Sesame Tofu with Broccoli Recipe

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Easy and healthy sesame tofu recipe, air fry or bake it before coating in an oil free sticky garlic ginger sesame sauce. Crispy golden around the edges using maple syrup instead of honey, gluten free and vegan!

Healthy sesame tofu recipe with garlic ginger sesame sauce.

Crispy saucy tofu and steamed broccoli  – the perfect weeknight meal!

How to Make Sesame Tofu

  1. Start with firm or extra firm tofu, remove from the package and drain the water.
  2. Press Tofu: place the drained tofu block on a lint free kitchen towel, fold the sides over and cover with another towel. Place a heavy object on top like an enameled cast iron pot or something that is easy to balance. Allow to press for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  3. Once pressed tear the tofu into bite size pieces and toss with tapioca or corn starch.
  4. Air fry or bake until golden crips around the edges following the instructions in the recipe card.

Garlic ginger sesame sauce.

The Sesame Sauce

Simply whisk together tamari with water, vinegar, garlic, ginger and sesame seeds.  Balance with a drizzle of maple syrup for both taste and stickiness. Thicken as it simmers for a quick minute with tapioca or cornstarch. How easy is that ?!

What to Serve With

Healthy sesame tofu recipe with garlic ginger sesame sauce and broccoli.


  • What is Tofu Made Of? – Tofu blocks are made from whole soy beans in a process similar to making cheese. The soy milk curd is used and pressed into blocks of different textures, from soft to extra firm. The flavor is very mild to non existent which makes it the perfect vehicle to absorb any kind of flavor just like a sponge. In our case that luscious sesame sauce!
  • How Much Protein is in Tofu?Tofu delivers a whopping 20 grams of protein in one cup and zero cholesterol. Now that’s some real high quality healthy clean protein.
  • Is Tofu Healthy?I created this recipe as healthy as possible! The tofu is cooked in my toaster air fryer without any oil, plus I also made the sauce oil free and refined sugar free. The oven baked alternative is not quite as healthy as it requires a little oil to keep the tofu from drying out. For the benefits of tofu consumption and the scientific research on the subject please visit

Air fried tofu with broccoli and garlic ginger sesame sauce.

P.S. If you make this recipe please come back here to rate it, snap a photo and tag me with #VeggieSociety on Instagram, it totally makes my day ~ Florentina Xo’s

Air fried sesame tofu with broccoli and garlic ginger sesame sauce.
4.86 from 14 votes

Sesame Tofu

Healthy sesame tofu recipe, air fry or bake it before coating in an oil-free sticky garlic ginger sesame sauce. Crispy golden around the edges using maple syrup instead of honey, gluten free and vegan!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:5 minutes
Pressing Time::35 minutes
Total Time:40 minutes


  • 15 oz block firm tofu ~organic
  • 2 tbsp tapioca or cornstarch
  • 1 lime ~for serving

Sesame Sauce:


Press the Tofu:

  • Remove tofu from the package and drain the water. Slice in half lengthwise so you end up with 2 thinner slices. Place on a lint free towel lined plate and fold the sides over. Cover with another lint free towel and place a heavy item on top, something with good balance. Allow the tofu to press for at least 35 minutes or overnight. (If pressing overnight make sure to transfer to the refrigerator and keep cool)
    15 oz block firm tofu
  • Use your hands and roughly tear the tofu into bite size pieces. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with a tiny pinch of sea salt and two tablespoons of tapioca or cornstarch. Gently toss to coat well.
    2 tbsp tapioca or cornstarch, 15 oz block firm tofu

Air Fryer Method

  • Preheat air fryer to 375"F. Place the tofu on the air fryer tray without touching each other and air fry for 15 to 17 minutes until golden around the edges. (I do this in my Breville Toaster Oven Air Fryer, if you are using something different you might need to adjust the timing as it could take a little longer, keep on eye on it and check at the 15 minute mark).

Oven Baked Method

  • Optional to spray the pressed tofu pieces with a light coat of sesame oil. Dust with 2 tablespoons of tapioca and toss to coat well. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet preferably without touching each other. Bake at 400"F for 18 to 25 minutes until golden around the edges.
    2 tbsp tapioca or cornstarch

Make the Sesame Sauce:

  • In a small bowl whisk together all the sauce ingredients until combined. Transfer to a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Cook a minute or so until the sauce starts to thicken.
    3 tbsp tamari sauce, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 3 tbsp maple syrup, 2 cloves grated garlic, 2 tsp fresh ginger root, 6 tbsp water, 2 tsp tapioca or corn starch, 2 tbsp white sesame seeds, 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • Transfer the cooked tofu into the sesame sauce and toss to coat well all over. Serve over steamed broccoli with brown rice or noodles or rice, lime wedges, scallions and red chili pepper for heat.
    1 lime


Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 762mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 204mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: plant based, sesame tofu, tofu, vegan,
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 207kcal
Author: Florentina

Air Fryer Tofu Recipes:

Orange Tofu
Orange Tofu
Peanut Tofu
Peanut Tofu
Crispy Tofu Nuggets
Crispy Tofu Nuggets


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  1. Finally got the toaster air fryer and it has changed my life. This was so easy to make and finger licking good, we fought over the last piece so I think that says a lot. Enjoying all your Plant Based recipes and not missing meat even one bit. Thank you for inspiring me to keep going with this lifestyle!!!

  2. What did I do wrong? My tofu was tough and tasted like cornstarch. The sauce was fantastic but the tofu was not edible.

    1. Hi Tammy, it sounds like the tofu might have been overcooked. Did you use a toaster air-fryer or baked it in the oven ? It’s really important to keep an eye on it if using the oven as the temperatures can vary. I also recommend using Tapioca and shaking off any excess instead of cornstarch. I have never been able to taste the tapioca at all, the coating has always turned out really light and airy. If you tear the tofu into smaller pieces that will also require less cooking time so timing needs to be adjusted depending on size and air-fryer model or oven. Hope you give it another go and enjoy it, it’s a really delicious recipe.

  3. I made for lunch today. I didn’t have tapioca so I used cornstarch. Only problem is the tofu was a little tough which means I probably over cooked a bit. It is great! I roasted kale since I was out of broccoli. I will make again!

  4. This was delicious! I had a 350 g pack of tofu (just under 13 ounces) and I think there’s enough sauce for double the amount of tofu if you’re not using rice. Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

  5. Made this and loved it!! It definitely satisfies my unhealthy Chinese food craving. Happy to finally have a healthy and yummy alternative!

  6. Hi 🙂 Can you make the sauce in advance do you think? Also, the first time I made this, the tofu was definitely overdone! So now I know to airfry mine for like 10 minutes on a lower heat. Still, deeelicious!

    1. Yes you can definitely make the sauce in advance. Depending on the air fryer you’ll need to adjust the cooking times, they all yield different results and it also depends on the exact size of the tofu and the moisture content. Glad you found your sweet spot 🙂

  7. This was so yummy! I substituted arrowroot powder for the tapioca. And I don’t have an air fryer, so I just used the oven. It was so crispy and perfect! Can’t wait to make it again.

    1. For the sauce you can use a little agar agar instead and just omit coating the tofu, just toss it in the sauce.

  8. This was so good! I think I cooked the tofu jist a tad long, so definitely need to adjust next time. Served over brown rice. This is definitely going on my go-to list. Just as good as takeout Chinese for sure.

  9. Made this tonight for my family. It was an instant hit! Served with white rice. Added my chili oil to mine and my husbands. I made half in the air fryer and half in the oven. Both were extremely crispy. Thank you for the recipe!

  10. Fantastico! I followed the recipe mostly as written, but used shichimi togarashi for my spicy and finished the dish with a light drizzle of toasted sesame oil. I used a parchment lined sheet pan and the convection function on my regular oven instead of an air fryer gadget. Deliciously crispy, and the sauce was perfectly gummy using the tapioca starch, but next time I will try konjac root fiber or agar agar for a lower-carb version. I was surprised at the addition of maple syrup, here, and am not sure I will use that as a sweetener in the future, since quality maple syrup is pricey, and the flavor isn’t really highlighted in this dish; I think a dark brown sugar syrup could accomplish the same depth of flavor with a more “daily use” price point. Overall, 5/5 stars, will definitely be putting this one in the rotation! Grazie!

  11. Just tried this for the first time. It says 4 servings, but my husband and I ate it up all by ourselves. 🙂 It’s easy & tasty. The sauce is boldly flavorful, and good but a little heavier on sodium and ginger than my personal optimum. That may be partly my fault, because at the last minute I discovered I was out of sesame seeds and I substituted “everything bagel” seasoning–sesame seeds are it’s first ingredient, but it has garlic and salt, too. I plan to buy sesame seeds and make it again. My husband said he could eat this all the time! Roasted cashews served over the top would take this to the next level. Also, I steamed some pieces of orange bell pepper with the broccoli for added color and nutrition. Carrot strips would be good with the broccoli, too.

  12. Love this! I make tofu often. I used to fry it in a pan, then I started baking it. I usually marinate the tofu. I never used this method before. This is a keeper. I used the convcetion on my oven, which I also never used before. I used arrowroot as the starch. I steamed/stir fryed broccoli, carrots, onion, garlic and ginger. Served over brown rice. I am not a new cook, I learned something new today and I am very happy. Thank you.

  13. I was skeptical because I feel like Asian recipes are hard to perfect but this turned out very nice. Topped it with green onion and more sesame seeds and served with rice.

    1. Hi Jennifer, I’m so glad the tofu turned out great for you. I love adding scallions and also an extra sprinkling of toasted sesame. ~ Florentina Xo’s

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