Bomb Ass Air Fryer Tofu/Tempeh/Mock Meat Marinade Recipe

A photo of a bowl with a peanut-based marinade

Submitted by S.J.

**ALLERGY ALERT: Contains peanuts**


  • Peanut Butter
  • Tamari (Note: if you don’t need to worry about gluten, Teriyaki is cheaper, but has gluten)
  • Dairy Free Milk of Choice (unflavored)
  • A bit of Hot Sauce – Sriracha, Sweet Chili or whatever you like


A photo of Japanese style vegan soy nuggets

They look iffy but I promise they are DELICIOUS!

This is an easy marinade that everyone likes. You can adjust the general ingredient ratios according to your personal tastes and for the amount of food you want to marinate. I know it’s sort of stressful not to have an exact recipe to follow, but this is easy to try and dial in.

I use this marinade on firm, diced tofu cubes, tempeh (steamed briefly to get the bitterness out first), or other Mock Meats like Verisoy. Verisoy is hands down the best dehydrated, gluten free mock chicken I have had – you can get these at a Chinese or Japanese supermarket. Amazon has them too, but the international grocery will be cheaper if you can find them locally.

These are great because you can hydrate just what you need, when you need it. They are super easy to rehydrate and come with directions on the package – you basically just soak them in water for a few minutes then cook them like they were fresh mock meats.

To make the soy nuggs (or anything) delicious you have to dunk them for at least 1/2 an hour in this marinade to absorb the flavor. Tofu shouldn’t be in here more than 4 hours or so, Tempeh can be left overnight as it doesn’t absorb as fast.

NOTE 1: The only real trick to this marinade is that it is much easier to make if you combine and mix the ingredients in a certain way for easy blending – let them work for you ha ha.

NOTE 2: When I use this marinade with Verisoy, I rehydrate the soy nuggs about 1/2 the allotted time listed on the package and then just let them marinate for 30 minutes or so in the batch of deliciousness you just created to finish rehydrating. YUM.


Since this can be for any amount of protein, you want to make enough to completely cover your protein, however much that is. Aim for the rough ratios listed here and adjust your combination for your own taste:

  • PB & Tamari – 1.5:1 (Mix One, below)
  • PB/Tamari (mixed together as one mix) & Milk – 1:1 (Mix Two, below)
  • Dash of Hot Sauce (however hot you want it)

A photo of a jar of creamy peanut butter, a box of unsweetened almond milk, a bottle of sweet chili sauce, and a bottle of Tamari sauce

Mix One: To marinate an entire block of tofu, I start with about 3/4 cup of Peanut Butter, and 1/2 cup of Tamari Sauce in a mixing bowl. Then I mix them together with a fork – the Tamari will naturally break up the oils in the PB – this is what I mean by saying let the ingredients work for you. These two ingredients will mix together easily and smoothly. If you add the milk right away, you’re gonna stir for a long time and be frustrated, so keep it EASY.

Mix Two: After you’ve got this cup or so of PB/Saltiness together, mix about an equal amount of milk into the bowl and blend in. Add in a hint of something spicy to the mix – 1/4 cup of sweet chili sauce, or even just a stripe of Sriracha can really boost the flavor without too much added heat.

NOTE: If it looks like you may need more marinade, you can always add more milk – it will just thin it out and make more. You want enough marinade that it is going to comfortably cover your protein.

A photo of a bowl containing a peanut-based marinade and a bowl of soy nuggets

Rehydrated package of Verisoy and the perfect amount of marinade.

After at least half an hour in the magical dunk, I then line the trays of my air fryer with parchment and fish the protein out with a fork, allowing some of the marinade to stay on the protein. I cook the nuggs/tofu on high (400 degrees F) for about 20-30 minutes, rotating the trays throughout several times.

Your air fryer will vary, and I watch it pretty closely to get them nice and crispy on the edges without burning them – smaller diced chunks cook faster, obviously.

I usually make some rice and a veg and voila – yummy hot dinner with leftovers.

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