If you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet or just want to eat more healthily, including tofu in your daily diet would greatly help. Tofu is a classic low-calorie meat alternative that is jam-packed with nutrients such as protein, calcium, and iron.
But how can you cook tofu without soaking it in oil so it can cook crispy on the outside and tender on the inside? With that in mind, I am here to teach you how to make the best crispy tofu using an air fryer with little to no oil!
How to make crispy air fried tofu
I love this recipe because it will make your tofu crispy on the outside and firm on the inside. Tofu is also a very versatile food that you can mix in almost any type of meals.
What’s more is that you will only need a few ingredients and a few minutes of cooking time!
- Extra-firm tofu – extra firm tofu contains less water than other types of tofu and will hold its shape better during cooking. Make sure you avoid tofus that says “silken” on it.
- Soy sauce – for the marinade. You can go for light soy sauce depending on your taste preference.
- Cornstarch – for that golden and crispy outer goodness!
- Sesame oil or olive oil
- Spices – you can include garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and other preferred spices
- Salt and pepper to taste
Gently press the tofu on a flat surface. When you press your tofu before cooking, it removes its moisture so that it won’t be soggy even after cooking.
Cut the tofu into cubes.
Pat the tofu dry to remove any excess moisture from the pressing.
Place the tofu in a medium sized bowl and add your soy sauce. Stir or toss to coat your tofu.
Coat your tofu with cornstarch if you want to make crispy tofu. Add in your preferred seasonings or spices to make a flavorful tofu.
Place tofu in your air fryer basket in a single layer. Set your air fryer to 400 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes. Shake the basket after 5 minutes, then continue cooking.
Cook your remaining tofu batches the same way.
Remove once tofu is ready. Allow to cool for a few minutes then serve.
Ways to use your crispy air fryer tofu
You can definitely eat your crispy tofu as is with your favorite dipping sauce. But if you are looking on what to mix your tofus in or what is the best pairings for it, then here are some ways on how you can use or pair your tofus:
- Mix into salads
- Mix into your stir fry recipes
- Toss into a Buddha bowl
- Toss into noodles
- Mix into Vegan Fried Rice
- Breakfast meals like scrambled eggs and oats
- Pair with quinoa rice
- And more!
How to store and reheat your crispy tofu
You can store your cooked tofu in an airtight container and inside a fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat tofu in the air fryer, place the tofu cubs in your air fryer basket and cook at 375 degrees F. It should only take a few minutes so make sure to check continuously to prevent it from burning.
You can also freeze your tofu in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months.
More tips for the best easy air fryer tofu recipe
- Make sure you are not buying Silken tofu. This type of tofu will give you the wrong texture and your tofu may break apart if you try and press it.
- Do not overcrowd the tofu. Place the tofu cubes in a single layer so they will cook evenly.
- If you have a smaller air fryer, cook the tofu in batches.
- You can marinade your tofu overnight if you prefer and place the mixture in the refrigerator.
- If you do not have a cornstarch in hand, do not worry because your tofu can still become crispy without it. The rush of hot air inside the air fryer is enough to crisp up the tofu!
- Tofu is quite bland on its own so feel free to experiment with your marinades and seasonings. You can use garlic and onion powders, smoked paprika, and more.
Why use Air Fryer for your Tofu pieces?
Aside from the obvious fact that air fryers can cook your meals and food much quicker, I mainly use my handy air fryer if I want to fry something without using much oil. This means that I do not have to soak my food in so much oil for it to become crispy and well-cooked.
Some more foods I was able to quickly make in an air fryer are these air fried sweet potato fries and air fried eggplants.
Generally, tofu is already jam-packed with several health benefits including protein, iron, and calcium. Consuming tofu can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, breast and prostate cancer, kidney dysfunction, liver damage, and more.
And to be able to retain those benefits, I use an air fryer! And an air-fried tofu is low in calories and fat, oil-free, high in protein, crispy on the outside, and soft and tender in the middle!
But aside from that, I also love using an air fryer as opposed to an oven or deep-frying because the preparation and clean-up after all that cooking is very quick and simple! You do not need to get a loooot of kitchen tools out of your pantry and at the same time, you do not need to wash multiple dishes, multiple spatulas or mixing equipment, multiple pans, and the like.
And you do not need to wipe off any oil splatter on your stovetop!
Easy Air Fryer Tofu Recipe
Tofu is a delicious and healthier meat alternative that can be used and mixed into any type of meal! And cooking it in an air fryer keeps its health benefits without needing to use a lot of oil and still get that crispy results.
- 1 lb block of extra firm tofu
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ tablespoon light soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil or olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of your preferred seasonings or spices
- Gently press the tofu on a flat surface and cut the tofu into cubes.
- Pat the tofu dry to remove any excess moisture from the pressing.
- Place the tofu in a medium sized bowl and add your soy sauce. Stir or toss to coat your tofu.
- Coat your tofu with cornstarch if you want to make crispy tofu.
- Add in your preferred seasonings or spices to make a flavorful tofu.
- Place tofu in your air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Set your air fryer to 400 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes. Shake the basket after 5 minutes, then continue cooking.
- Remove once tofu is ready. Allow to cool for a few minutes then serve.
I’m Anastasia and I’m a full-time blogger, online entrepreneur, and Pinterest marketing strategist. I help digital entrepreneurs and bloggers drive targeted traffic from Pinterest either through my online courses or through Pinterest consultancy.