Sticky Marmalade Tofu

5 from 8 votes

With around 12 ingredients and in about 30 minutes, you get this flavourful sticky marmalade tofu! This protein-rich vegan main comes together in one pan with ginger, garlic, orange marmalade, and spices. Super pantry-friendly!

An up close, overhead shot shows sticky marmalade tofu in a non-stick skillet. The tofu cubes are swimming in a bit of the marmalade glaze and is garnished with chopped chives.
An overhead shot shows a portion of sticky marmalade tofu over some white rice with a side of seared Brussels sprouts. It is plated in a shallow bowl with a pink linen napkin to the side.
An overhead shot shows the ingredients used for sticky marmalade tofu: pressed tofu, garlic, ginger, spices, orange marmalade, lemon, olive oil, vegetable stock, Tamari, and arrowroot starch.

I’m a big fan of using fruit preserves in sauces and to provide an edge of sweetness to a savoury dish. I was spreading marmalade on some homemade bread recently and thought about using it as a savoury sauce for tofu or tempeh with lemon, ginger, and some spices. It worked out so well with this sticky marmalade tofu! I especially love that it all comes together in one pan with about 12 ingredients–most of them super pantry-friendly. There are plenty of other tofu recipes here if you’re in need of inspiration.

The inspiration for this recipe:

  • I was inspired by the classic Chinese-American dish orange chicken here, created for Panda Express by Chef Andy Kao in 1987, inspired by flavours from Hunan Province. Jennifer 8. Lee, a producer of the documentary The Search For General Tso describes the dish as a “cultural import” and also as an Americanized mutation of sweet and sour dishes from China. For more information and backstory, this article from NPR is great.
  • The use of marmalade here is definitely a shortcut. The original contains orange oil, juice, brown sugar, and honey.

I always recommend pressing tofu for a nice chewy texture. You can use an apparatus dedicated to this or follow this guide here. Once the tofu is pressed, we cut it into cubes and toss with arrowroot starch, spices, oil, salt, pepper, and Tamari. I fry up the cubes in a nonstick skillet until brown on all sides–this process takes about 10 minutes.

I set the tofu aside and then start on the sauce. We sauté sweet onion with super finely minced ginger and garlic. the fine mincing allows it to “melt” into the sticky marmalade tofu sauce. We add the orange marmalade, vegetable stock, and a bit more Tamari to keep things savoury. That mixture thickens up in about 7-8 minutes, the tofu goes back in, and voila! I finish the sauce with lemon and garnish with chopped chives and toasted almonds.

Some tips!

  • A nonstick pan is best for this recipe! It keeps the tofu from sticking and the glaze is free to swoop around the pan as well.
  • I like to grate the ginger and garlic with a Microplane so that they both “dissolve” into the marmalade sauce.
  • If you’re looking to cut added sugar, I recommend checking out St. Dalfour’s orange marmalade fruit spread.

I like to serve this sticky marmalade tofu with fluffy rice and a green vegetable. Here, I show sautéed brussels sprouts, but broccoli, kale or green beans would all be great. Fans of this recipe might also like my Blackberry Glazed Tofu.

Crispy tofu cubes are being transferred from a plate to a nonstick skillet with slightly reduced marmalade glaze.
A hand is using a wooden utensil to stir crisp tofu cubes in a marmalade glaze in a non-stick skillet.
An overhead shot shows sticky marmalade tofu in a non-stick skillet. The tofu cubes are swimming in a bit of the marmalade glaze and is garnished with chopped chives. A pink linen is bunched around the skillet's handle.

Sticky Marmalade Tofu

With around 12 ingredients and in about 30 minutes, you get this flavourful sticky marmalade tofu! This protein-rich vegan main comes together in one pan too. Super pantry-friendly!
5 from 8 votes
An overhead shot shows sticky marmalade tofu in a non-stick skillet. The tofu cubes are swimming in a bit of the marmalade glaze and is garnished with chopped chives. A pink linen is bunched around the skillet's handle.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings 3 -4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (454 grams) firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided (plus extra)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch (or cornstarch!)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chillies or chili flakes
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Tamari, divided
  • ½ sweet onion, fine dice (about ¾ cup diced onion)
  • 1 ½ inch piece ginger, finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup orange marmalade
  • ¼ cup vegetable stock, plus extra
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • chopped chives, for garnish
  • toasted sliced almonds, for garnish

Equipment

  • Tofu Press

Notes

  • A nonstick pan is best for this recipe! It keeps the tofu from sticking and the glaze is free to swoop around the pan as well.
  • I like to grate the ginger and garlic with a Microplane so that they both “dissolve” into the marmalade sauce.
  • If you’re looking to cut added sugar, I recommend checking out St. Dalfour’s orange marmalade fruit spread.
  • If you like a bit of spice, I recommend finishing the marmalade sauce with a little hot sauce or chili paste!

Instructions

  • Press the tofu for 15 minutes. I like to use this time to prep everything else!
  • Once the tofu is pressed, towel it off with paper towels and then cut into 1-2 inch cubes. Place the tofu cubes in a bowl along with 1 ½ tablespoons of the olive oil, arrowroot starch, garlic powder, ground coriander, ground chillies, salt, pepper, and ½ tablespoon of the Tamari. Toss the tofu to coat.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, drizzle in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and swirl it around. Add the tofu all at once and scatter it out in a single layer.
  • Brown the tofu on all sides, stirring it up here and there. This process should take about 10 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a plate and return the nonstick skillet to the stove over medium heat.
  • Pour in the remaining olive oil and swirl it around. Add the onion and sauté until translucent and quite soft, about 6-7 minutes. Turn the heat down if the onions are browning too quickly. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute.
  • Add the orange marmalade, vegetable stock, and remaining tablespoon of Tamari. Stir to break up the bits of marmalade. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Let the sauce simmer until it's thickened slightly, about 8 minutes. If it's reducing too quickly, lower the heat. You can also add more vegetable stock by the tablespoon if necessary.
  • Once the sauce is ready, add the lemon juice and stir. Give the sauce a taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (more salt, pepper, lemon etc). Return the tofu to the skillet and stir to coat. Garnish the tofu with chives and toasted almonds.
An overhead shot shows a portion of sticky marmalade tofu over some white rice with a side of seared Brussels sprouts. It is plated in a shallow bowl with a pink linen napkin to the side.
18/01/2023
Posted in: autumn, gluten free, main course, nut free, quick, sauce, side dish, spicy, spring, summer, sweet, tofu, umami, vegan, winter
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