Before becoming vegetarian, I used to love Chinese orange chicken take-out. It was a great surprise when I discovered Chef Chloe Coscarelli’s vegan version in her amazing cookbook Chloe’s Kitchen. Enjoy!
Orange Crispy Tofu
From Chloe’s Kitchen by Chef Chloe Coscarelli
- 1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained
- 1 cup orange juice
- Peel from 1/4 orange, cut into 1/4 inch strips
- 2 tablespoons agave
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Canola oil for frying
- 1/4 cornstarch or arrowroot
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 cups cooked rice, for serving
Press the tofu by taking a block of extra-firm tofu and wrap it tightly in dry paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Set the tofu on a flat surface and place a small baking pan on top. Then stack something heavy, like canned food or books, on top. Let the tofu sit for 20 minutes while it releases its water.
After pressing, cut tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix orange juice, orange peel, agave, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and coriander. Set aside.
Fill a large heavy-bottomed skillet with 1/2 inch oil, and heat over medium-high over medium-high heat. While oil is heating, whisk together cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Dredge tofu in the flour mixture by tossing a few cubes at a time in the bowl of flour and removing them onto a plate. Be sure to shake off excess flour before frying.
The oil is hot enough when bubbles form around a wooden spoon inserted in the oil. Carefully place tofu in the oil and let fry until the bottom is golden and crisp. Flip tofu using a spatula or tongs and fry until the other side is golden and crisp. Remove tofu from oil and drain on paper towels.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add fried tofu and orange mixture. Let cook until the sauce bubbles dow to a thick syrup. Turn off heat and mix in cilantro. Serve over rice.