Imperial Orange Tofu

This is a nice basic recipe for the kind of “orange [insert protein here]” you can get at any Chinese fast food lunch buffet.  It would work just as well with chicken as with tofu, but actually the tofu has a really nice texture once it’s been battered and fried.  It was sweeter than I normally like for dinner, but not overly so, and the crispiness of the tofu really balanced it well.

The sauce:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbps soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns, ground (or regular black pepper is ok too)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (darker is better)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry

Combine everything except the cornstarch and sherry in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Let simmer 5 more minutes or until sauce is slightly reduced.  Whisk together cornstarch and sherry in a small bowl.  Add to sauce, whisking constantly.  Simmer a few more minutes until thickened.  I think the proportions are a bit off here, because I had to simmer it longer than the recipe called for to get the viscosity I wanted.  Either less liquid in the beginning or more reduction is called for.

To prepare the tofu, first cut a block of extra-firm tofu into cubes (the recipe says 1-inch slices, but I prefer 1-inch cubes) and lay on paper towels to dry.

In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup dry sherry, 1/2 cup cornstarch, salt, and 2 egg whites (beaten).  Whisk well to combine.

Heat 1/4 inch of veg oil in a nonstick skillet.  Dip the tofu cubes into the cornstarch batter and fry in batches about 5 minutes or until golden brown on all sides.  Drain on paper towels so they don’t get soggy.

Serve over basmati rice topped with orange sauce and chopped scallions.


No Dylan report for this – he ate really early tonight and his selfish parents finished all the tofu.  I did save the extra sauce so maybe he’ll eat it over chicken over the weekend.


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