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Easy Air-Fried Sesame Crusted Tofu with Lemon Tahini Slaw (Vegan + GF + Oil-Free Option)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Press tofu
1 hr

Delicious and protein packed vegan dish that can be served together or separately.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian-Inspired
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 453 kcal
Author: Michael Monson
For the Sesame Crusted Tofu
  • 1 block of tofu
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • ¾ cup gluten free panko or bread crumb of choice
  • ½ cup white, untoasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoon black sesame seeds (or more white sesame seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil or neutral oil (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
For the Lemon Tahini Slaw
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lemon, juiced (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • ½ head red cabbage, shaved
  • 1 cup cooked small black lentils (beluga)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
To serve
  • vegan eel sauce (link in notes) or teriyaki sauce
To make the Sesame Crusted Tofu
  1. Using a tofu press, or trusted heavy objects, press your tofu for about 1 hour, or until it has reduced in thickness by about ⅓.

  2. Preheat air-fryer or oven to 400 F.
  3. Divide the tofu into quarters, cut the thickness of those quarters into thirds, and then cut the squares in half, diagonally, to form thin triangles. You should have 24, ¼ inch thick triangles of tofu when finished.

  4. In a rimmed plate or bowl, combine the chickpea flour with enough water to form a mixture the consistency of a thinner pancake batter. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper, but don’t taste the mixture because raw chickpea flour is highly unpleasant.
  5. In another rimmed plate or bowl, combine the panko and sesame seeds. Drizzle with a bit of sesame oil and add the seasonings, and gently toss to mix. Taste to make sure that the mixture is well seasoned and salted.

  6. Working in batches, transfer the tofu to the chickpea flour batter, coat each triangle completely, and then transfer them to the panko mixture. Gently press the crumbs into the surface of the tofu so that the crust sticks and completely covers each triangle of tofu. Set coated tofu aside.

  7. Air-fry or bake your tofu, for about 20 minutes, flipping once, until the coating is lightly browned but not burnt. If using a small air-fryer, you may have to work in batches as to not overcrowd the tofu.

To make the Lemon Tahini Slaw
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice, Liquid Aminos, and sriracha. Add salt and pepper (or more sriracha) to taste.
  2. Cut your ½ cabbage in half, remove the tough core, and then cut the cabbage into the thinnest ribbons you possibly can.
  3. Transfer the ribbons of cabbage to the bowl with the dressing, add cooked and well-drained lentils, and toss to coat. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice, salt, or pepper if the dressing feels a bit flat.

  4. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.
To serve:
  1. Divide the Lemon Tahini Slaw evenly among 4 plates. Top with Sesame Crusted Tofu. Drizzle with eel sauce or teriyaki sauce (optional)

Recipe Notes

453 Calories

26.5g protein

11g fiber

I like to drizzle homemade vegan eel sauce on top (not included in nutritional info). Here is a link to the recipe. Store-bought teriyaki sauce would work just as well.