Vegan Orange Chicken (Tofu)

This vegan orange chicken recipe is intended to be comforting, delicious and fun. You may see the word “healthy” in my blog name and assume I only post salads and low calorie foods. However, the definition of healthy is not low-calorie or strictly veggies. Being healthy also means taking care of your mental health and allowing yourself to eat foods that bring you happiness. After all, food is huge part of our culture, community and family.

vegan orange tofu

Vegan Orange Chicken (Tofu)

This orange tofu recipe brings me happiness. Orange chicken was one of my favorite weekend meals as a kid. I loved it so much that I would look forward to orange chicken and movie night every week. After a few trials, I’m happy to announce that I have veganized my favorite orange chicken — orange tofu style! Oh, and if you’re wondering… yes it is better than panda express orange chicken.. and these are the only ingredients that you’ll need:

VEGAN ORANGE TOFU

Making vegan orange chicken in 4 easy steps:

  1. Break tofu into small pieces.
  2. Make batter and coat tofu in batter.
  3. Fry tofu until golden brown.
  4. Make sauce, heat it up and add tofu!

Better than take-out and it will even be ready by the time your food delivery would arrive anyway! There is a bit of cleaning involved but trust me, this vegan orange chicken recipe will be worth it.

Oil-Free Options

Avoiding oil? No problem! Make this recipe in an air fryer to get that same texture. If using an air fryer: set to 375 F and air fry for 18-22 minutes while flipping every 7 minutes. 

If you want to bake the tofu I recommend coating it in cornstarch only instead of coating it with the batter.  Mix 1/3 cup corn starch with garlic powder and salt before coating the tofu. This will help the tofu achieve a more crispy texture in the oven. Bake at 400 F for 25 minutes flipping halfway through.

vegan orange chicken recipe

Substitutes and tips:

Can’t have tofu? Try cauliflower! It’s equally as delicious. Click here for a delicious cauliflower orange chicken recipe!

Corn starch is absolutely necessary for this recipe, don’t skip it!

If using oil, I recommend: avocado, canola or vegetable oil. Avoid olive oil, smoking point is too low and can become toxic when frying at high heat.

Soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos are all great to use in this recipe.

BONUS TIP: Freeze tofu and fully defrost before using for a chicken-like texture that will make it taste like real orange chicken!

More delicious tofu recipes

Here are other tofu recipes I think you’ll love:

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vegan orange chicken

Vegan Orange Chicken (Tofu)


  • Author: Anna Rios
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Fried tofu in sweet and sour homemade orange sauce. I’m sure this dish can turn anyone who hates tofu into a tofu lover!


Ingredients

Scale

Tofu:

  • 1/2 cup of neutral oil (I used canola)
  • 1 package of tofu (16 oz / 454 g)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/41/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Sauce:

  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 1/31/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons crushed ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

Instructions

  1. Press and pat dry the tofu. No need to press if you use Trader Joe’s High Protein Tofu. Break tofu into small 1-inch nuggets. The rough edges allow the dough to stay and become more crisp.
  2. Add the flour, cornstarch, salt, and garlic powder to a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add water and whisk until dough forms. You want it to be a little runny but not too thick.
  3. Add chunks of tofu to the batter and coat evenly.
  4. Turn a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the tofu pieces one by one. Fry for 5-6 minutes on each side or until golden brown. When ready, place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  5. Add all the sauce ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Add the sauce to a skillet over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes while stirring. If you use the same skillet you used for frying, be sure to get the oil out first.
  6. Once the sauce has thickened and simmered for at least 5 minutes, add the crispy tofu. Mix into sauce until all pieces are evenly coated.
  7. Serve over steamed white or brown rice and enjoy!

Notes

* See above for oil-free options

* For a chicken-like texture, freeze and thaw the tofu before cooking

* Can be made gluten-free with GF all-purpose flour

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked / Fried
  • Cuisine: Asian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Keywords: vegan, plant-based, vegan comfort food, vegan chinese food, vegan orange chicken

28 thoughts on “Vegan Orange Chicken (Tofu)

  1. Lisa says:

    Had to come back and comment because it was the best orange chicken ever! After going vegan last year, I did not think I would ever have orange chicken again. Thank you for this amazing recipe, will definitely make it again.

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  3. Elissa says:

    That is a really good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very precise info… Thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  4. Macallan says:

    First time making this!! I tried using honey instead of sugar. It was a little too citrusy and tart. So next time I’ll stick to sugar to see if that solves my problem! But the consistency of the sauce was incredible!

    • Anna Rios says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Im an intuitive eating dietitian so I do not add nutrition facts to avoid promoting calorie counting etc. However, I can say that this is a high protein dish with moderate amount of sugar. Let me know if you have any other specific questions.

      Anna

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  8. Amanda H says:

    This is the FIRST tofu dish iv ever made my family… I literally just finished licking the pan. My two year old and husband also thought it was the BEST! Looks like we are tofu fans now! Thanks!

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  10. tinyurl.com says:

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  11. Rebecca says:

    I finally found an orange tofu recipe that’s easy and oh so very tasty! I do meal prep every Sunday and put this over rice with broccoli and carrots. Thank you for this delicious recipe!

  12. Marion says:

    An excellent recipe! Instead of sugar, I used honey.
    This is something we no longer order at our favorite Chinese restaurant because we can make better at home. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe with us. It’s going to be a keeper!

  13. Matt says:

    I’m going to make this dish soon, I am a tofu hater but I once did a very crispy tofu and I will try the same method with this recipe, I am salivating !!

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