This deliciously simple orange tofu recipe comes from the new cookbook Frugal Vegan. It comes together in a snap with pantry ingredients by tossing baked tofu in a fresh orange glaze.
I’m really excited about this book, which was developed and written by the ladies behind Well Vegan. As you can guess from the title “Frugal Vegan”, the cookbook is all about plant-based recipes that fit within a reasonable budget, and there are a few more things I love about it:
- Almost no processed ingredients in the recipes. For a book focused on being quick and easy, it’s skillful that the authors were able to do it using food made from scratch.
- Beautiful, bright, straightforward photographs.
- Plenty of recipes that pack in quite a few veggies (the lack thereof is a common complaint of mine about cookbooks in this genre).
I was immediately stoked to start cooking and I chose to make the orange tofu.
As you can see pictured here, I also cooked up a stir-fry of the easy sesame broccoli from the book and some white rice to go with the tofu.
I made a few changes to this orange tofu to suit my tastes. In my advanced age I seem to be getting too lazy to marinate tofu, so I skipped the marinade altogether, instead baking the tofu at a higher heat so that it would get more porous and absorb the sauce post-cooking. This also made everything more crispy, which is a plus. I’m sure that if you prefer pan-fried tofu, that would work well with this recipe too.
I also made the recipe a little more spicy, and cut the tofu into cubes rather than slabs, so that I could bowl it up! This *might* remind you of a little something called orange chicken from Panda Express. I can’t confirm or deny the similarities – I’ve never tried that other thing. But I can assure you this orange tofu is easy, frugal and delish!
Easy baked orange tofu! From the authors of Frugal Vegan: "Nearly everyone can remember getting Chinese food and ordering orange chicken. Its fluorescent, unnatural, gooey appearance almost made it look extraterrestrial. The recipe below calls on some of the same flavors from your favorite Chinese dish."
- 1 14-oz. package extra-firm tofu (400g)
- 2 and 1/2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari divided
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic grated (or use 1/8 tsp garlic powder)
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger grated (or use 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
- 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp agave nectar (or use brown rice syrup or maple syrup)
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp cold water
- chopped green onions or scallions (optional, for serving)
Drain the tofu and press it by either using a tofu press, or wrapping it in a clean towel and placing a heavy object on top of it. Let the tofu drain for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 Celsius). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Cut the pressed tofu into cubes, toss them with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, and arrange them evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping each piece halfway through.
Meanwhile, make your orange glaze by combining the remaining 1 and 1/2 tbsp soy sauce in a saucepan with the rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, grated garlic and ginger, orange juice, and agave nectar. Heat over medium-low until the mixture reaches a gentle simmer.
Whisk together the cornstarch and cold water until smooth, then add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan. Continue to stir over medium-low heat until the glaze thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat until the tofu is done cooking.
Return the heat to medium-low and remove the tofu from the oven. Add the tofu cubes to the pan and fold to coat the tofu with the sauce. Serve immediately, garnished with scallions if desired; and accompanied by rice and vegetables.
ORANGE COLOR: If you want your orange tofu to be closer to that fluorescent Panda Express color then try adding a pinch of ground turmeric to the sauce (just a pinch!).
Other takeout-style favorites from the blog:
Disclosure: I was provided a copy of Frugal Vegan for review. All writing and opinions are my own.