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Crispy Air Fryer Tofu That Doesn’t Suck

I used to have a love/hate relationship with tofu – until I discovered Crispy Air Fryer Tofu. Now it’s nothing but love! Tasty, flavorful, crispy, good for you tofu! What’s not to love?

Homemade Tofu Stir Fry with Vegetables and Rice

Here’s the truth about tofu – it doesn’t have a lot of taste. It’s pretty bland. And the texture can be a little, well, unappealing.

So when I made the big switch to a clean eating, mostly vegetarian diet, I was kind of reluctant to incorporate tofu. My first attempts at tofu recipes were not so good. They were actually pretty bad.

Then I discovered crispy air fryer tofu. That changed everything! Now I could enjoy flavorful, versatile, deliciously tasty, tofu that had the perfect texture. Game changer! (They’re almost as good as my Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries here!)

How Do You Crisp Tofu in an Air Fryer?

The best thing about cooking tofu in an air fryer is that the air fryer does all the work! All you have to do is press the tofu, cut it up, toss it in a few seasonings and plop it in the air fryer basket. (See the full recipe below.)

Watch me make it here on my YouTube Cooking Show:

Ten minutes of cooking time and bam! You’ve got super tasty, super crispy air fryer tofu.

The secret is in the prep. And that’s easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Use extra-firm tofu. This is essential. If “silken” is written anywhere on the package, it will be too soft and fall apart.
  2. Be sure to press the tofu before you cut it. Just wrap the block of tofu in several paper towels. Place the wrapped tofu on a large plate and place a broad heavy object on top. I use a cast iron pan as my “tofu weight.” Let it sit 20-30 minutes then carefully remove the paper towels.
  3. Cut the tofu block into 1 inch cubes, drizzle with soy sauce (or liquid aminos), sprinkle with seasoning of choice and stir to coat evenly. Let sit 10 minutes then sprinkle with corn starch. Toss to coat evenly.
  4. Spray the bottom of the air fryer basket with nonstick spray and spread tofu in a single layer in the basket, leaving a little room between the cubes for good airflow. You may need to cook it in two batches to avoid overcrowding.
  5. Air fry 10 minutes at 400 degrees, shaking the basket halfway through.
  6. Check for crispiness after 10 minutes. Add additional time if needed.

Does Tofu Cook Well in an Air Fryer?

Crispy air fryer tofu is the only way I will make tofu anymore. I got very tired of serving tofu meals that were just meh. And my family got tired of it too! Since making the switch to tofu in the air fryer, all of my tofu recipes are a huge hit with the fam!

And it’s by far the easiest way to make it. Perfectly crispy on the outside, tender on the inside tofu is done with just 10 minutes of cooking time. It really doesn’t get much easier (or better) than that. See the full recipe below.

Check Out the Ingredients Here:

  • Tofu – This is the star of the show! Be sure to get extra-firm for the best results. Tofu is loaded with protein and has lots of anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a great addition to any diet.
  • Soy Sauce – I use low sodium. Feel free to use liquid aminos if you prefer. This is where the majority of the flavor comes from.
  • Garlic Powder – This will add an extra layer of flavor that will make it pop.
  • Paprika – I prefer to use smoked paprika, but sweet will also work well.
  • Other seasonings – This is where tofu shines. You can use any seasonings you like and the tofu will take it up beautifully. Toss with some taco seasoning if you’re in the mood for Mexican. Or maybe some dried basil and oregano if you’re in an Italian mood. The sky’s the limit.
  • Cornstarch – This is what gives it lots of crispiness.

This crispy air fryer tofu is great as a snack all by itself. Just crunch on those tasty, healthy little morsels. Maybe dip them in a little garlic aioli sauce if you want. I also like to serve it nestled in a bowl of my Instant Pot Pinto Beans.

And of course you can add them to all kinds of salads or pasta dishes to make a complete protein-packed meal. You’ll love what crispy tofu will do for your menu.

Yes, it took me longer than it should have to master crispy tofu, but now that I have, my family no longer turns their noses up at me when they ask “what’s for dinner” and I answer “Tofu!” They actually like it now! And that is a win-win!

Equipment Used in This Recipe:

  • My favorite air fryer – It has a large capacity and doesn’t require pre-heating.
  • Awesome cutting boards – I’ve used a ton of different cutting boards in my lifetime. None are better than these EliHome boards.
  • Silicone Spatulas – Another great EliHome product.
crispy air fryer tofu

Crispy Air Fryer Tofu That Doesn't Suck

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Crispy Air Fryer Tofu will make you love tofu again! And only 10 minutes of cooking time. Great for snacking or salads and pasta dishes.

Ingredients

  • 1 14.5 ounce block of extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (can use liquid aminos)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

Instructions

  1. Press the tofu - Wrap the tofu block in 2 layers of paper towels and place on a plate. Place a heavy object such as a large cast-iron pan on top of the tofu block to press the water out of the tofu.
  2. Place pressed tofu on a cutting board and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  3. Carefully place tofu cubes in a medium sized bowl and drizzle with soy sauce. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with additional seasonings of choice.
  4. Sprinkle with cornstarch and carefully toss to coat.
  5. Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick spray. Add tofu in a single layer (this may require 2 batches).
  6. Air fry for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, shaking the basket halfway through the cooking time.
  7. Check for crispiness after 10 minutes. Add additional time if needed.
  8. Remove from basket and eat immediately.
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