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Brown Sugar-Orange Tofu

Brown Sugar-Orange Tofu

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Baked tofu sweetened with a brown sugar and orange glaze.MORE+LESS-


oz extra firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes


cup Gold Medal™ unbleached all-purpose flour


teaspoons vegetable oil


tablespoons brown sugar

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  • 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss tofu in a large bowl with flour and salt. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet. Shake off excess flour from tofu and place in a single layer in hot skillet. Saute until golden brown.

  • 2

    Spray a non-stick baking dish with cooking spray, then transfer tofu to baking dish.

  • 3

    Squeeze the juice of an orange into the skillet with the leftover oil/juices and simmer until you have a slightly thick sauce.

  • 4

    Pour the sauce evenly over the tofu and top with brown sugar. Bake tofu in oven for 15 minutes until brown sugar-orange glaze starts to caramelize.

  • 5

    Serve warm with sauteed greens and rice, if desired.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • As a reporter by day, foodie by any other time of day or night, I get to meet a lot of interesting people.From clowns to professional pianists to sculptors of giant rocks (oh yeah, that happened), the characters I encounter at my job never cease to surprise me.There was one interviewee in particular with whom I was most taken aback. When I asked this chef/owner of a French restaurant to tell me the one food he will never eat, his answer was: Tofu.Gasp! Clearly he’s never tried Brown Sugar-Orange Tofu.I know there are some real tofu-haters out there, but if ever there was a recipe to convert one of them into a fan of the vegetarian food, this would be it. I know that’s a tall order, but one bite of a piece of baked tofu doused in a sweet, sugary, citrusy glaze and you’ll understand its power. It’s that good.
  • There are two things I love most about this recipe: The first is the taste, which has the uncanny ability to make you forget that indeed, this dish is actually very healthy. The second is that it’s reminiscent of orange chicken, one of my favorite Asian dishes that I’ve had to let go of since becoming mostly vegetarian. Sure, it doesn’t taste just like the real thing, but if I’ve got a hankerin’ for some sweet orange glaze (and I do, more often than I care to admit), this recipe hits the spot.I also love that I can have this seemingly complicated (yet oh-so-easy) recipe on the dinner table in a mere half hour. So I guess that makes three things I love about this recipe. A win-win-win.So for all you characters out there who have a beef with tofu, give this recipe a go. After all, tofu is a character worth getting to know!

Orange and Ginger Glazed Tofu

Orange and ginger glazed tofu is a quick and easy 30-minute weeknight meal. Crispy pan-fried tofu and fresh, crisp steamed broccoli in a sweet ginger-orange sauce.

It’s encouraging to see more and more supermarkets around Barcelona carrying tofu. It seems to be slowly gaining acceptance here, which is a good thing since tofu has been a staple in my kitchen since I was a teenager.

Despite the fact that it’s becoming easier to find in my neighbourhood, I still prefer to pick up a couple blocks of tofu when I go downtown to the Asian supermarket. It’s cheaper, fresher, and always in stock. Since I don’t manage to get there every week, I put a couple blocks in the freezer to pull out whenever I need them.

The benefit to freezing tofu is twofold: not only does it keep it fresher longer, but it also creates air pockets that allow the tofu to suck up more sauce, thereby making it more flavourful.

Another essential step to imparting flavour in your tofu is to press it. I generally do this by cutting it into slices and arranging them between paper towels. Then I place it between two absorbent bathroom towel and put a couple of heavy textbooks on top. I leave it there for about an hour.

This recipe for orange and ginger glazed tofu resulted from a search for more vegan-friendly recipes. Orange and ginger is a popular Chinese take-out combination, and this sauce is sweet, citrusy, and tangy at the same time.

This particular recipe was inspired by and adapted from Connoisseurus Veg's Crispy Orange Ginger Tofu . Which is one of my favourite websites for vegan recipes. The website is enormous, and has practically any vegan recipe you could be looking for. I recommend that you check it out!

How to Make Crispy Tofu in 5 Steps

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This week on Basically, we’re diving deep into one of our favorite ingredients: tofu. To get all of this (and more) way before it hits the web, subscribe to our print magazine.

When I look at a block of tofu, all I see is POSSIBILITY. (Can’t say the same about looking at my Google calendar.) With a little ingenuity, a solid foundation of techniques, and a good recipe, tofu can be nearly anything I want it to be: simmered in a spicy stew like soondubu until soft and supple, warmed with dashi in a donabe, grilled and drizzled with chimichurri. And even though it might seem counterintuitive, since many types come packaged in water, tofu can also be “crispy” too.

I put crispy in quotation marks because we’re not talking fried chicken– or Pringles–level crispy here. Rather, “crispy” tofu is golden brown all over with a distinct crust. It holds onto sauce but doesn’t get lost in it. You’ll want to pop a cube into your mouth like a tater tot.

While tofu may not be born crispy—and, at times, may seem to resist all of your attempts to make it that way—follow these five steps and you can easily get it there. Here’s how to make crispy tofu:

If you’re pan-frying your tofu, you’re probably using a firm, extra-firm, or super-firm variety (rather than silken). These have already been pressed in its creation—that’s how the coagulated soy milk becomes a block—but most could use a little more assistance. Because the drier you can get your tofu, the crispier it will become. You could pat tofu with a lint-free kitchen towel or paper towel before you start cooking (see No. 2), but even better to press some of that excess water out using a heavy weight.

Expelling water compacts the block of tofu, which accomplishes two things: It creates a denser, heftier, and sturdier texture, making the pieces less likely to crumble to bits as you fry, stir, and flip, and it reduces spattering when the pieces hit hot oil.

You can press tofu by using a tofu press (I’m a well-documented tofu press advocate—it just makes my life the littlest bit easier) or MacGyvering a DIY method: Place your tofu on a lint-free kitchen towel atop a rimmed baking sheet or cutting board. Blanket it with another towel, then place a cutting board on top and stack on all of your heavy objects, like cast-iron pans, cans of tomatoes, sleeping cats. To speed up the process, cut your tofu into thinner planks or smaller cubes before you weigh it down. By increasing the surface area, you create more pathways for the water to exit. Aim for at least 20 minutes or as long as you can muster. (You can also press your tofu for several hours or overnight—I usually just stick my whole tofu press in the fridge in the morning so that it’s ready to go at dinnertime.)

Not every block of tofu that you plan to pan-fry needs to be pressed: If it’s dense and firm enough straight from the package, you may not need to press at all. This really depends on the brand—I find that high-protein tofu from producers like Hodo Foods and Phoenix Bean, which comes vacuum-sealed rather than sitting in liquid, often doesn’t need to be pressed. In that case, just move on to the next step.

Cut (or tear!) your tofu into its final shape. (Alternatively, you can fry the tofu in planks and rip or cut it into pieces after—fewer crispy edges, but less flipping! You make the call.) Dry off your sliced tofu on all sides using a lint-free kitchen towel or paper towels, then season with salt.

A light coating of cornstarch will absorb even more moisture from the tofu’s surface and contribute to a distinct coating. Sprinkle over the starch (potato starch, tapioca starch, and arrowroot all work too) a little bit at a time and toss the tofu, pressing gently so the starch adheres. At this point, you can also mix in ground spices and seasonings (ground garlic and onion, mustard powder, nutritional yeast, chili powder, black pepper) and/or, my favorite addition, panko, which gets crackly when fried.

Now that you’re ready to cook, pull out a nonstick skillet, which will prevent your tofu from refusing to dislodge when you go to turn it. A very well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or wok will also work.

What to Serve with Orange Baked Tofu

There are lots of different options to serve this easy tofu dish from simple steamed rice and veggies to more elaborate options. For all of these, you may want to double or triple up the sauce to drizzle on your side dishes.

  • You will want to add some vegetables to this dish and there are so many options. My personal favorite options are cooked in the oven at the same time as the tofu like this Crispy Cabbage or Honey Garlic Carrots.
  • Grab some cooked brown rice, quinoa, white rice, or make some Cauliflower Fried Rice for a lighter option.
  • Another option we love is using spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles to create a lighter option that pairs great with the tofu.
  • These make great lettuce wraps with some butter lettuce and cooked rice or soba noodles.
  • Make Asian inspired tacos with an Asian slaw and warmed corn tortillas. You'll want some extra Sriracha on the side.

Advanced Studies

Fresh Silken/Custard Tofu

Fresh silken/custard tofu is best for the most delicate dishes. Because custard tofus are consumed with minimal preparation, your best bet is purchasing them fresh from a local manufacturer. Even the most prettily packaged mass-produced ones taste flat and bitter. But if you can find a reliable local source, the light, slightly sweet, and milky character of a fresh silken/custard tofu is out of this world. Purchase fresh silken/custard tofu right before you need it, as this tofu turns quickly. When you see a pink/orange hue glaze the surface—which can happen as quickly as the next day—toss it. It's so delicate that the quality shouldn't be overshadowed by a complex preparation—use a soft silken or block tofu for that.

How to Prep: Raw
Best Uses: Spoon into a bowl, ladle some miso/dashi broth over it, and sprinkle with finely sliced scallions for a light savory dish. Or drizzle with agave for a sweet treat.

Dry/Gan/Five-Spice Tofu

This is my personal favorite tofu style. The ultra-dense block is stained a deep purple/brown with seasoning (usually Chinese five-spice powder), and it's baked and compacted into tight cubes. It closes the circle of tofu preparation techniques, as a dry tofu—like soft silken—requires little to no cooking. On its own, dry tofu has a flappy/rubbery feel, but its chewy texture plays well with anything soft. Chop it up, toss it into a noodle or brothy curry dish, and enjoy.

How to Prep: No prep needed simply remove the package and go.
Best Uses: Any dish in which you want a chewy texture
Dry/Gan/Five-Spice Tofu Recipes:

Smoked Tofu

This extra-firm tofu is most often smoked in tea leaves, giving it a light hue and smoky flavor. It's so dry and dense, you can barely see the curds, and is very similar to dry tofu, but with a lighter up-front flavor. This tofu is tough—you could play a game of catch without it breaking.

How to Prep: No prep needed simply remove the package and go.
Best Uses: Any dish in which you're looking for a smoky flavor and chewy texture
Smoked Tofu Recipes:

Aburaage and Inari

One last option, for extra credit: these sweet-and-salty prepared fried tofu pockets, called inari. This Japanese snack is made of deep-fried tofu, called aburaage, that's been puffed up and hollowed out, like a pita bread, then simmered in a sugar and soy sauce. Aburaage and inari both come pressed flat and, when cut in half, form pockets that can be stuffed with rice for inarizushi. This is a simple sushi style with a relatively uncomplicated execution. I personally prefer to just buy inari, as the at-home recipes I've tried never turn out to my liking, though some may find commercial inari too sweet. Aburaage and inari also make excellent additions to udon or soba soups.

How to Prep: No prep needed simply remove the package and go.
Best Uses: Stuffed with sushi rice or added to brothy soups
Aburaage and Inari Recipes:


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