Orange Sweet and Sour Tofu

This Orange Sweet and Sour is always a hit, even with tofu skeptics! The tofu is fried until it’s nice and crispy and then coated in the deliciously sticky sweet and sour sauce made with orange juice. Tofu is a very neutral-tasting ingredient and so it’s all about packing in as much flavour as you can to make it taste delicious. This orange sweet and sour sauce does just that – fragrant, sweet, sharp and sticky all at the same time and exactly the right thickness to give the cripsy tofu pieces the perfect saucy coating. Yum!

The Sauce

The sweet and sour sauce served with this crispy tofu is super easy to make. It starts with fragrant garlic and ginger which add depth and that familiar background flavour of classic sweet and sour sauce. You can easily adjust the sauce ingredients depending on how sweet or sour you like it. I suggest starting with the amounts specified in the recipe and then adding more maple syrup for sweetness or rice wine vinegar for sour sharpness.


The firmer the tofu the better for this recipe! It won’t work with silken tofu, unfortunately. To get the tofu extra crispy, it’s best if there’s not very much moisture in it. I like to use shop-bought extra firm tofu, like Tofoo, to make it quick and easy. Other firm tofu can be used as long as it’s well pressed and patted dry to remove and extra liquid.

Where does the “Orange” come from?

The orange element comes from the orange juice used in the sauce. Not only does it give a lovely vibrant orange colour, but it also gives a delicious sweet and slightly sharp flavour to the sauce. I like to use freshly squeezed orange juice in this recipe, which normally works out as the juice of about 2 large oranges although this will vary depending on their size, so it’s best to use a measuring jug to double-check. Shop-bought orange juice works just as well, so feel free to use this if you have a carton to hand. Smooth orange juice is best, but juice with “bits” will work just as well as long as you don’t mind the sauce not being as smooth.

If you’re looking for some other ways to cook tofu, try these recipes:

Saag Tofu with Black Rice

Seriously Tasty Scrambled Tofu

Turmeric Coconut Noodle Soup with Crispy Chilli Tofu

Find all of my tofu recipes here.

Orange Sweet and Sour Tofu

Crispy vegan tofu in a sticky sweet and sour sauce made with orange juice.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 2


Crispy Tofu

  • 280 g pack extra firm tofu
  • 6 tbsp cornflour
  • 50 ml unsweetened plant milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp neutral oil


  • 200 ml orange juice (freshly squeezed or from a carton)
  • 100 ml hot water
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp neutral oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cm piece ginger
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp water


Crispy Tofu

  • Heat a frying pan with the 2 tsp of oil. Pat dry your tofu and cut into chunks about 1 inch x 1-inch.
  • Put the cornflour and salt into a shallow bowl and then the milk into another bowl.
  • Dip the tofu chunks into the milk first and then the cornflour. Carefully add to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes on each side until crisp and golden.
  • Once done, remove from the pan and lay on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

Sticky Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • For the sauce, grate or finely chop the ginger and garlic and add to a pan with the oil. Fry for 5 minutes until soft, adding a splash of water to stop it sticking if needed.
  • Once both are soft, add all of the other ingredients (apart from the cornflour and water) to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces down to a slightly thicker, sticky consistency. Taste and add more rice wine vinegar if it’s not “sour” enough for you.
  • Mix the cornflour and water together in a mug or small bowl. Make sure the sauce is gently bubbling and then pour in the cornflour slurry. Mix well and stir until thickened. If it gets too thick, just add a splash of water.
  • Return the crispy tofu to the pan with the sauce and gently mix until coated. Serve, add sesame seeds and spring onion if using and enjoy!
Keyword tofu

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