If you like a bit of sweetness in your Asian-style dinners (fans of sweet and sour sauce, I’m talking to you!), you’ll love this sweet and spicy orange tofu. The sticky sauce is full of that juicy orange flavour, and along with crisp veggies and chewy tofu, it makes a brilliant homemade alternative to your favourite Chinese take away.
Most impressive of all: I used freshly squeezed orange juice!
Have you ever experimented with juicing? I always have a carton of some kind of juice in the fridge, but it’s not something I’d ever tried making myself until a couple of weeks ago, when siQuri sent me their Essenzia slow juicer to try. Since then, I’ve been juicing every couple of days – I’ve made satsuma juice (delicious), peach juice (delicious), and now freshly squeezed orange juice (delicious). What should I try next?
The Essenzia juicer is really straightforward to use, with only three large parts to build onto the base. Just pop your whole fruit into the spout at the top (just removing any particularly large stones, like peach pits, or thick peels, like orange peel), and watch your juice pour out almost instantly. It’s actually pretty fun to watch it all whirling round inside. I was really impressed by the amount of juice this thing extracts – the pulp that comes out of the other spout is pretty dry.
The machine is also easy to clean with the brush provided (especially if you rinse it off while the fruit pulp is still fresh), and there are no sharp blades – very good if you’re clumsy like me.
Until today I’d just been enjoying drinking my fresh fruit juices on their own, but I’m going to experiment with making some fruit blends next (any favourite combinations you can suggest?), and maybe even some vegetable juices. Today I thought I’d try using my fresh orange juice in my cooking – hence orange tofu!
I started by frying off the tofu until it was nice and crispy. I tried a new technique of coating it with cornflour first to help make it extra crispy, which worked well when the tofu was on its own in the pan – but to be honest, once I added the sauce I’m not sure I could tell the cornflour was there, so I imagine you could skip this step if you don’t have any to hand. Just cook it like I did here if you prefer.
Then, the sauce! It couldn’t be simpler – just my freshly squeezed orange juice, a dash of soy sauce, and some fresh red chilli. It’s sweet, salty, sticky and spicy all in one. I added broccoli and red pepper to my orange tofu, but you can use whatever veggies you fancy.
Add a few extra chunks of fresh orange when you serve it up, and this simple orange tofu makes a pretty impressive looking dinner!
Sticky tofu in a sweet and spicy orange sauce!
- 400 g firm tofu drained and cut into 1/2” chunks (~ 2 1/2 cups when diced)
- 3 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp oil divided
- 1 small head broccoli cut into small florets
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 250 ml (~ 1 cup) orange juice (I used freshly squeezed)
- 1/2 red chilli finely chopped (adjust to preference)
- 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- To serve optional: sliced spring onions, sesame seeds, fresh orange chunks
Add the diced tofu and the cornflour to a bowl, and toss gently to coat. If there's still some moisture in the tofu, it will form a paste, but that's okay.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, and add the coated tofu. Cook over a high heat, tossing regularly, until it is firm and crispy all over - this could take up to 15-20 minutes.
In a separate pan, heat another dash of oil, and add the broccoli florets and diced red pepper. Cook for around 5 minutes over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until tender but still crisp.
To make the orange sauce, combine the orange juice, red chilli, and soy sauce in a bowl. When the tofu is crispy, add the sauce, and bring to a simmer. Allow the sauce to cook until it has reduced into a thick, sticky sauce. Add the cooked vegetables, and mix to combine.
Serve topped with sliced spring onions, sesame seeds, and fresh orange chunks if desired.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/2 the recipe, not including garnish.