Crispy Air Fryer Tofu

Make crispy air fryer tofu in 15 minutes or less with this easy recipe. Great to snack on or to serve with salads, grain bowl etc.!
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Make Crispy Air Fryer Tofu with this easy recipe in 15 minutes or less! This tofu is great with dips or in salad, grain bowl or simply to snack on!

crispy tofu arranged in an air fryer basket

If you have never air fried tofu, then you are seriously missing out. I cook with tofu often and for most stir fry like kung pao tofu or tofu broccoli stir-fry, I like cooking the tofu first to crisp it up. Earlier, I would always do that step in the pan and while that works, air frying is even easier and my favorite way to do it!

Make Crispy Tofu in Your Air Fryer

Air fryer truly makes the crispiest tofu. I obviously cook tofu in the pan very often and I have also cooked in the oven but cooking in the air fryer is easily the best way to make crispy tofu.

There’s no standing and flipping it like you would do in a pan and it comes out way crispier than it would if using an oven or pan. It’s also hands-free where you just toss the tofu with seasonings, add it to the air fryer and then let it do its thing. You just need to shake it once at the halfway mark and it has the most perfect texture.

Depending on your air fryer, this can take anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes. Every air fryer is different, in mine it takes around 13 to 14 minutes to reach the desired crispiness.

Ingredients Notes

ingredients to make crispy air fryer tofu arranged on a board

Extra firm tofu: for this recipe we need extra firm tofu so make sure you buy that only. Don’t use soft or silken tofu for this recipe, not even firm, only extra-firm would work here.

Seasonings: the tofu can be seasoned in several ways but for this recipe I have used garlic powder, smoked paprika, soy sauce and sriracha (hot sauce).

Corn starch: to make the tofu extra-crispy, I like tossing the tofu in cornstarch before adding it to the air fryer.

Sesame oil: sure you can make this tofu without any oil, but I like adding little oil like sesame and avocado oil for better flavor.

How to Make Air Fryer Tofu

1- Drain all the water from the pack of extra firm tofu and place it on a flat surface. Then place the block of tofu on top. I like to place a double layer of clean kitchen towel over the surface before placing the tofu.

2- Place a heavy object on top of the tofu, like a cast iron skillet or can of beans. It should be pressed evenly. You can also use a tofu press if you have one. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. It is important to press the tofu to drain the excess water from it so do not skip this step.

I replace the paper towels once it between while the tofu is draining.

3- Once pressed cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes.

4- Transfer the cut tofu cubes to a large bowl and add the following:

  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon avocado oil (or olive oil/vegetable oil)
step by step picture collage of making crispy tofu in air fryer

5- Then add the remaining ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha (or any hot sauce, adjust to taste)
  • and 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional since sauces already have salt)

6- Using a spatula, gently toss the tofu cubes until they are well coated with everything.

7- Pre-heat your air fryer according to manufactures instructions. Mine pre-heats at 400 F for 2 minutes. Once pre-heated, place the tofu pieces in the air fryer basket in a single later.

8- Air fry at 400 F degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, shaking once in between at the halfway mark. Serve immediately! I like sprinkling some green onions on top.

step by step picture collage of making crispy tofu in air fryer

Serving Suggestions

Once you have made this crispy tofu, you can enjoy it in several ways!

  • eat as a snack!
  • serve as an appetizer with your favorite dipping sauce or simply ketchup.
  • add to salads like this chickpea salad.
  • add to toasts and sandwiches.
  • top on your grain bowl for extra protein.
  • will be great on pizza as well!
  • add to this Thai basil fried rice.
  • serve it with white rice or brown rice and top with sesame seeds.

More Seasoning Options!

For this crispy air fryer tofu recipe, I have used garlic powder and smoked paprika to season the tofu. But you can season it in several ways. Some other good options include:

  • curry powder
  • Cajun seasoning
  • coriander and cumin powder
  • harissa
  • Italian seasoning
  • black pepper, onion powder
  • you can add bit of maple syrup for sweetness
crispy tofu served in a white plate with a small bowl of dipping sauce

Tips & Notes

  • Remember to buy extra firm tofu only for this recipe and not the soft tofu. Make sure to drain the tofu well before using. If you don’t drain the tofu or skip this step, then the tofu won’t turn out that crispy.
  • Arrange tofu cubes in single layer in the air fryer basket for best results, do not stack the tofu on top of each other in the air fryer. If you have a smaller air fryer, you may want to do this in two batches.
  • Make sure that you have diced your tofu cubes of relatively the same size. The smaller ones crisp up fast so if your tofu pieces are of different sizes then the entire batch won’t be done at the same time.
  • Every air fryer is different so keep an eye on your batch after the 10 minute mark. I have a Gourmia air fryer and it usually takes around 14 minutes in mine for the tofu to crisp up to my liking.
  • I have used soy sauce which is not gluten-free, use tamari to make this recipe gluten-free.

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Crispy Air Fryer Tofu

crispy tofu arranged in an air fryer basket
Manali
Make crispy air fryer tofu in 15 minutes or less with this easy recipe. Great to snack on or to serve with salads, grain bowl etc.!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 121 kcal

Ingredients

  • 14 oz tofu extra-firm
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha or any red chili paste, adjust to taste
  • 1/4 teasppon salt optional (since soy sauce and chili sayce already have salt in them), to taste

Instructions
 

  • Drain all the water from the pack of extra-firm tofu and place it on a flat surface. Then place the block of tofu on top. I like to place a double layer of clean kitchen towel over the surface before placing the tofu.
    Place a heavy object on top of the tofu, like a cast iron skillet or can of beans. It should be pressed evenly. You can also use a tofu press if you have one. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. It is important to press the tofu to drain the excess water from it so do not skip this step.
    I replace the paper towels once it between while the tofu is draining. Once pressed, cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes.
  • Transfer the cut tofu cubes to a large bowl and add the following: soy sauce, sesame oil, avocado oil (or olive oil/vegetable oil).
  • Then add the remaining ingredients: smoked paprika, garlic powder, corn starch, sriracha (or any hot sauce, adjust to taste) and 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional since sauces already have salt).
    Using a spatula, gently toss the tofu cubes until they are well coated with everything.
  • Pre-heat your air fryer according to manufactures instructions. Mine pre-heats at 400 F for 2 minutes. Once pre-heated, place the tofu pieces in the air fryer basket in a single later.
  • Air fry at 400 F degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, shaking once in between at the halfway mark. Serve immediately! I like sprinkling some green onions on top.

Video

Notes

  • Remember to buy extra firm tofu only for this recipe and not the soft tofu. Make sure to drain the tofu well before using. If you don’t drain the tofu or skip this step, then the tofu won’t turn out that crispy.
  • Arrange tofu cubes in single layer in the air fryer basket for best results, do not stack the tofu on top of each other in the air fryer. If you have a smaller air fryer, you may want to do this in two batches.
  • Make sure that you have diced your tofu cubes of relatively the same size. The smaller ones crisp up fast so if your tofu pieces are of different sizes then the entire batch won’t be done at the same time.
  • Every air fryer is different so keep an eye on your batch after the 10 minute mark. I have a Gourmia air fryer and it usually takes around 14 minutes in mine for the tofu to crisp up to my liking.
  • I have used soy sauce which is not gluten-free, use tamari to make this recipe gluten-free.
  •  

Nutrition

Calories: 121kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 10gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 419mgPotassium: 23mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 124IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 127mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

2 thoughts on “Crispy Air Fryer Tofu

  1. 5 stars
    Having just recently come to fried/air-fried tofu, I find this recipe wonderful and can’t wait to make it.

    Thank you Manali!

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