Crispy and flavored to perfection, this air fryer tofu recipe is every tofu lover’s dream. It takes only 10 minutes to make the crunchiest tofu bites that can be served for lunch, dinner, or even as a snack.
Tofu is an amazing source of protein, especially for vegans. Thanks to its neutral flavor profile, tofu can be infused with different flavors. It can also be cooked using different cooking methods.
We have made pan-fried and bbq tofu, and have absolutely loved them. Sofritas is another flavorful tofu recipe you can try. Sometimes we keep things simple and just bake them. However, the quickest and most delicious way to prepare it is in the air fryer!
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The best air fryer tofu recipe
For this recipe, we keep it simple and cook tofu bites in the air fryer until crispy. Flavored with soy sauce, sesame oil, and spices, this is perfect for your Asian-inspired dinners.
- Healthy. This air fryer tofu recipe uses very little oil which makes it a healthy dish to have in your diet. It’s also naturally high in protein and low in fat, and even has a little bit of fiber.
- Quick. It takes around 10 minutes to cook tofu in the air fryer. Use this recipe whenever you need to make a quick lunch or dinner or need a protein addition to your meal.
- Easy to pair. Serve this tofu over some spicy noodles, ramen, or even in some sushi for a well balanced meal. You can pair it with zucchini fritters or cabbage steaks for a veggo dinner. We actually often replace the chicken in chow mein with it- it’s SO good!
This recipe calls for a few pantry staple ingredients. Here’s everything you will need.
- Tofu. Use extra firm tofu as it holds onto the sauce better and yields a more crisp exterior. If you only have firm tofu, squeeze out the moisture and/or dry it out for several hours before slicing it up.
- Oil. We use both olive oil and sesame oil. The oils add flavor to the tofu, keep it moist, and help create a nice crust.
- Soy sauce. To infuse tofu with a rich savory flavor.
- Spices. Unseasoned tofu is rather bland. Using spices is a great way to add flavor to it. We use garlic powder and ginger powder for this recipe.
- Salt. To taste.
How to cook tofu in the air fryer
Step 1 – Prep the tofu
Cut the tofu into even bite-size pieces. Place it on a kitchen towel or paper towel to soak up the excess moisture.
Step 2 – Season and air fry
In a large bowl, mix the olive oil with sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, and spices. Add the tofu to the bowl and mix until fully coated.
Preheat the air fryer to 190C/375F degrees. Arrange the tofu in the greased air fryer basket and cook it for 10-12 minutes.
Shake the basket several times to get the tofu crisped up on all sides.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to flavor variations for air fryer tofu. Here are a few ways to change up this easy tofu recipe.
- Use more spices, e.g. turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper, paprika, red chili flakes, etc.
- Add hot sauce.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Swap soy sauce with tamari sauce for a less intense salty flavor. We often do this in a pad see ew and it works a treat!
- Press the tofu before cutting it to remove the extra liquid and make super crispy air-fried tofu.
- Use low sodium soy sauce if you are watching your salt intake.
- If you want to make this tofu extra crispy, toss the cubes in cornstarch before putting them in the air fryer.
- Another tip you can use to make the tofu bites crispier is to spray the tofu with cooking spray a few times while it cooks.
- Always add the tofu in a single layer in the air fryer basket. This way the tofu cubes will brown evenly on all sides. You may need to cook it in batches, too.
To store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To reheat. To reheat air fried tofy, preheat the air fryer to 375F degrees. Add tofu to the air fryer basket and cook for a few minutes until heated through.
To freeze. You can also freeze leftovers if you have made a big batch. Flash-freeze tofu and transfer it into an airtight bag or container. Keep cooked tofu in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More air fryer favorites to try
Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
Air Fryer Quesadilla
Air Fryer Garlic Bread
Healthy Bread Recipes
Air Fryer Bagels
Tofu doesn’t need to be cooked for too long. We cook tofu to improve its texture and make it more palatable. The air fryer is one of the best ways to cook it. Ten minutes in the air fryer are enough to make it crispy and flavorful.
We highly recommend you press the tofu before air frying it. Pressing it helps remove the extra moisture from it which results in crispier tofu.
A popular mistake that leads to soggy air-fried tofu is coating the tofu cubes in breadcrumbs or flour. As the tofu cooks, it releases water which is quickly absorbed by the breadcrumb or flour coating. This leads to soggy fried tofu.
Air Fryer Tofu
- 15 oz tofu extra firm
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the air fryer to 190C/375F.
- Cube the tofu into bite sizes pieces. Place the tofu on a dishtowel or paper towel to soak up excess moisture.
- In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, and salt. Add the tofu and mix well, until all the tofu is coated.
- Generously grease the air fryer basket and add a single layer of tofu to it. Air fry for 10-12 minutes, shaking the basket several times throughout.
- Once the tofu is golden brown, remove it from the basket and repeat the process until all the tofu is cooked up.
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What would be substituted for soy or sesame? Yes garlic, onion?? Thanks cheryl
Soy sauce- try tamari.
I have a toaster oven air fryer and cannot get my tofu to ever be cripsy. I always squeeze the water out. Any suggestions on a non basket type of air fryer?
Hmmm adding too much seasoning or oil can have the opposite effect. Have you maybe overseasoned?