Tofu gets such a bad rap these days – most likely due to its appearance and texture. Tofu-haters: ready yourselves with this Crispy Orange Sesame Tofu and Broccoli. No soggy or mushy tofu here – only tofu with a C.R.I.S.P.Y. exterior that’s coated with an orange sesame sauce and broccoli. Oh baby.
Tofu is a pretty popular ingredient in the Philippines, so I grew up eating it. I also ate a lot of it when I was a vegetarian. Yup, when I was a vegetarian, which only lasted for about a year – thanks to fried chicken. Let’s face it, it’s not the first thing I’ll order off a menu and I sometimes still make a face when I hear “tofu”, but I really enjoy it from time to time. And especially when it’s crispy!
I literally could not stop eating this and popping the crispy tofu in my mouth. So freaking good.
A couple of tips for this recipe:
- Press that tofu for at least 30 minutes. This is superrr important if you want crispy tofu.
- Let that sauce thicken! If you’re impatient (like me), you’ll end up with an orange sesame tofu and broccoli soup. Blech! Thankfully, I was able to discard some of the sauce and add a little more sugar to thicken it back up. The sauce will also thicken as it cools.
Tofu skeptics, tofu-haters, and tofu-lovers: let us unite through Crispy Orange Sesame Tofu and Broccoli! Now go and make it for dinner!
- 1 14-oz package of extra-firm tofu
- 1 bag of broccoli florets
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- green onions, sliced
- ). Start by pressing the tofu by lining a small plate with several layers of paper towels. Place tofu on top of paper towels, then cover with more paper towels. Set a heavy object on top (I used two 6-inch cast iron skillets) and leave for 30 minutes. Pressing removes water from the tofu, so make sure you don’t skip this step.
- ). While tofu is pressing, ready a large bowl of ice water. Add an inch of water to a small pot and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water, cover, lower the heat, and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain and plunge the broccoli into the ice bath to stop the cooking process.
- ). Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Season the tofu with a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Cover the tofu with half of the cornstarch, making sure each piece is coated.
- ). Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Toss in the rest of the cornstarch until all the cornstarch is used. Add all the tofu to the pan in a single layer. Cook the tofu until all sides are golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a paper-towel-lined plate.
- ). Add garlic to the pan and cook until aromatic. Add the red chili flakes, if using. Stir in the sugar, soy sauce, and orange juice to the pan and cook until it starts to thicken. Return the broccoli and tofu to the pan and mix until everything is coated in the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve immediately.