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This simple air fryer teriyaki tofu is chewy, flavorful, and coated with a sticky, sweet, and salty Japanese-inspired teriyaki sauce. Infused with plenty of ginger, garlic, and green onions, you will never want to order takeout again!

Teriyaki tofu with white rice in a bowl.

⭐️ Why You Should Try It

  • Ready in 25 minutes. While this tofu dish is not entirely made in the air fryer, it’s a healthier take on regular teriyaki tofu that is often deep-fried. Not only does the air fryer make the overall process much quicker, but it also makes it fuss-free. You can get this tofu on the table in less than 25 minutes!
  • Better than takeout. Loaded with fresh ginger, garlic, and toasty sesame oil, the thick sauce coats the tofu wonderfully, giving it a ton of flavor.
  • Great for meal prep. This teriyaki tofu keeps and reheats very well, meaning you can make a double batch and enjoy it throughout the week with different grains.

📘 What Is Teriyaki

Teriyaki (照り焼き) is a Japanese cooking technique that involves grilling or broiling foods with a glaze. Food can be either marinated in the sauce and then grilled, or coated with the glaze after cooking.

Teriyaki sauce is often prepared with a combination of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Other aromatics such as garlic, ginger, or spring onions may also be included.

Ingredients like tofu, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic.

🧄 Ingredient Notes

This vegan teriyaki tofu requires just 8 simple ingredients. Here is what you will need:

  • Firm tofu – You can use medium or firm tofu. There is no need to press the tofu in this recipe. Simply pat it dry.
  • Oil – Any neutral oil works. We will use it to coat the tofu before air frying, helping it get a golden brown color.
  • Ginger and garlic – Preferably fresh ones for a citrusy and spicy flavor. I went with one garlic clove, but you can use two for a more intense garlic flavor.
  • Brown sugar – To balance with the saltiness of the sauce and add a subtle caramelized flavor. You can use brown sugar, coconut sugar, or granulated sugar.
  • Soy sauce – For umami and saltiness. Feel free to use coconut aminos if you want to make this dish gluten-free.
  • Sesame oilToasted sesame oil brings the sauce a nutty and complex aroma.
  • Cornstarch – To thicken the sauce. You can substitute arrowroot for the cornstarch.

🥣 How to Make It

Air fry the tofu

  1. Dice the tofu. Start by cutting the tofu into thick 1-inch cubes. Transfer them to a deep plate or mixing bowl.
  2. Coat it with oil. Add one tablespoon of oil and toss to coat the tofu with the oil. This ensures the tofu will brown evenly.
  3. Air-fry. Next, place the tofu cubes into the basket of your air fryer, leaving about 1 inch between each. Air fry for 14 minutes, flipping once halfway through frying.

Make the sauce

While the tofu is air frying, prepare the homemade teriyaki sauce:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a pan. Add the minced garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and water to a pan.
  2. Let simmer for 2 minutes. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let the sauce simmer for about 2 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.

Coat the tofu

Finally, it’s time to add the tofu to the sauce and let it absorb all of the flavors of the teriyaki sauce. To do so:

  1. Simmer the tofu. Add the fried tofu to the pan and toss to coat. Let the tofu simmer in the sauce for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  2. Add the slurry. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of water. Add the slurry to the sauce.
  3. Toss to coat. Stir to coat the tofu with the thickened sauce and cook for another 30 seconds. The teriyaki tofu is now ready!

🍚 What to Serve It With

This teriyaki tofu is versatile and can be served on its own or served with a side dish. You can:

  • Garnish: Before serving, feel free to garnish the tofu with chopped green onions, toasted sesame seeds, pickled cucumbers, or vegan meat floss for extra texture!
  • Pair with: Teriyaki tofu pairs beautifully with clay pot rice, quinoa, or brown rice. You can also include it in salads like this kale & carrot salad to add protein.

📔 Tips

  • Adjust the air frying time. Depending on the brand and model of your air fryer, you might have to slightly adjust the cooking time. Check after 10 minutes and air fry for a few more minutes if the tofu is not completely golden brown.
  • Add tanginess. Add one teaspoon of rice vinegar if you want to add a subtle tanginess to the teriyaki sauce.
  • Slowly pour in the slurry. Do not add the slurry to the sauce at once. Start with one tablespoon and add more depending on how thick you want the sauce.
Close-up of teriyaki tofu topped with sesame seeds and green onions.

💬 FAQ

How long does this teriyaki tofu keep?

Teriyaki tofu will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat over medium heat and add a couple of tablespoons of water if the sauce has thickened too much.

Can I freeze it?

You can freeze this teriyaki tofu, but be aware that its texture will change after freezing and become more spongy.

Is this teriyaki sauce authentic?

It is not authentic as it doesn’t rely on sake and/or mirin, which are both common ingredients in traditional teriyaki sauce. To keep this recipe accessible, I omitted the mirin. Worry not, it is still delicious!

Close-up of teriyaki tofu.

I hope you are going to love this air fryer teriyaki tofu recipe. It’s saucy, chewy, and the teriyaki glaze creates a wonderful combination of sweet, nutty, and savory flavors! This tofu makes the perfect add-in to rice bowls on busy weeknights!

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Teriyaki tofu over a bed of steamed white rice.
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Recipe

Air Fryer Teriyaki Tofu

5 from 1 vote
Author: Thomas Pagot
This simple air fryer teriyaki tofu is chewy, flavorful, and coated with a sticky, sweet, and salty Japanese-inspired teriyaki sauce. Infused with plenty of ginger, garlic, and green onions, you will never want to order takeout again!
Prep Time : 5 minutes
Cook Time : 20 minutes
Total Time : 25 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 260 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 11 ounces firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch diluted in 2 tbsp water

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 355 °F (180°C).
  • Dice the tofu. Start by cutting the tofu into thick 1-inch cubes. Transfer them to a deep plate or mixing bowl. Add one tablespoon of oil and toss to coat the tofu with the oil. This ensures the tofu will brown evenly.
  • Air-fry. Next, place the tofu cubes into the basket of your air fryer, leaving about 1 inch between each. Air fry for 14 minutes, flipping once halfway through frying.
  • Make the teriyaki sauce. Add the minced garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and water to a large pan or skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let the sauce simmer for about 2 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Stir in the tofu. Add the fried tofu to the pan and toss to coat. Let the tofu simmer in the sauce for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add the slurry. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of water. Add the slurry, one tablespoon at a time, to the sauce, until it has reached the desired thickness. Stir to coat the tofu with the thickened sauce and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve on top of rice, quinoa, or couscous!

Notes

  • Adjust the air frying time. Depending on the brand and model of your air fryer, you might have to slightly adjust the cooking time. Check after 10 minutes and air fry for a few more minutes if the tofu is not completely golden brown.
  • Add tanginess. Add one teaspoon of rice vinegar if you want to add a subtle tanginess to the teriyaki sauce.
  • Slowly pour in the slurry. Do not add the slurry to the sauce at once. Start with one tablespoon and add more depending on how thick you want the sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 260 kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.9 g | Protein: 14.4 g | Fat: 14.4 g | Saturated Fat: 2.4 g | Sodium: 1387 mg | Potassium: 316 mg | Fiber: 1.8 g | Sugar: 13 g | Calcium: 330 mg | Iron: 3 mg
Course : Dinner
Cuisine : Asian, Japanese
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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5 stars
Teriyaki Tofu sound amazing for me. I’ll try this for my family. We love Teriyaki.