Sesame Tofu (1)
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  • Food: Crispy Sesame Tofu
  • Writer: Nicolas Wilson
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

When you can make tasty sesame tofu at home, why needs takeout? It’s a healthy dish that comes together quickly and is nutty, salty, and sweet.

This crispy sesame tofu recipe has been on repeat in our house for the past several weeks. It’s from Gina Homolka’s Skinnytaste Air Fryer Cookbook, and we’ve been enjoying it in her new Air Fryer device.

Tofu slabs are coated in a thick crust of black and white sesame seeds, and a simple sesame sauce fills them with a sweet and acidic taste. It’s just as tasty and entertaining as takeout, but it’s far healthier.

I strongly advise you to try this dish if you have an air fryer. Don’t worry if you don’t! I’m also going to show you how to make tofu in the oven.

Tofu marinade with sesame seeds

Sesame Tofu Easy (1)
Food: Sesame Tofu (Source: My Quiet Kitchen)

Tofu has a horrible reputation for being bland, and this is true. It must be well-seasoned before it can be transformed into delectable dishes.

A simple marinade infuses flavor into the sesame tofu in this recipe. It’s savory, tangy, and simple to combine, and it adds a lot of flavor to this dish. Here’s what you’ll find inside:

  • For a salty, savory flavor, use soy sauce (use tamari if gluten-free)
  • Rice vinegar is used to add brightness to dishes.
  • For richness and a toasted, nutty flavor, use sesame oil.
  • Freshen it up with ginger and garlic.
  • Brown sugar is used to provide a sweet contrast to the sour, salty components.

Choose a small, shallow dish for your marinade instead of a large bowl to ensure that the sides of each tofu block are well-coated.

Gina suggests marinating your tofu for at least an hour or overnight, but I simply let mine sit for about 20 minutes and it turned out perfectly. Naturally, the longer you leave it to marinate, the tastier it will become.

When you’re ready to cook, dredge each block of tofu in sesame seeds after dipping it in an egg wash.

Then cook it in an air fryer or in the oven, and eat it up! The full recipe, with an air fryer and oven directions, may be found at the bottom of this page.

Variations on Sesame Tofu

  • Method of preparation: I love baking tofu, but frying it is the way to go if you want it to be genuinely crispy. I love how quickly the tofu in this recipe gets a crispy coating from the air fryer. The pieces are only cooked for 5 minutes on each side and come out golden brown and crisp. It’s a quick and simple procedure that uses significantly less oil than deep or pan-frying tofu. But don’t worry if you don’t have an air fryer! This sesame tofu recipe can also be baked in a conventional oven and will turn out nutty and tasty.
  • To make it vegan: The egg wash that binds the sesame seeds to the tofu should be skipped. The final coating will not be as thick, but it will still be delicious!
  • To make it gluten-free: Instead of soy sauce, use wheat-free tamari in the marinade.
    Tofu with Sesame Crunch

Serving Suggestions for Crispy Sesame Tofu

This recipe is perfect for a nutritious, protein-packed evening dinner. Serve the tofu over a bed of cilantro lime rice or seasoned white or brown rice to make it a complete meal. Use cauliflower or broccoli rice instead of rice for a lighter supper.

With steamed or roasted vegetables, this crispy sesame tofu is very wonderful. Ours was served with steamed snap peas and edamame, but blanched or roasted asparagus, roasted broccoli, or roasted Brussels sprouts would also be delicious.

Then serve with spicy sriracha mayo on top! My recipe is listed below.

Crispy Sesame Tofu

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes
30 minutes to cook
Time allotted: 40 minutes
Serves: 2

This crispy, nutty, and delicious sesame tofu recipe may be made in the air fryer or the oven. It’s from¬†Gina Homolka’s Skinnytaste Air Fryer Cookbook.


  • 7 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 4 (1/2-inch thick) slices
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup white and black sesame seeds
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil spray

Sriracha mayo

  • 4 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce

For serving

  • Cilantro Lime Rice or Cauliflower Rice
  • 1 cup snap peas, steamed and chopped
  • 1/3 cup frozen edamame, steamed
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • tamari, for drizzling


Sesame Tofu Yum (1)
Food: Sesame Tofu (Source: My Quiet Kitchen)
  1. Place the tofu slices on a kitchen towel or paper towel to absorb any excess liquid. To remove the majority of the water from the tofu, place another towel on top and lightly press. Place the tofu in a shallow dish large enough to hold it in a single layer.
  2. Whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl. Drizzle half of the marinade over the tofu, then turn and drizzle the remaining marinade over the other side. Refrigerate for 20 to 1 hour after marinating.
  3. Preheat an air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or a conventional oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. On a small plate, spread the sesame seeds. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Allow the extra marinade to drip off each tofu slice before dipping it in the egg. Dip a fork into the sesame seeds and cover both sides. Place on a plate to cool. Apply olive oil to one side, then carefully flip and apply to the other. (Remove any excess marinade.)
  5. To make the tofu in an air fryer, follow these steps: Arrange a single layer of tofu in the air fryer basket, working in batches. Cook for about 10 minutes, until toasted and crisp, flipping halfway through.
  6. To bake the tofu in the oven, follow these steps: Bake the tofu for 30 minutes on a parchment-lined baking sheet, flipping halfway through.
  7. Prepare the sriracha mayonnaise. Combine the mayo and sriracha in a small bowl.
  8. Serve with rice, snap peas, edamame, scallions, sriracha mayo, and tamari for drizzling.


  • By removing the egg, you can make this recipe vegan. The crispy coating isn’t quite as thick as we’d hoped, but the tofu was still crispy and wonderful.