We love this air fryer crispy tofu for a quick, healthy protein that goes great over rice, in stir-fries, or with a tasty dip! Making tofu crispy can be tricky, but our tips and tricks will help you get it right every time!
We’ve been experimenting with more and more meatless recipes these days for a variety of reasons and tofu has quickly become one of our go-to protein sources!
Yes, it can be a bit wobbly and weird looking, but when cooked like this it turns out nice and crispy on the outside and perfect for drizzling or dipping in sauce, serving in a salad, adding to a stir fry, or just serving it on the side of some of our air fryer vegetables and rice!
For the off chance that anyone here is wondering why tofu, and specifically why tofu in the air fryer is a great recipe, let me fill you in!
Tofu is a good source of plant-based protein that is full of nutrients, but not full of calories. It is pretty much a global food, eaten in many countries around the world. The last big reason we love tofu is that it is versatile! Tofu is like the everything substitute, it can be paired with almost any dish whether sweet or savory!
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Tofu – We will use a pound of extra firm tofu. Silken tofu likely won’t work at all and regular or firm tofu won’t come out nearly as crispy. We prefer to use organic tofu whenever possible. You can likely find tofu in the refrigerated vegan section of your store.
Seasonings – Our savory seasonings are going to be soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Cornstarch – We’ll coat the tofu in a bit of cornstarch to help it crisp up.
How to Make Crispy Tofu in an Air Fryer:
- Prepare the tofu– Press the tofu using a tofu press for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, drain off excess liquid and pat dry. Then cut your tofu into small cubes and add to a bowl.
- Season the tofu– Drizzle the soy sauce and sesame oil over the top. Gently stir to coat the tofu. Next sprinkle on your cornstarch, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Air fry the tofu- Spritz your air fryer basket with oil and place your tofu into the basket in a single layer. Air fry for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. Flip the tofu halfway through cooking for the most crispy results.
Don’t Have a Tofu Press?
Wrap the tofu in a clean tea towel and place it on a plate. Top with a heavy skillet and let sit for 30 minutes. Then pat dry and cut your tofu into cubes.
What does tofu taste like?
Plain tofu doesn’t really have much of a flavor at all! It’s quite bland and just begging to be seasoned however you like!
We almost always press our tofu to remove excess water and then toss on a bit of soy sauce to give it a savory, salty start.
From there, we’ll add whatever seasonings will go well with the dish – in this case we use a combination of sesame oil, garlic powder, and onion powder.
This air fryer crispy tofu is perfect dipped or coated in sauces, such as a stir fry sauce, barbecue sauce, yum yum sauce, or a bit of sriracha!
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What are the benefits of eating tofu?
Tofu is a complete protein made from soybeans. Finding a plant based complete protein can be tricky and it’s one of the reasons we love tofu!
Tofu is rich in vitamins and minerals, low in calories, and is heart healthy.
Tofu is readily available in most grocery stores, is budget-friendly, and is a great way to start experimenting with more meatless recipes.
What is tofu?
The way I’ve described tofu to my children is that it’s basically cheese made from soy milk.
The process is started by curdling fresh soy milk and then pressing it into blocks to form tofu, much the same way cheese is made using dairy products.
We like to use this crispy tofu in rice bowls with roasted veggies or stir fry vegetables. It’s also delicious with a dip (mayo + sriracha is a favorite) or in fried rice.
Every air fryer performs a little differently. When the 10 minutes of cook time is up, check to see if it is as crisp as you like. If it is not cook it an additional minute or two until it is perfect! It is also important for it to be as dry as you can possibly make it! So pat it dry after removing it from the tofu press – and definitely don’t skip pressing the tofu!
More Vegetarian Favorites:
- Crispy Chickpeas in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan
- Breaded Cauliflower in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Falafel
- Air Fryer Mushrooms
Air Fryer Crispy Tofu
- 1 pound extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Press the tofu for 30 minutes using a tofu press. Alternately, wrap the tofu in a clean tea towel and place it on a plate. Top with a heavy skillet and let sit for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, drain off any excess liquid, pat dry, and slice the tofu into small cubes. We cut the block in half widthwise and then into long strips and then cube each strip.
- Place tofu cubes in a bowl and drizzle with the soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir gently.
- Sprinkle the cornstarch, garlic powder, and onion powder over the tofu and stir gently to coat.
- Spritz an air fryer basket with oil spray and arrange tofu in an even layer with space around each piece for air to flow. You may need to work in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Air fry at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through cooking for best results. Check tofu and if it’s the desired level of crispiness, remove from the air fryer and serve. Otherwise, continue cooking until as crisp as you’d like, checking every minute or two.
- Serve tofu immediately.