The following recipe and photography were provided by our partner, Kayla Breeden Falconer of Kayla’s Kitch and Fix.
This new take on Chinese takeout is refreshingly flavorful and nutritious!
If you’ve ever eaten at a Chinese restaurant, or ordered it in, you’ve likely tried orange chicken. Traditionally sticky, sweet and vibrant in color, this citrusy meal is mouthwatering, and sadly packed full of sugar.
I’m all about finding better ways to enjoy fan-favorite foods and am excited to share that you can recreate the flavor of orange chicken in your own kitchen without any added sugar, In fact, this dish is sweetened naturally!
Now, there’s one more twist to this recipe that adds delicious texture, and that’s the use of protein-rich tofu instead of classic chicken. I promise, when prepared correctly and coated in a homemade Asian-inspired orange sauce, you’ll never miss the standard poultry.
When takeout cravings strike, I highly suggest you give this simple Orange Tofu a try! The flavor and texture is something you simply have to taste to believe!
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For the Orange Sauce
- ⅓ cup orange juice, from one large sumo orange
- 1 Tbsp. orange zest
- 2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 Tbsp. compliant ketchup (no added sugar)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Thickening Paste
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 Tbsp. tapioca starch or tapioca flour
For the Tofu and Optional Toppings
- 12 oz. firm tofu
- Green onion, sliced
- Sesame seeds
- ½ cup raw cashews
- Cover the tofu in towels on top of a plate, then gently place a cast iron skillet on top for 15-30 minutes to remove excess moisture. Chop the tofu into cubes.
- Place a skillet on the stove over medium heat and coat with oil.
- Cook the tofu until golden on all sides, gently flipping to ensure all sides are cooked.
- While the tofu cooks, prepare the sauce. Start by juicing the orange (I did this by hand. You don’t need a fancy juicer). You can strain the orange juice to get rid of the pulp, but it’s necessary.
- Whisk all of the remaining sauce ingredients together. Set aside. Add red pepper, if desired, for a little heat.
- Once the tofu is cooked, remove it from the skillet and set aside. Wipe out the skillet and place it back on the stove over medium-low heat.
- Add the sauce to the skillet and bring it to a simmer.
Combine 1 Tbsp. of tapioca starch or tapioca flour and 2 Tbsp. of water. Stir to form a paste, then pour the paste into the skillet, stirring immediately. Allow to simmer for a few minutes. If the paste is clumpy, turn up the heat and stir until combined.
- Once the sauce has thickened slightly, add the tofu and cashews and stir to cover each piece completely.
- Top with additional sesame seeds and green onions and serve with sautéed broccoli, rice and/or fried rice, if desired.
Note: To reheat leftovers, use a skillet on the stove instead of a microwave for best results.