Crispy tofu simmered in a zesty Orange ginger sauce is the answer to all those midweek Asian food cravings.
Why we love Orange Tofu?
- Tofu is plant-based. So it s a great source of protein for vegans.
- The sauce is to die for- zesty tangy orange, some maple syrup for the sweet kick and then the heat from the ginger; all these are indicative of flavor bombs.
- This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
- You can also add some roasted cauliflower in place of the tofu for an Orange cauliflower recipe.
- When you have this ready, make a complete meal by pairing this with steamed jasmine rice or even some Thai basil fried rice
Orange Juice- We are going to be using freshly squeezed orange juice to make our orange sauce today. Because canned orange juice tends to turn bitter when heated, this s not ideal in this vegan orange tofu recipe.
Maple syrup- The orange sauce is a combination of sweet, spicy and tangy. The maple syrup is what brings out the sweetness. However, you can substitute this with 2 tablespoon raw cane sugar or 2 tablespoon jaggery or 2 tablespoon honey. Please note that when honey is added, the recipe is no longer vegan.
Aromatics- Ginger, garlic and orange zest are our star aromatics in this recipe. You can also add finely chopped green onions as garnish towards the end.
Which tofu to buy for stir-fries?
In this Orange tofu recipe, we will be using firm pressed tofu. Silken tofu is a big no for any recipes that involve frying the tofu. This is because such varieties do not hold shape while frying.
Look for firm blocks that say pressed on the packaging. Some tofu brands even mention if the tofu is ideal for stir-frying. In Singapore, we find something called Tau-Kwa. This is a firmly pressed tofu and it works well in recipes that involve frying tofu.
Which orange works best for Orange Tofu?
While I tested this recipe, Kinnow oranges were in season. So that is what I used. But I have made with Navel oranges too. Choose any variety that has a slight tang to it.
Pressing the tofu
The most important step in this recipe is pressing the tofu to squeeze the excess moisture from it. Think of tofu as a sponge. It absorbs all the flavors and liquid. So when there is moisture in tofu, it simply wont absorb the flavors of the sauce. And if it has moisture, it will not crisp up while frying.
Pro Tip: If you find that the tofu is still a wee bit moist after all the squeezing, toss it in cornstarch before frying. The cornstarch will absorb all the excess moisture and form a layer on the top. This cornstarch layer will help in crisping up the tofu better.
Making the sauce
The tofu takes about 6 to 8 mins to crisp up. And that is how much time it takes to cook the sauce too. So, while the tofu gets fried, get started on the sauce. By the time the tofu is ready, the sauce will be done too. Then all you have to do is dunk and cook the tofu in the sauce.
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Vegan Orange Tofu- Method
Pressing and frying the tofu
Open the tofu from its packaging and drain all the liquid in it. Now, place it on a stack of kitchen towels. Place a chopping board on top of the tofu and then, keep a heavy weight like a mortar and pestle on the board. Let this sit undisturbed for 30 mins.
After 30 mins, chop the tofu into 1 inch squares or finger.
Heat a castiron skillet with oil. Now, add the tofu and fry on medium flame until it crisps around the edges. Using a pair of tongs, flip the tofu pieces in between to make sure all the edges are crisped up.
Making the sauce
While the tofu is in the skillet, let us work on the sauce. Combine orange juice, maple syrup, ginger, orange zest, rice wine vinegar, sriracha sauce and salt in a sauce pan. Mix well. Now add the cornstarch to this and using a balloon whisk, whisk the mixture well, making sure there are no lumps.
Now, cook the sauce on low flame for about 5 mins until it thickens. When it begins to thicken, add the fried tofu and mix well. Simmer for 2 to 3 mins on medium flame.
When done, serve hot with Thai basil fried rice.
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Vegan Orange Tofu
- Cast iron skillet
- Sauce Pan
For the Tofu
- 300 g Firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon Sesame oil
For The Sauce
- 1 c Freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoon Maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon Rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha Sauce
- 1 tbsp Grated orange zest
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon Corn starch
- 1 tsp Salt or to taste
Frying the tofu
- First step is to press the tofu to remove all excess moisture.
- To begin with, remove the tofu from its packaging and drain all liquid.
- Now, place the tofu on some kitchen towels.
- Place a chopping board on top of it and then a heavy weight like a mortar and pestle.
- Allow this to sit for 30 mins.
- After 30 mins, discard the paper towels.
- Chop the tofu into 1 inch long pieces.
- Heat a castiron skillet with 1 tablespoon sesame oil.
- Place the tofu on the skillet and fry them on medium flame till edges are golden.
- When done, remove and set aside.
Preparing the orange sauce
- Combine orange juice, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, sriracha sauce, grated ginger, orange zest and salt in a sauce pan.
- Stir well.
- Now add corn starch to this mixture and using a balloon whisk, whisk well making sure there are no lumps in the mixture.
- Cook this mixture on medium flame for about 2 to 3 mins until it begins to bubble and the sauce has thickened.
- Add the fried tofu pieces to this and mix well.
- Continue to simmer the sauce on medium flame for 2 to 3 mins.
- When done, serve hot with fried rice or just regular white or brown rice.