It can be hard to find delicious, indulgent, plant-based Chinese food (especially in the Okanagan!) which means sometimes you have to get a little creative and make things from scratch. I pretty much grew up on Chinese good and I remember the best part about the Orange Chicken was the sticky orange sauce that coats it! In fact, a lot of those Chinese dishes we grew up loving are ALL about the sauces!
I’ve been wanting to recreate the Orange Chicken at home to see how close I could get it to the original … but, I also wanted to make a few special tweaks! I started by swapping the chicken with firm tofu to make this recipe plant-based! I coated the firm tofu in cornstarch, almond milk, and panko bread crumbs, and then fried to crispy perfection! Then, I used FRESH orange juice to make the sticky sauce tangy and citrusy.
Serve it over white rice, garnish with green onions and sesame seeds and I SWEAR you’ll have every meat eater FOOLED and coming back for seconds!
- 1/2 cup jasmine rice or rice of choice
- 1 tbsp neutral tasting oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tbsp grated orange zest
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp Sambal Oelek, or hot sauce of choice
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed to remove liquid, and the sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp neutral tasting oil
- Green onions
- Sesame seeds
- Make the rice as per the instructions on the package.
- Make the orange sauce. In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and stir for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, being careful not to burn.
- Slowly whisk in orange juice, zest, water, rice vinegar, tamari, brown sugar, and hot sauce and bring to a low boil. Simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- In a ramekin, combine water and cornstarch and whisk with a fork to make a slurry. Add slurry to orange sauce, and let the sauce reduce for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Make the crispy tofu. Add cornstarch, almond milk and panko bread crumbs to three separate shallow bowls. One by one, add in each piece of tofu into cornstarch, then the almond milk, then the panko crumbs, ensuring each piece is fully coated. Repeat with all the remaining tofu.
- Heat oil in a frying pan or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Using tongs, add tofu pieces in one by one, leaving room between each piece and not over-crowding the pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes until crispy and golden, and then using tongs, flip each piece and cook other sides.
- Once all the tofu has been cooked, reduce heat to low and slowly add orange sauce to pan with tofu. Stir to combine, ensuring each piece of tofu is covered in sauce.
- Serve over cooked rice and top with green onions and sesame seeds. Store leftovers in airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Best enjoyed fresh. ENJOY!!!!
Make sure to let me know if you make this dish and how you like it in the comments section below!!