Crispy Sesame Tofu (Air Fried or Baked)

Crispy air fried tofu coated in a sesame soy glaze. This tofu dish is easy and flavorful! The tofu can be cooked in the air fryer or oven.

close-up photo of a plate of Crispy Sesame Tofu

While I’ve found many great uses for my air fryer, my favorite thing to make with it is tofu. Air fried tofu comes out golden, crispy and chewy. And it is so much faster and easier to make in an air fryer compared to an oven. No need to press the tofu ahead of time!

Air Fried Tofu

  • With an air fryer, you do not need to press the water out of the tofu ahead of time or pre-treat it. Just slice up the tofu and put it directly into your air fryer.
  • You don’t need to coat the tofu in oil. It will crisp up on its own.
  • It also takes only about 20 minutes to cook.

close-up photo of air-fryed tofu

Baked Tofu

Of course, if you don’t own an air fryer, you can still make this recipe in the oven. I shared this method in my crispy baked tofu recipe or you can also cook them on the grill like I did with my BBQ Tofu Fries.

  • First, you will need to press the tofu for about 30 minutes to remove as much liquid as possible.
  • The tofu is then baked for about 30 minutes or until golden and crispy.

Whichever method you choose, you will have crispy chewy cubes of tofu. They are great as a snack or in salads. I also especially like using it for my crispy garlic tofu.
overhead photo of a plate of Crispy Sesame Tofu

Crispy Sesame Tofu

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 4

Crispy golden cubes of tofu are coated in a sesame soy glaze. This is an easy and flavorful recipe and the tofu can be cooked in the air fryer or oven.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14 oz) block extra firm tofu
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 scallion thinly sliced

Sesame Sauce

  • 1 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/16 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce

Directions:

Air Fried

  1. Slice tofu into ¾ inch cubes. Place tofu cubes in a single layer in air fryer basket, making sure none of the cubes touch. Cook at 375°F for about 20-25 minutes or until golden and crispy.

Baked

  1. Loosely wrap the block of tofu with a few paper towels or a tea towel. Place a cutting board over tofu and place something heavy on top of the cutting board to press on the tofu to release water. I used a large 28 oz can of tomatoes. Whatever you use, you want it to apply pressure evenly across the surface of the tofu. The heavy object should apply enough pressure to squeeze out some of the water but not so heavy that it will crack and break your tofu.

  2. Let the tofu be pressed for about 30 minutes. When it is almost ready, preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. After 30 minutes, pat your tofu dry and slice into approximately ¾ inch cubes. Place tofu pieces onto baking sheet in a single layer, not touching. Bake tofu for about 30-35 minutes or until golden and crispy.

Sauce

  1. While tofu is cooking, make the sauce. In a medium bowl, add all sauce ingredients. Whisk to evenly mix, making sure to completely dissolve the cornstarch.

  2. Add sauce to a small saucepan and bring to low-medium heat. As the mixture heats up, stir continuously to prevent the cornstarch from cooking and clumping up. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until it thickens (this should take less than 1 minute). Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  3. Add cooked tofu to sauce. Toss tofu until evenly coated. Plate tofu and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve with rice or rice alternative.

Notes:

  • Make sure to use extra firm or firm tofu. Other types of tofu are too soft and will not crisp up with this recipe.
  • If you desire a stronger sesame flavor, swap out half of the sesame oil for sesame paste or tahini.
Nutrition Facts
Crispy Sesame Tofu
Amount Per Serving (0.25 of recipe)
Calories 125 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 234mg10%
Potassium 11mg0%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 30IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 72mg7%
Iron 0.2mg1%
Net Carbs 6g12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have. All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

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