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)


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.9 from 29 reviews

  • Author: Anna Rios
  • 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 the tofu into small 1-inch nuggets. The rough edges allow the dough to stay and become crisper.
  2. Add the flour, cornstarch, salt, and garlic powder to a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add water and whisk until batter 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

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked / Fried
  • Cuisine: Asian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup

62 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.






  2. Taylor says:

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    Exceptional blog and brilliant style and design.






  3. 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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  7. 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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  9. tinyurl.com says:

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  10. 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!






  11. 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!






  12. 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 !!

  13. Jennifer says:

    I made this recipe not that long ago and the orange tofu came out ridiculously good! I am a fan of orange chicken and this recipe just blew orange chicken away! I love love love this recipe. Thank you ❤️






  14. Jacqui says:

    I made this for dinner tonight! For the sauce I peeled two oranges and blended them instead of using just juice to keep the fiber! And then I also skipped the sugar and added 1-2 tbsp of maple syrup instead. It was super delicious!

    I also sautéed broccoli with onion to have some greens along, and topped my bowl brown-rice quinoa and orange tofu with sesame and flax seeds.

    Such an easy to follow and delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing.






    • Anna Rios says:

      Hey Jacqui! GREAT idea of blending the oranges to keep the fiber, I’ll need to try that 🙂 thank you for the review and I hope you try some more recipes.
      – Anna

  15. Kayla says:

    My family was pleasantly surprised! We’ve never made anything with tofu, but as it was my night to make dinner I wanted to make something vegan or vegetarian… and I found this! My dad was not exactly excited to hear we’d be having something without meat, so my mom made actual chicken but… he ended up wanting more tofu from my plate when he finished his!! Thank you for this amazing recipe, I’ll definitely be doing more meals with tofu!!






  16. Terry Leon Guerrero says:

    Just finished making this & it was delicious! I didn’t have store bought orange juice so I used freshly squeezed & used less sugar as the juice was more sweet than tart! I also Cut the sauce recipe in half & it was surprisingly enough to coat all of the tofu! Also the tip of freezing then thawing the tofu, spot on! Lovee the texture!
    Thank you for this recipe!






    • Anna Rios says:

      Thanks for trying it out and adjusting it to your preference! that is the beauty of recipes 🙂 I hope you try more recipes, I think you’d really like my “crispy tofu air fryer” version 🙂 It’s turned so many tofu haters into tofu lovers.

  17. jordi says:

    I’ve made this twice now. Some clarification please. For the tofu it lists 1/4-1/3 water for the “dough” but both times I’ve made it I’ve wondered first why it’s referred to as dough and not batter and secondly there’s no way that small amount of water will make a batter when added to the 1/3 flour. It does come out as a dough but you can’t coat the tofu in dough so I’m thinning it down with more water. Am I missing or misunderstanding something?






    • Anna Rios says:

      Hi Jordy,

      I just edited the word that said “dough” for the word “batter”. Thanks for the feedback! I made this recipe multiple times before posting it here. no one else seems to have this issue with the amount of water. Can I ask how much water you needed to use to make it into a batter? Was it more than 1/3 cup? the reason I listed a range (1/4-1/3 cup) because flours can differ in texture so some might be dryer or tougher to thin out. I hope you still enjoyed it 🙂 – Anna

  18. Andrea says:

    I’ve made this about 5 times now, I bake the tofu instead of frying it and it’s always SO GOOD. Such a good substitute for when I’m craving orange chicken 💖






  19. SkipToTheRecipe says:

    Had a lot of potential, but as others have stated, the ingredient increments need to be tweaked or else it’s going to taste like tofu covered in warmed up orange juice. Save yourself some time and just order orange chicken from your local Chinese restaurant and have them substitute the chicken with tofu.






  20. AL says:

    Wow! The orange sauce here is delightful and kind of trumps Panda Express! The end result is a saucy and if fried correctly, slightly crunchy “mock” orange chicken. I would recommend battering each piece separately and then frying individually (as in, not touching in the pan). I have made this twice and one of those times, I tried to rush the process and mixed all the tofu in at once, and end up with a LOT of extra starch just kind of hanging out and clumping in the sauce. Which is all on me! But otherwise, the flavor and the texture is delightful. Highly recommend all try!






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  22. Rachel says:

    This turned out great! I am new to tofu and did the freeze and thaw technique. Taste very similar to chicken and it looked like it! I wish I took a picture but I ate it all 🙂






  23. Jenny says:

    This was SO good, and probably the first time a recipe called for the right amount of batter for the amount of tofu require. I usually end up with a bunch leftover. I’m new to tofu, so I’m trying out a few different recipes, and I absolutely loved this. The tofu had a nice crunch, and the sauce was so good. I ended up only using around 1/4 of sugar, and it was still perfect.






    • Anna Rios says:

      So glad you gave it a try Jenny! 🙂 If you’re new to tofu make sure to check out my other tofu recipes, especially the shredded tofu or crispy air fried tofu 😉 I think you’ll love them. Have a wonderful week!

  24. Mandy K. says:

    Hi! Might be a silly question but when recommending to freeze and then rethaw – would I do freeze it after breaking it down into 1 inch nuggets or just freeze the whole package? Thanks!

  25. Karen says:

    I just finished making this for my vegetarian daughter who’s a busy working mom & her family.Will make rice to add to this dish. It tastes incredible they will love it . 🥰🇨🇦

  26. Kelli says:

    Stumbled upon this recipe and happy I did! Made this organge tofu last night and it’s awesome! Even my carnivorne husband loved it and asked to throw it in our regular dinner rotation. Thanks for sharing!






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