Asian Orange Tofu Stir Fry

Mike wanted something “sweet, sticky, Asian, and orange” for dinner. Using that criteria, here’s what we ended up eating tonight.

For the sauce:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water

Everything else:

  • 8 ounces extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into small cubes
  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  1. Pour all the sauce ingredients, except the corn starch and tablespoon of water, into a medium saucepan, and set it over medium-high heat. Once it starts boiling, turn off the heat, and set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan (or wok if you have one) over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and fry until crispy and brown, about five minutes. Remove the tofu from the pan.
  3. Mix the cornstarch and water. Make sure the cornstarch is not lumpy. Put the broccoli and peppers into the pan and fry for a minute or two; then add the sauce. Add the tofu back into the pan. Then stir in the cornstarch slurry. Cook for a minute or two longer until the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice.

(Serves 4)

I considered marinating the tofu in some of the sauce but decided against it because I did not feel like waiting. In general though, I think tofu needs all the flavor help it can get, so it probably will get a soak next time.

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Comments

  1. Wow, did you make the sauce recipe up? It sounds great! How’d it end up tasting?

    The only orangey soy saucey sauce I ever made didn’t turn out so well, like the flavors didn’t end up blending together, they just sort of sat next to each other.

    This recipe looks delicious at least, so it’s on my list of things to make this week!

  2. This sauce was based on a recipe I saw at Allrecipes. The orange flavor was not very strong, so if that is what you’re looking for I would probably replace some of the water with orange juice.

    I hope you end up liking it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  3. Just made it!

    I ended up using 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup orange juice, and I thought it still could have used more juice. I subbed blackstrap molasses for the brown sugar, because there’s something in it that’s supposed to be wonderful for pregnant people. Plus, I just like it in asian dishes (like pad see ew).

    I’d never tried the cornstarch thing before. It made the sauce so wonderful! Thick and sweet, like fast food Chinese! (Which is something Tim’s always trying to get me to recreate).

    All in all, I think it turned out wonderfully. We’ll probably have pics on our blog soon.

  4. Awesome, glad it worked out. It’s always hard trying to decide if what you think is an appropriate amount of flavor will be what other people like.

    The corn starch trick does indeed make a gravy like fast food Chinese. My Dad taught it to me when he taught me how to stir fry in grade school. Hehe. Thanks Dad!

  5. Yeah, thanks Kali’s dad!

    What other kind of Chinese fast foodish gravies do you make with this cornstarch trick? I need some more ideas!

  6. There you go putting me on the spot. :P

    And my not very helpful answer is, none. Reason being, I’m generally not trying to recreate a specific dish. It’s more: I think I’ll make something stir fried, these are the veggies I have/want to use, these are the flavors I want to use, and then if I decide I want to thicken the sauce a bit I’ll use a cornstarch slurry.

    Do keep in mind, it’s not exclusive to recreating fast food Chinese, you can use it anytime you want to thicken a sauce (or even a soup).

    The best suggestion I have is come up with whatever flavors you’d like, and then pretend it’s fast food by using the corn starch.

  7. I’m not much of a chef, who plans to cook more regularly for three often gastro-incompatibles: a vegetarian, a protein (meat) loving wheat intolerant adult and an ADD child allergic to peanuts, sensitive to additives and in love with starch. It is extremely difficult for a non-cook such as myself to find a meal we can all enjoy and thrive on. We love Chinese and Indian food so this is great. It meets all criteria and is quick. Thank you.

    Where’s the best place to get wheat free soy sauce?

  8. Hi Ivy,

    I’m happy to hear that the recipe will work for your family.

    We use San-J Wheat Free Tamari Soy Sauce. We do most of our shopping at a local neighborhood grocery store, and luckily enough they carry it. Their website says that Whole Foods carries their products. Or you could try to use their Where To Buy search.

    Hope that helps and happy cooking!

  9. Kali, we need to talk about how to get my tofu to look like your tofu. I’m having an epic battle with consistently inconsistent pan-fried tofu. <3

  10. Kalinda says:

    Oh no, that doesn’t sound like fun. Off the top of my head, I’d say the key points are making sure the tofu is well-pressed, and resist the urge to over stir when you’re browning it. When the tofu hits the pan it will stick. Let it brown, then scrape it up, and let it brown on another side.

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