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Air Fryer Orange Tofu Recipe

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By Becky Krystal

This sweet, sticky and slightly spicy dish is inspired by the beloved mall food court orange chicken, but trades the meat for crispy tofu made in the air fryer.

You’ll start by using half the sauce. Any extra can be used to dress rice or noodles or as a glaze for shrimp, chicken or another protein of your choice.

Even if you don’t make the sauce, this is a solid recipe for air fryer tofu that you can enjoy in a variety of dishes.

Storage: Refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Note: This recipe was tested in the Cosori 5.8-quart and Instant Pot Vortex Plus 6-quart air fryers. Depending on the appliance you use, you may need to adjust the cooking time and/or temperature to achieve the desired results.

Substitutions: Vegan? >> Use agave instead of honey.

Variations: If you don’t have an air fryer, you can crisp the tofu on the stovetop. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 teaspoon of oil until shimmering. Add the tofu pieces and cook until golden brown and crispy on each side, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

From Voraciously staff writer Becky Krystal.


measuring cup

Servings: 23 (makes about 3 cups)


  1. Step 1

    Drain the tofu, wrap in a clean dish towel and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Unwrap, rewrap with a fresh towel, and repeat. (This gets rid of excess liquid.) Unwrap, and cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes.

  2. Step 2

    In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and white or black pepper. Add the tofu cubes and gently stir to coat, taking care not to break the pieces. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch over the tofu and carefully stir to coat. Repeat with the remaining cornstarch.

  3. Step 3

    Set the air fryer to 400 degrees and preheat for 5 minutes or until the appliance signals it’s ready. Add the coated tofu to the basket in one layer, ensuring that none of the pieces touch. Air fry for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the tofu is crisp and deeply golden, shaking the basket halfway through.

  4. Step 4

    While the tofu is in the air fryer, make the sauce. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, honey, cider vinegar, ginger, red pepper flakes and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. (The mixture will start to boil, which is why you need to use a large enough bowl. Don’t walk away either, so you can keep an eye on it.) Remove from the microwave, whisk to combine and continue heating in 1-minute increments, whisking after each round, until the sauce is the consistency of melted honey and has reduced to just less than 1/2 cup. (Alternatively, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sauce ingredients and simmer until it has reached the same consistency and amount as the microwave method.) Let cool slightly.

  5. Step 5

    When the tofu is done, transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle half of the sauce over the tofu and stir so the pieces are evenly coated. Add more sauce to taste. Serve, with rice and more sauce on the side, if desired.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (1 cup), based on 3

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    23 g

  • Cholesterol

    0 mg

  • Fat

    11 g

  • Fiber

    2 g

  • Protein

    14 g

  • Saturated Fat

    2 g

  • Sodium

    602 mg

  • Sugar

    14 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From Voraciously staff writer Becky Krystal.

Tested by Becky Krystal.

Published September 27, 2023

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