Don't be fooled by the small amount of orange juice in this recipe. The recipe actually tastes quite strongly of orange, in an excellent way. I started out with this "orange chicken" recipe, but modified it to make it both vegetarian and gluten free, although the latter is not a requirement.
One of the nice things about this recipe is that the protein pieces are just lightly floured and stir fried in some oil, rather than battered and deep fried, so they still taste nice and crispy, but they aren't heavy with batter and it's not a mess to make.
As always, you can use seitan, tofu or any protein of your choice for this.
Seitan/Tofu in Orange Sauce
Ingredients (for 2 large portions or 3-4 smaller ones):
For the Sauce:
- 1.5 cup water
- 2 tbsp orange juice (freshly squeezed is best)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best, this is about the juice of 2 lemons)
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- grated zest from 1/2 orange
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp minced ginger root
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2 tbsp chopped green onion
- red pepper flakes (at least 1/4 tsp, but add more if you like things a bit hotter)
For the protein:
- 1 package seitan or tofu (about 8 oz/225 grams), sliced into strips or chunks.
- 1 cup all purpose flour or all purpose gluten free flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
To finish off the recipe:
- 2 handfuls of snow peas, sliced (you can also use other greens, such as broccoli)
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
1. In a saucepan combine all of the sauce ingredients. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
2. Place the seitan/tofu pieces in a bowl, pour 1 cup of the cooled sauce into the bowl, stir to coat the pieces well, and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes (but if you can leave it longer, by all means do so). Keep the rest of the sauce.
3. In a resealable plastic bag combine the flour, salt and pepper. When the protein is marinated, put the pieces in the bag of flour, seal the bag and shake it around to give the pieces an even coat.
4. In a wok or large skillet heat the oil to medium heat. Take the seitan/tofu pieces out of the flour, shaking them a bit to lose excess flour, and add them to the skillet. When the pieces are nice browned, take them out of the skillet and set aside.
5. If the skillet is completely dry, add another tsp or so of oil. If you still have some oil, just use that. Stir fry the snow peas for about 1 minute, until they just begin to soften.
6. Add the sauce that you had previously saved to the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and mix well. Add this mixture into the sauce and stir. The sauce will immediately begin to thicken. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the seitan/tofu pieces and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve as is or over rice. Enjoy!