This Air Fryer Orange Tofu tastes just like your favourite Chinese takeout order! It’s crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and coated in a sticky, sweet orange sauce!

Bowl filled with rice, cucumbers, and orange tofu

If you thought the air fryer was a passing trend, let me tell you: this is a kitchen appliance that is here to stay. And if you wondered if an air fryer is worth it if you’re vegan, well, this Air Fryer Orange Tofu will definitely convince you. Air fryer tofu is crispy and delicious to begin with, but finish it with sticky orange sauce and you’ve got a dinner that even the pickiest eaters will devour.

The orange sauce is the same one that I use in my orange cauliflower bites, which is a reader favorite around here. I developed the recipe based on my favourite Chinese restaurant dish, orange tofu. The sauce is sweet and sour, bright and citrusy, and juuuust spicy enough to keep things interesting. As if that’s not enough, you can make it with pantry ingredients. We love that, right?!

You can serve your air fryer orange tofu over rice, cauliflower rice, noodles, quinoa, or any other grain. I also love using this recipe to make meal prep orange tofu bowls with grains, a few handfuls of spinach, cucumbers, or steamed broccoli, and some cashews or sesame seeds for garnish. 

Overhead view of air fryer orange tofu ingredients

Notes on Ingredients

Please note that this is important information on the ingredients and instructions and the FULL recipe with amounts and details can be found DOWN BELOW (scroll to it) in the recipe card.

For the air fryer tofu:

  • Tofu – I recommend either extra-firm or firm tofu.
  • Garlic powder
  • Sea salt
  • Cornstarch
  • Liquid aminos – Or use low-sodium soy sauce or tamari.
  • Sesame oil
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sesame seeds and scallions – For garnish.

For the orange sauce:

  • Water
  • Orange juice – Freshly squeezed is best, but store-bought is fine as long as it’s 100% juice.
  • Maple syrup
  • Ground ginger
  • Garlic powder
  • Liquid aminos or low sodium soy sauce
  • Rice wine vinegar – Don’t use the sweetened, seasoned kind. You just want the plain variety!
  • Cornstarch – You’ll mix a bit of water in this to make a slurry, which will thicken the sauce and make it stick to the tofu.

How to Make Air Fryer Orange Tofu

In the time it takes to get takeout, you can make orange tofu at home! Let’s get started.

Make the sauce. Combine all of the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch in a saucepan set over high heat. Bring to a boil for a minute, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the cornstarch and whisk until dissolved. Simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Overhead view of tofu in glass bowl with seasonings

Prep the tofu. Place the pressed and cubed tofu in a medium mixing bowl. Toss it with the liquid aminos, then add the other ingredients and toss again.

Cook the tofu. Arrange the tofu in a single layer in your air fryer, allowing space between each piece. Set the air fryer to 400ºF and cook for 10 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through the cooking time.

Assemble. Toss the tofu with the sauce. Serve it with rice, grains, or noodles, and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.

Overhead view of bowls of orange tofu with rice and cucumbers

Tips for Success

There’s not much to this air fryer orange tofu recipe, but these tips will help you make sure it turns out perfect!

  • Adjusting the flavour. Once the sauce is done (and has cooled a bit), give it a taste and see if you want to add more sweetener or liquid aminos. Orange juice can vary in sweetness, so it’s normal to need to tweak the sauce a bit!
  • Press the tofu. When you press the tofu first, it’s better able to absorb the flavors you add to it. It will also cook up crispier! Learn more: How To Cook Tofu
  • Don’t crowd it. If you have to make the tofu in two batches, it’s better to do that than to crowd your air fryer. Crowded tofu won’t get crispy!

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Air fryer orange tofu will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container. I recommend popping it in the microwave to reheat it, but you can also warm it in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray set over medium-low heat.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze orange tofu too! Place it in an airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months. I recommend thawing it in the refrigerator, then reheating in the microwave.

Overhead shot of air fryer orange tofu in bowl with rice and cucumbers

Enjoy friends! If you make this air fryer orange tofu recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!

Bowl filled with rice, cucumbers, and orange tofu

Air Fryer Orange Tofu

This Air Fryer Orange Tofu is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and tossed with a sweet and sticky orange sauce.
5 (from 13 ratings)

Ingredients

Air Fryer Tofu:

  • 1 block tofu
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ tablespoon liquid aminos
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • to garnish: sesame seeds and scallions

Orange Sauce:

  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon liquid aminos/low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch + ½ tablespoon water, stirred together until cornstarch is dissolved

Instructions 

Orange Sauce

  • While the tofu is air-frying and has about 5 minutes left, in a pot over high heat, mix all the sauce ingredients, except the cornstarch slurry.
  • Bring to a boil and boil for about 1 minute, then reduce heat to medium low. Add in the cornstarch slurry and whisk vigorously until dissolved into the sauce. Let it cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Taste a little bit to decide if you need more sweetener or more liquid aminos.

Air Fryer Tofu

  • In a medium size bowl place the pressed and cubed tofu. Add in liquid aminos and toss to coat. Add in all of the other seasoning ingredients and toss to thoroughly combine.
  • Place in your air fryer in a single row, so that all the tofu has a little bit of space around each piece. Set your air fryer to 400 degrees F. Cook for 10 minutes, shaking the basket after 5 minutes, then continuing to cook.

Put it All Together:

  • Remove after tofu is cooked. Toss the tofu in the sauce using tongs or even just a large spoon, coating completely. Serve with sesame seeds and scallions and enjoy!

Notes

If you want to substitute soy sauce, PLEASE taste the sauce before it goes on the bites first. Some soy sauces can make this too salty. I recommend a reduced sodium soy sauce.
How to Store: Air fryer orange tofu will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or a skillet sprayed with cooking spray set over medium-low heat.
How to Freeze: Place tofu in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat in the microwave.
Calories: 116kcal, Carbohydrates: 9.3g, Protein: 8.5g, Fat: 5g, Sodium: 309.6mg, Fiber: 2.4g, Sugar: 4.3g

Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.