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Vegan Orange “Beef” Recipe

Savor the delightful flavors of Vegan Orange “Beef” with this plant-based twist on a classic dish. Crispy and chewy vegan protein is coated in a zesty orange sauce, creating a perfect balance of sweet, savory, and citrusy notes. Enjoy the essence of Chinese takeout in a cruelty-free and delicious way!

Vegan Orange “Beef” Recipe



Prep time


Cooking time






  • For the Vegan “Beef”:
  • 2 cups textured vegetable protein (TVP) or seitan, rehydrated or prepared according to package instructions

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup water

  • Vegetable oil for frying

  • For the Orange Sauce:
  • 1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed for best flavor)

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • Zest of one orange

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

  • Red pepper flakes to taste (optional for heat)

  • For Garnish:
  • Green onions, sliced

  • Sesame seeds

  • Orange zest


  • Prepare the Vegan “Beef”:
  • In a bowl, combine cornstarch, soy sauce, and water to create a thick batter.
  • Dip each piece of rehydrated TVP or seitan into the batter, ensuring it’s evenly coated.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Fry the coated “beef” pieces until golden brown and crispy. Set aside on paper towels to drain excess oil.
  • Make the Orange Sauce:
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, cornstarch, sesame oil, orange zest, minced garlic, and grated ginger.
  • Adjust sweetness and tanginess to your liking by adding more maple syrup or vinegar.
  • Combine and Simmer:
  • In a clean pan, pour the orange sauce mixture and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Add the crispy vegan “beef” pieces to the simmering sauce, coating them evenly.
  • Allow the “beef” to absorb the flavors by simmering for 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
  • Garnish and Serve:
  • Garnish the Vegan Orange “Beef” with sliced green onions, sesame seeds, and additional orange zest.
  • Serve the dish over steamed rice or noodles.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Citrus Freshness: Use freshly squeezed orange juice for the sauce to impart a vibrant and authentic citrus flavor.
  • Adjusting Heat: Tailor the spiciness by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes. Start with a small amount and add more if desired.
  • Crispy Texture: For an extra crispy texture, make sure the vegan “beef” is well-coated in the batter and fried until golden brown.
  • Marination for Depth: Marinate the rehydrated TVP or seitan in soy sauce for 15-20 minutes before coating in the batter for added depth of flavor.
  • Customize with Vegetables: Enhance the dish with colorful vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, or snap peas for added texture and nutrition.
  • Serving Variations: Serve over rice, quinoa, or noodles. For a low-carb option, try cauliflower rice.

Nutrition Information (Approximate) For Vegan Orange “Beef”:

Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories350
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 10g 16%
    • Saturated Fat 1.5g 8%
  • Sodium 800mg 34%
  • Total Carbohydrate 44g 15%
    • Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
    • Sugars 15g
  • Protein 20g 40%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

    Alterations and Modifications for Vegan Orange “Beef”:

    1. Protein Choices:

    • Alteration: Swap TVP or seitan for your favorite plant-based protein. Tofu cubes, tempeh, or even crispy cauliflower florets can work. Adjust cooking times accordingly.
    • How to Execute: Marinate tofu or tempeh in soy sauce for added flavor before pan-frying. For cauliflower, coat florets in the batter and bake until crispy.

    2. Gluten-Free Option:

    • Alteration: Use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, and ensure that all ingredients, including the vegan protein source, are gluten-free.
    • How to Execute: Check labels for gluten-free soy sauce alternatives. Cornstarch is naturally gluten-free, but double-check for any cross-contamination.

    3. Low-Carb Alternative:

    • Alteration: Substitute rice or noodles with cauliflower rice or spiralized zucchini for a low-carb option.
    • How to Execute: Spiralize or rice cauliflower, lightly sauté, and serve the Orange “Beef” over the low-carb base.

    4. Oil-Free Version:

    • Alteration: Skip frying the vegan “beef” and opt for baking or air-frying for an oil-free version.
    • How to Execute: After coating the vegan “beef,” bake or air-fry until crispy. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.

    5. Reduced Sodium:

    • Modification: Use low-sodium soy sauce or tamari to reduce sodium content. Adjust other seasonings to compensate.
    • How to Execute: Gradually add low-sodium soy sauce, tasting as you go. Consider adding a bit more orange juice or a splash of vegetable broth for balance.

    6. Spice Level Adjustment:

    • Modification: Control the spiciness by reducing or omitting red pepper flakes. Add a touch of hot sauce if you still want heat.
    • How to Execute: Add red pepper flakes incrementally, tasting until you reach your desired spice level.

    7. Sugar-Free Option:

    • Alteration: Substitute sugar with a sugar alternative like erythritol or monk fruit sweetener.
    • How to Execute: Adjust the amount of sugar substitute to taste, as some sweeteners are sweeter than traditional sugar.

    8. Vegetable Variations:

    • Modification: Experiment with different vegetables. Add bell peppers, broccoli, or snap peas for a colorful and nutritious twist.
    • How to Execute: Stir-fry the additional vegetables along with the vegan “beef” or steam them separately and add to the sauce.

    9. Quicker Weeknight Version:

    • Modification: Use store-bought vegan chicken alternatives to save time on preparation.
    • How to Execute: Cook the store-bought vegan “chicken” according to package instructions and toss it in the prepared orange sauce.

    Storage and Freezing Instructions:

    • Storage: Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
    • Freezing: The texture of the crispy “beef” may change slightly upon freezing, but you can freeze the cooked dish for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Vegan Orange “Beef”:

    Can I use a different protein source in this recipe?

    Absolutely! Tofu, tempeh, or even cauliflower florets work well. Adjust cooking times and methods accordingly.

    Is there a gluten-free option for this dish?

    Yes. Use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, and ensure all ingredients, including the vegan protein source, are gluten-free.

    How can I make this dish low-carb?

    Substitute rice or noodles with cauliflower rice or spiralized zucchini for a low-carb alternative.

    Can I make an oil-free version of Vegan Orange “Beef”?

    Certainly! Skip frying and opt for baking or air-frying the vegan “beef” for an oil-free version.

    Is it possible to adjust the spice level of the dish?

    Absolutely. Reduce or omit red pepper flakes for a milder version. Add hot sauce if you prefer more heat.

    Can I make Vegan Orange “Beef” without sugar?

    Yes. Substitute sugar with erythritol or monk fruit sweetener, adjusting to taste.

    What vegetables can I add to enhance the dish?

    Experiment with bell peppers, broccoli, snap peas, or other favorites. Stir-fry or steam them and add to the sauce.

    Can I use store-bought vegan “chicken” for a quicker version?

    Absolutely! Cook the store-bought vegan “chicken” according to package instructions and toss it in the prepared orange sauce.

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