Made completely in the air fryer and perfectly crispy, this sesame tofu and broccoli features tender broccoli and crispy tofu tossed in a flavorful sesame sauce and served over rice.
Once again, the air fryer proves that there’s not much it can’t pull off. Observe exhibit A above.
We’ve got the crispiest air fryer tofu that meets tender broccoli + a killer good homemade sesame sauce for the ultimate vegan twist on sesame chicken.
Spoiler alert: you’re going to want to eat this all the dang time even if you’re not following a vegan diet.
This Sesame Tofu features…
- Crispy air fried tofu and broccoli
- A flavorful sesame soy sauce
- Ready in 45 minutes and vegan-friendly
Making the Sesame Tofu
(scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Sesame oil
- Soy sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Sesame seeds
- Extra-firm tofu
- Nonstick spray
- Green onions
How To Press Tofu
Prepare the tofu for pressing by cutting the tofu in half width-wise. Lay the two tofu slabs in a single layer on a kitchen towel, place another kitchen towel on top, and arrange on a plate.
Now place something heavy on top of the tofu (like a bowl of fruit or a medium-weight book) and allow to sit for 30-60 minutes. Once the tofu has been pressed, you’re ready to dice it into cubes and proceed with marinating.
Why press tofu? Even extra-firm tofu is packaged in liquid and removing some of this liquid ensures that the tofu will cook up crispy.
Tips for Perfect Sesame Tofu
- Sauté ginger and garlic for sauce – this brightens these aromatics and brings a lot of flavor into the sesame sauce.
- Cut tofu into uniform cubes – this helps ensure that the tofu will cook at the same rate.
- Preheat air fryer – you want the air fryer nice and hot when you go to add the tofu.
- Space tofu in air fryer – it’s important that you give the tofu ample space in the air fryer otherwise it will not cook up crispy. We recommend doing the tofu in 2 batches for a 4-qt air fryer.
- Use pan spray – this added little bit of extra fat is necessary for getting a golden crust on the tofu and broccoli.
- Shake basket halfway through cooking – this helps ensure both sides get evenly crispy.
Try these ideas for a different twist on this tofu.
- Make it spicy – feel free to add red pepper flakes or your favorite hot sauce to kick up the heat.
- Try a different vegetable – carrots, sweet pepper, green beans, mushrooms, zucchini, or summer squash would all work well in this recipe. Be aware that cook time may vary depending on the vegetables you choose.
- Use tamari – this is a gluten-free option you can use in place of traditional soy sauce.
- Serve over different grains – try brown rice, quinoa, farro, or cauliflower rice.
Oven and Stovetop Instructions
Don’t have an air fryer? You can still make this recipe on either the stovetop or in the oven.
Oven: place tofu in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan and spray well with pan spray. Bake tofu at 400F 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking until golden brown and crispy.
Stovetop: heat 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and pan fry, turning on all sides until golden brown and crispy.
This tofu seriously puts takeout to SHAME! The flavorful sesame glaze is everything here and coats the crispy tofu and tender broccoli pieces to utter perfection.
A big mess of this over rice + some green onion action and you’ve got bowl goals.
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven.
Try these other keeper tofu recipes next!
Air Fryer Sesame Tofu and Broccoli
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Tofu and Broccoli
- 1 brick (12 oz) extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30-60 min and cut into 1-in cubes
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets
- Pan spray for air frying
- Hot rice, green onions, and sesame seeds for serving
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes until a light golden brown. Add remaining sauce ingredients.
- Bring sauce to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally until thickened. Remove sauce from heat and cover pan to keep warm.
Tofu and Broccoli
- In a medium bowl, toss tofu with cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until evenly combined.
- Preheat a 4-qt air fryer to 400F for 3 minutes. Spray the basket of air fryer well with pan spray. Working in batches, arrange tofu in a single layer in air fryer, making sure to space tofu apart so it is not touching other pieces. Spray tofu well with pan spray.
- Air fry tofu at 400F 8-10 minutes, shaking basket halfway through cooking, until tofu is golden brown and crispy. Repeat cooking with remaining tofu
- Remove tofu from air fryer and arrange broccoli in a single layer in air fryer. Spray well with pan spray and air fry at 400F 8-10 minutes until broccoli is tender and slightly crispy.
- Toss air fried tofu and broccoli into warm sauce until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- Serve sesame tofu and broccoli warm over rice with green onions and additional sesame seeds. Enjoy!