Air Fryer Buffalo Popcorn Tofu

air fryer buffalo popcorn tofu
Will it Buffalo? Probably! So many foods take amazingly well to the “Buffalo” treatment: fried, tossed in buttery hot sauce and served with blue cheese dip and celery sticks (vegan blue cheese dip of course). The Buffalo treatment amps up all the flavors. Buffalo French fries? Yup. Buffalo cauliflower? You bet. Buffalo tofu is particularly delicious, especially with a crispy seasoned panko crust. For the absolute crispiest results, use an air fryer. You can also turn on the convection fan in your regular oven. Either way, these Buffalo tofu bites are perfect for parties or just a Netflix and chill sesh!


  • 1 lb (450 g) extra-firm tofu
  • 1 cup (200 ml) soy milk
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup (100 g) plain white all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 2/3 cups (150 g) panko bread crumbs
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil spray
Buffalo Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan butter (or margarine)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Franks Hot Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • Vegan blue cheese or ranch dressing
  • Celery sticks


  1. For the tofu, preheat an airfryer to 180ºC (350ºF) or preheat a regular oven to 200ºC (400ºF) with the convection fan on.
  2. Gently press the tofu between your palms over the sink for a minute or so to release excess water. Then break the tofu into bite-size pieces using your hands.
  3. Set up your breading in three separate small bowls: whisk the soy milk, vinegar and sriracha in the first; whisk the flour, onion salt, and garlic powder in the second; and put the panko in the third.
  4. Drop a handful of tofu pieces in the flour. Toss with one “dry” hand until evenly coated then transfer to the soy milk mixture. Using your other “wet” hand, remove the tofu from the soy milk mixture and drop it into the panko. Toss with your dry hand until coated, then transfer to the basket of the air fryer, or to a wire track set in a baking tray if using the oven. Repeat until all the tofu is breadcrumbed.
  5. Spray the coated tofu with the vegetable oil, then turn and spray the other side for even coating.
  6. Place the tofu in the air fryer or oven until golden brown and crispy, about 25 minutes.
  7. While the tofu is cooking, make the buffalo sauce: Combine the vegan butter, hot sauce, vinegar, soy sauce and garlic powder in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water, whisk the mixture into the simmering buffalo sauce, whisking until thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat.
  8. Toss the tofu in the buffalo sauce while still hot and serve immediately, ideally with vegan blue cheese or ranch dressing and celery sticks.
buffalo tofu batter

Getting super crispy tofu all comes down to the coating. Start with a coating of flour, then soy milk, then panko breadcrumbs. But remember, in order to get a gorgeous golden brown colour you’ll need to add some vegetable oil. Make sure the breading is evenly coated with a sheen of oil before cooking.

tossing buffalo tofu wings

Buffalo sauce is surprisingly easy to make vegan. Just throw the ingredients into a saucepan and cook until simmering. For a thick, glossy sauce, whisk together a cornstarch slurry and add to the sauce while still hot. It’ll thicken quickly!

serve buffalo tofu with your favorite vegan dipping sauce

Be sure to toss the tofu in the buffalo sauce while both are still piping hot. The sauce has a nice kick, so serve with something creamy and rich like vegan blue cheese or ranch dressing for those who want to tame the flames a bit.

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