, or cut into small cubes.

  2. Add the tofu to a medium bowl and add in the oil and tamari. Toss with a spatula until evenly coated, then sprinkle the cornstarch on top and toss again. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread out the tofu pieces so they aren’t touching. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through.

  3. Once the tofu has gone into the oven, begin prepping the sauce. Warm the sesame oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the garlic, ginger, and optional red chili flakes. Sauté for 60 seconds, then add in the orange juice, brown sugar, tamari, vinegar, and orange zest. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with the water until dissolved, then add the slurry to the sauce and simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and can coat the back of a spoon.

  4. Remove the tofu from the oven and add it to the pan, coating all sides of the tofu in the glossy orange sauce. Serve warm, over rice or as desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Tofu: This recipe works great with the crispy tofu, but you can also make the orange sauce and coat it in store-bought vegan chicken or veg chicken nuggets!


Orange Juice: Use fresh squeezed orange juice for this – pasteurized will work in a pinch, but it will be less sweet and more bitter! You’ll need 3-4 large oranges to get ~1 cup of juice.


Substitutions: brown sugar can be replaced with maple syrup or coconut sugar. Cornstarch can be swapped with arrowroot powder to help thicken the sauce, but I recommend using nutritional yeast instead of cornstarch for the sauce instead of arrowroot powder, which can make baked things slightly gummy.

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