Crispy Air Fryer Tofu
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Crispy Air Fryer Tofu made with extra firm tofu that’s coated in a savory seasoning blend and tossed in the air fryer until perfectly crispy! Perfect to serve with rice and your favorite roasted vegetables, or by itself with a dipping sauce.
If you have any leftover tofu after making this recipe, try making the Best Tofu Scramble for breakfast the next morning!
Crispy Air Fryer Tofu
Crispy Air Fryer Tofu is so simple and easy to make, making it my all-time favorite crispy tofu recipe! It’s perfect for making in a big batch to eat all week, or for a simple weeknight dinner. I use extra firm tofu and toss it in a seasoning blend with corn starch, which is what helps the tofu get crispy. You do have to add a touch of oil, but not even close to as much as it would take to deep fry it. You can also change up the seasoning blend to suit your taste.
How to Press Tofu Quickly
Pressing tofu is a crucial step in most tofu recipes because it removes all of the water and gives the tofu a chance to take in the flavors of your recipe. Don’t skip this step! Unpressed tofu can also release some extra moisture and water down your dish.
I do this a quick and easy way with some paper towels, but if you want to go all out you can invest in a tofu press and let the moisture drain for about 20-30 minutes (or something heavy like a book on top of a baking sheet). If I was making this for guests, I would probably get the press out. For myself? Paper towels work just fine to cut down on the prep time.
- Carefully cut open the tofu package and drain the water. Place the block of tofu onto a cutting board.
- Cut into 1-inch tofu cubes. Place the cubes on top of a folded paper towel (or clean kitchen towel). Place another piece of paper towel on top and gently press down. Don’t squish them, just press enough to help the tofu release water.
- Fold the paper towel over to the dry side and repeat the process a couple of times. Do this one or two more times, until the tofu stops releasing water.
Air fryer tofu will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
You can freeze tofu, but it may give it a chewy texture. Defrost it in the refrigerator, and reheat it in the air fryer for best results.
Tips for Air Fryer Tofu
- The secret to making anything crispy in the air fryer is to shake the basket every 5 minutes. This helps the air fryer hit all sides of the tofu, so set a timer to make sure you’re shaking!
- You can make this spicy by adding a dash of cayenne pepper or teaspoon red pepper flakes.
- If you want to fry tofu for real, you can use this same recipe for the tofu to fry in the oil.
- Only use extra firm tofu for this recipe, which is basically the firmest tofu you can find. Any other kind will be too soft and will crumble (silken tofu is basically like yogurt). The extra firm will be the best for air frying!
- It might seem easy to just press the entire block of tofu to get rid of excess moisture, and if you have the time and a tofu press that might be true. But if you’re doing it the quick way, cut the tofu into cubes to get the most excess water out as possible. Plus you’re cutting the tofu into bite sized pieces for when you air fry them.
- I like to use simple seasoning but you can get creative. Instead of this seasoning, try fresh ginger and fresh garlic with gluten free soy sauce for color and extra flavor. If you like the flavor sesame oil you can toss the tofu cubes with that, or whatever your favorite marinade sauce is.
- This recipe leans more towards Italian seasoning, but you can add whatever your favorite seasoning mix or blend of spices is. Tofu is really versatile! The important part is the corn starch, which creates the crispest tofu cubes that we’re going for.
- Spray the cubes with cooking spray and place on a lined baking sheet for crispy baked tofu. If you want some more color, add a teaspoon paprika to your seasoning mix.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Tofu
Crispy Air Fryer Tofu
- 16 oz extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Air Fryer
- Add tofu to a medium sized bowl with olive oil. Toss to coat. In a separate bowl, whisk together spices and corn starch. Add spice mixture to the tofu and toss to coat everything completely.
- Add tofu to the air fryer basket, leaving space between each piece. Cook at 400°F, tossing the basket every 5 minutes, for 20 minutes. Make in batches until all are completely cooked, about 2-3 batches.
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