Crispy Tofu and Veggie Stir-Fry

  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 4 cups stir-fry + 4 cups rice
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Sesame-crusted tofu strips are air-fried until golden on the outside and creamy on the inside. The tofu strips will be delicate, so spoon them over the vegetables rather than tossing them into the stir-fry. A quick orange juice–based sauce adds subtle sweetness.

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • 1 12- to 14-ounce package extra-firm silken light tofu
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 16-oz. pkg. frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 4 cups hot cooked brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons sliced scallion
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted


  • Preheat air fryer to 375°F. Cut tofu horizontally into three planks. Use a heavy plate to press tofu planks between two cotton towels about 25 minutes, removing as much liquid as possible. Sprinkle tofu planks all over with the 3 Tbsp. sesame seeds. Line air fryer trays with foil. Arrange trays in air fryer. Air-fry 12 to 15 minutes or until browned and starting to crisp, turning tofu once and rotating trays if necessary. Cut tofu into bite-size pieces.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl stir together the next five ingredients (through arrowroot powder). In a large skillet cook vegetables over medium 5 to 7 minutes or until almost tender, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. Add sauce and cook just until thickened.
  • To serve, top rice with vegetables and tofu. Sprinkle with scallion and toasted sesame seeds.

Comments (16)

(5 from 11 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Irene Dorothy Wieringa

Very tasty. I would perhaps use a little less orange juice next time, but otherwise a great meal.


What a wonderful and tasty way to make tofu with no oil! Sesame seeds work great too. I steamed my veggies - local bok choi, broccoli and my asparagus.., skipped the rice, and just added chipolte bitchin sauce (from Costco - almond based). I tend to not care for sauces with any sugar so I did not want to try it. Delicious and simple dinner. Thanks!


I like to cook ahead and eat later. Once it is all cooked, tofu, sauce, brown rice, can you put the tofu in the sauce and refrigerate?

Megan Edwards

Hi Nancy, We suggest keeping the tofu separate from the sauce so that it stays firm and crispy. It might get soggy if you combine it with the sauce and then store it in the fridge. As with most stir-frys, it's best to keep all the components separate and put them together right when you're ready to eat. Let us know how it goes!


I’m new to air frying and am looking forward to trying some of these FOK recipes! Quick question though, several recipes say to line air fryer with foil. Doesn’t that interfere with the air circulation around the food? Thanks!


No but you can also buy disposable liners for the air fryer

Susan Wright

it is very very good thank you


This was good. I cooked the tofu per directions but after it was done I cut into small pieces and put back in the air fryer for another 5 min we like it crispier. The only thing I wasn’t crazy was the sauce maybe I should’ve added more arrow root than called for but the sauce makes any Asian dish and this was too watery and too much oj flavor. Overall I’ll make it again and add in some of my own things to create the “yummy” factor.

Emily Kikue Frank

I don't really like the frozen veg mixes so I sauteed onion, carrot, sugar-snap peas, and bok choy and it was excellent. Might add water chestnuts next time. Tangerine juice would be a nice sub for the o.j., too.

Rita Weick

Can regular tofu be used instead of silken?


I used regular (extra firm) tofu. Tasted fine to me. I didn't know there was a difference but when I google searched it, it says you're not supposed to press silken tofu (in any consistency) since it crumbles. This recipe says to press. Go figure.

Gale Blackburn

I don't own an air fryer--can we fry it regularly in pan or bake it?


I baked instead of air-fried but at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Turned out great.


This recipe was amazing! I doubled the batch and had enough for the 4 of us with leftovers. I added edamames and used fresh vegetables from the farmer's market instead of frozen, and for the tofu I lightly glazed them with the sauce and then sprinkled with the sesame added a nice blend and zest to them...its the perfect light meal for a hot, summer day! The grandbabies couldn't get enough of it...Thanks Nancy!


I went to the kitchen with the intention to make the whole recipe. I started with the tofu. Had to eat it alone. No time to make the rest. It was really good. Freeze the tofu, remove the water, throw some sesame seed on it and air fry it. Great snack :-)


we got a good crust on the tofu and the orange flavor was perfecto

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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