Baked Tofu with Ginger & Orange over Scented Jasmine Rice

Ginger and orange are lovely flavor companions. They are also quite a pretty color!

Tofu usually appears on our table once a week, in some form. I might marinate it, fry it, add it to smoothies or sauces, accent miso soup, or even dress it up for dessert. I have a couple of favorite week-night dishes that we enjoy, and the Baked Orange and Ginger Tofu with a lovely scented rice is at the top of my list, right under my Thai Baked Tofu with Peanut and Sesame.

A blank canvas

      I know some folks are hesitant about this spongy looking rather bland ingredient. I agree, it is about the blandest food you can find, but that is what makes it perfect to infuse with whatever flavor combinations you love. Bake it and change the texture, and the sponge becomes more interesting! 

Get the excess moisture out

      Before baking, I press as much excess water out as possible to firm up the texture. My usual method was to press the tofu between two stacked plates with paper or kitchen towels and weight with a can of tomatoes (see below). Somewhere along the way, I invested $7.50 on a tofu press, and I’ve used it for several years with great success. A good value I must say! However, if you don’t have the time to press and bake the tofu, you can usually find already baked tofu in most supermarkets, and it has a lovely texture. I’ve certainly used it in a pinch, it’s more expensive but a time saver. The rest of the recipe goes quite quickly, faster than the time it takes for the rice to cook.

A velvety sauce

      This recipe uses orange juice and white wine for the sauce. Choose a dry white wine that you like to drink. The sauce is not as sweet as it might seem, the orange zest adds some needed bitterness, but the little pops of candied ginger add a few surprises.

Make it your way

      I’ve used shiitake mushrooms here, but use what you like or can find. Shopping days don’t always result in exactly what we want. The rice is pretty much my weekday house rice with the addition of the cinnamon. Just a pinch!

Baked Tofu with Ginger & Orange over Scented Jasmine Rice

  • 1 cup brown jasmine rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 star anise pods
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 14-oz brick extra firm tofu, or 1 package baked
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 or 6 mini sweet red peppers, fine slice, or one hot one! 
  • 3 large scallions, sliced, whites and greens separated
  • 3 large oranges, zest, juice, and segments
  • Additional orange juice, most likely
  • 2” fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 tbsp. minced candied ginger root
  • 2 tbsp. mirin
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. reduced sodium tamari
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch, plus some for dusting tofu

      Prepare the rice. Rinse it well until water until the water runs clear. Add it to a small pot along with two cups of water or stock, the bay leaf, anise, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook according to directions, about 20 to 25 minutes, with a 10-minute rest. When ready, fluff with a fork.

      If pressing your own tofu, place on a towel-lined plate, top with another towel, add another plate on top and weight with a large can of tomatoes. Press for 15-30 minutes. Or, use a tofu press.

      Preheat oven to 450 degrees, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and spray lightly with neutral oil. Once the tofu is pressed, cut into cubes (I made 32) season with salt and pepper, and dust lightly with some of the cornstarch, shaking off any excess. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Turn, and bake another 10 minutes or so, until the tofu is lightly browned. Set aside.

      Make the sauce. Zest the oranges and set the zest aside. Section the oranges and set those aside as well, and squeeze the juice from the carcasses into a measuring cup. If you don’t have a half a cup of juice, add additional juice, then add the ginger root, candied ginger, mirin, vinegar, tamari, and wine and mix well. Toss the segments into the cup with about half the zest.

      Dissolve 1 tbsp. cornstarch in cold water, whisk it up well. Set this aside.

      In a large skillet, add olive oil and the mushrooms over medium high heat. Once they brown on the first side, turn and add the peppers and whites of the scallions to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, let cook a couple of minutes more, and add the tofu.

      Pour the orange/ginger juice mixture into the pan and mix it all up so they can get to know each other. Once the sauce is rapidly boiling, add the cornstarch slurry, stirring until glossy and thick. Remove from the heat, taste, and correct the seasoning.

      Serve with the rice, garnish with the greens of the scallions and the rest of the orange zest. Add some lovely snow or sugar snap peas on the side while they are still available if you like, or whatever green is in season in your area.

      Leftovers, if there are any, are mighty tasty warmed up, or tucked inside a whole wheat wrap.

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66 Comments Add yours

  1. What a gorgeous recipe. Lots of brilliant flavours.

    1. Thank you! It’s really good!

  2. Love the Ginger/Orange sauce that would be great over any protein.

    1. Thanks Jovina. It is a very useful sauce that could easily pair with many proteins.

  3. NativeNM says:

    I would love to try the ginger/orange combination with chicken or fish. The whole dish looks lovely, Dorothy!

    1. Thank you! You can definitely used chicken or fish in this dish. I think chicken thighs would be lovely here.

  4. Sounds delicious and full of flavor!

    1. It was really good, and the leftovers were just as delicious.

  5. Julia says:

    What a delicious sounding recipe! The picture is stunning!

    1. Thank you! We really enjoyed this one.

  6. Maggie says:

    It looks delicious, Dorothy, although I must say I have never attempted tofu. Strangely, shitakes have become a weird texture for me lately. Maybe I overcook them? In any event, it looks wonderful.

    1. It’s funny you said that about the shiitakes Maggie. Out of the clear blue, for a while, I couldn’t stand the flavor of creminni mushrooms. They just tasted wrong to me, and I tried them several times. Then a few months later, they tasted like normal to me again. I’ve never figured out why!
      Shiitake mushrooms do not like to be overcooked, so that might be part of it. A light sauté with a little butter and olive oil is all that is usually needed.

      1. Maggie says:

        I should look into how to prepare various types of mushrooms so I do not select the wrong type for a given dish.

      2. It’s fun to experiment to find out what you like!

      3. Maggie says:

        I am researching savory scones at the moment.

      4. Yum!!!! Love them better than sweet.

  7. We are family that unabashedly loves tofu. After seeing your pictures and reading your recipe, my mouth was watering. This is one to save. I have tried making a chocolate “cream” pie with tofu and have had mixed results. A little too bitter for our liking. If you have any recipes for this pie, I would love to see it. My husband is very lactose intolerant, and I would very much like to get a recipe that works.

    1. I’ll check through my recipes. Somewhere I have a nice chocolate cream pie that uses silken tofu, and you can use whatever chovolate you like from semi-sweet to bitter.

  8. Ronit Penso says:

    Great flavors and colors in this dish. Cooking the rice with star anise and bay leaves is a brilliant idea! 🙂

    1. Thank you! That’s my go-to house rice Ronit. It adds just a bit of interest.

  9. Suzassippi says:

    Your food is always so stunningly beautiful with color and texture.

    1. I like to catch their attention!

  10. Hi Dorothy, this sauce would definitely spice up tofu. I made a similar sauce tonight but we had it with chicken thighs which are also fairly bland.

    1. Yes, Robbie, it will liven just about any dish up. Chicken breasts too can be really bland.

  11. Christy B says:

    The ginger would take it up a notch for sure! We were just saying last week that we are going to add tofu to meals now and then.

    1. This is a good one to include, it has so much flavor, and the ginger really does make it pop.

  12. Nancy says:

    So colorful and sounds amazing! Beautiful presentation, my friend!

    1. Thank you so much! First, feast with your eyes. Then, feast!

  13. Mary says:

    Your dish looks very inviting and I’m sure I would love it. But I have never knowingly eaten Tofu. I have just not bought it and I know I would like it with a lovely sauce.
    To get my husband to eat white rice I have to flavour it AND colour it. Turmeric adds a nice hue and he gobbles it up!! :)))

    1. That’s funny! Well, keep on staining that rice, and the up side is that turmeric is a really good anti-inflammation spice! You could easily add a bit of turmeric here.

  14. Kevin says:

    You have certainly infused the tofu with some amazing flavours here. Oh, and the photo looks great, too!

    1. Thanks Kevin! If I fiddle with the texture and dress it up with flavor, no complaints about the tofu – usually!

  15. We appreciate jasmine rice – and adding the bay leaf, anise, cinnamon sounds yummy!

    1. Thank you! It’s just the right touch without overpowering the beautiful flavor of the rice.

  16. Eha says:

    Thank you! I was first offered tofu on business trips to Japan before many of you were born! Liked it, have it in the fridge most of the time but can always use new recipes – this one of yours is already in my kitchen file! Piles of taste, appetizing and healthy – what fun to try!!!

    1. It really is a fun dish Eha! Love all the flavors.

  17. I am thrilled to read this post Dorothy. We were just talking about tofu and that I want to try it infused with something because we didn’t like it just fried. Thank you!

    1. It definitely needs help Diane!

  18. Forestwood says:

    I would like to cook more tofu but there are agents in the house, well one that is particularly active against eating it. I haven’t found the right recipe or the right tofu to convince him of the value and taste yet. Perhaps this one will work.

    1. Fingers crossed!

  19. Aoc says:

    Ahhhh! The best of two worlds. Thanks for sharing.

  20. CarolCooks2 says:

    Such a pretty looking dish, Dorothy I have used tofu in a recipe with ginger ans honey however I thought it was ok my family gave a big thumbs down and whenever I mention trying it again I am met with resistance ..tofu is very popular here many Thais eat it maybe if I prettied the dish up like yours they would at least try it…it does sound delicious 🙂

    1. My son said this would be great if I just added some shrimp…

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        That sounds like the sort of comment mine would make-smile

  21. Gail says:

    Fabulous dish and pairings, Dorothy. You know I’m all over the orangey goodness. 🍃🍊

    1. Oh yes, the sunshine color! Thanks!

      1. Gail says:


  22. Jenna says:

    What aa beautiful healthy dish!

    1. Thank you Jenna!

  23. terrie gura says:

    I love when a flavorful dish is also a beautiful dish. So much color going on here! Love the scented rice, too. I usually cook mine in broth for extra flavor but never thought about simmering it with spices. What a great idea!

    1. Thanks Terrie! Even the grandkids know this is how we make our house rice, and I also often add some broth instead of water if it is sitting in the refrigerator.

  24. Karen says:

    Not only flavorful but I love the way you presented it surrounded by the fresh peas and pods.

    1. Thanks Karen! The flavors of the season are present whenever possible!

  25. The flavors sound delicious with Tofu.

    1. Thank you! It’s really good, the ginger and orange are lovely together.

  26. Velva says:

    Dorothy, this is a healthy, healthy dish and it’s presented so beautifully. Love this! Thanks for sharing it with us,

    1. Thank you Velva! I feel good eating this one, light and quire summery.

  27. nancyc says:

    I’m trying to add more tofu into my diet—this sounds like a delicious way to do it! 🙂

    1. It really is tasty! Hope you enjoy it!

  28. Rosie Cubbin says:

    I am always looking for recipes using tofu and this one sounds delicious.

    1. Thank you Rosie!

  29. I’m not a fan of ginger but this is a wonderful looking dish! So pretty and colorful!

    1. Thank you my friend!

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