Sesame Orange Tofu – crispy tofu, luscious orange sauce, and bites of fresh citrus. Perfection in a pan!
Is it possible that I love this sesame orange tofu even more than I ever loved orange chicken?
Why yes, I think it is.
Is it because I’ve become a little bit obsessed with tofu? Maybe.
As much as I adore my bok choy tofu stir fry and my favorite kung pao tofu recipe, this sesame orange tofu might just take the cake.
When I crave Chinese food, I’m usually craving one of two things: either something that reminds me of my trip to China (like these potatoes or these eggs), or something that makes me feel like I’m eating Americanized take out.
Guess which one I was craving when I made this sesame orange tofu?
I think it’s pretty obvious.
Back when I was eating meat as part of my regular diet, I used to love orange chicken. Only, I didn’t really like the chicken part of it.
I loved the sauce, crispy coating, and overall flavor, but there was just something freaky about that chicken.
It seemed like such a mystery… the strange shapes and the dry texture really threw me off.
This vegetarian (and vegan!) version hits all the right flavor notes to satisfy that craving without leaving me wondering what I’m *really* eating.
The first time I made this orange tofu I just stuck with two components: tofu and sauce.
It was delicious, but wasn’t really a home run.
The next time, I added scallions. Also good, but something was missing.
The third time I had a random extra orange next to me on the counter and I decided to segment it and add it to the pan.
You guys. WOW. What a difference! It makes the whole dish taste so fresh and really packs a punch of orange flavor.
It doesn’t hurt that it also happens to look gorgeous.
If you’ve never segmented an orange, don’t fear! I put a link in the recipe box below so you can watch how to do it on youtube.
It takes under a minute and is totally worth it. If you just added orange segments to the pan the casings and pith would make everything fibrous and bitter — not really what we’re going for here.
The sesame seed garnish is totally optional, but I like it because it’s pretty. Noticing a theme here? #eatprettyfood
There’s plenty of sesame flavor from the oil, but it never hurts to add an extra garnish.
Here’s the Recipe!
Sesame Orange Tofu Recipe
For the Sauce
- Juice and zest from one large orange - about ¼ cup juice and 1 tablespoon zest
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
For the Stir Fry
- 14 ounces firm tofu
- 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 5 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 teaspoons peanut or grapeseed oil
- 8 scallions - sliced (keep white and green parts separate)
- 1 large orange - segmented
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Bring three cups of water to a boil (on the stove or in the microwave).
- Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl; whisk until well-combined. Set aside.
- Drain the tofu and cut into bite-sized cubes. Place the tofu in a colander and pour the boiling water over the top. Pat dry with paper towels, then transfer the tofu to a plastic zipper-close bag. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil to the bag. Seal the bag and give it a good shake. Re-open the bag and add one tablespoon of the corn starch. Re-seal and shake to coat. Repeat with remaining cornstarch, one tablespoon at a time, until the tofu is well-coated.
- Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet or wok set over medium-high heat. Add the white parts of the scallions and stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes; until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Turn the heat down to medium. Add the tofu to the pan and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute per side (6 minutes total).
- Give the prepared sauce a good stir and pour into the pan. Toss with the tofu and allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until thickened.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the scallions (white and green) and orange segments. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve hot.
My hubs and I made this for dinner last night. It was really an awesome dish and we loved it! My only recommendation would be to possibly add some spice to this dish if you like your food a bit spicy. It was slightly mild for my palette.
Oh yes you are right about adding the fresh oranges at the end! What a fab dish, Thank You for this recipe. I might add some cashews next time and also I always toast my sesame seeds which really improves the flavor. What do you think about pressing the water out of the tofu first?
Hi, Marry! I find that the boiling water poured over the tofu works better to expel the liquid. You can definitely make it using a tofu press, too, however I never remember to press the tofu ahead of time so I use the boiling water method 🙂