Cooking up crispy tofu is easier than ever before with this fail-proof Air Fryer Tofu recipe! You get all the perks of deep-fried tofu with almost none of the oil. Vegan, gluten-free, low carb and keto-friendly.
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The Best Way to Cook Tofu
Ever since my family got an Air Fryer, we almost always use it to cook our tofu. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it gives you that deep-fried feel with very little oil and no cornstarch necessary. Plus, you don’t have to hover around a hot, bubbling pan to flip the tofu.If you’re a crispy tofu lover like us, you really need this simple recipe in your life.
The tofu is marinated in a flavorful seasoning blend that’s guaranteed to make it go great with whatever dish you add it to. We eat tofu at least once a week, so the Air Fryer was a total game-changer in our kitchen. We’ve never looked back!
What You’ll Need
You only need a handful of ingredients to make flawless Air Fryer tofu. Don’t feel obligated to stick to the exact seasoning blend below – you can change it up according to your taste.
- Tofu: Made from condensed soy milk, tofu is a low-calorie, nutrient-rich meat alternative for vegetarians and vegans.
- Fine Sea Salt: This helps the tofu absorb the other flavors.
- Umami Seasoning: You can’t go wrong with this multipurpose one from Trader Joe’s.
- Coconut Aminos: To provide a savory soy sauce flavor without the actual soy.
- Avocado Oil: Even though we want our tofu to get crispy, it should still be tender and juicy on the inside. That’s where the avocado oil comes in handy!
What Kind of Tofu Should I Use?
There are two distinct types of tofu – firm tofu and soft or silken tofu. Soft tofu is used in dishes like soup, mousse and pudding, while firm tofu is the meat substitute we’re working with today. There are a few different levels of firmness you can choose from – we recommend using extra-firm tofu for the best results.
Do I Have to Press Tofu Before Air Frying?
Before you cut that block of tofu into cubes and air fry it up, you’ll have to press and drain it well. You can do this with a tofu press or by sandwiching the block between two heavy plates lined with paper towels for 10 minutes. With the pressure from the heavy plates, the paper towels will absorb the excess moisture from the tofu.
It’s also helpful to drain the tofu once again after you cut it. The more moisture you remove from it, the crispier it will get. Any flat, heavy object can be used in place of the plates.
How to Cut Tofu
After you drain your tofu, cut your tofu block into small 1.5″ cubes using a sharp knife. Then season with salt, seasoning + coconut aminos. Toss to coat and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
How to Make Crispy Tofu in the Air Fryer
It’s time to reveal how quick and easy this recipe really is. You only have to marinate the tofu for 15 minutes!
- Prep Tofu: Use a sharp knife to cut your drained tofu into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Drain it again if desired.
- Marinate: Combine the sea salt, avocado oil, coconut aminos and umami seasoning in a lidded container or a resealable storage bag. Add the chopped tofu, toss to coat it evenly, then place it in the fridge for 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can marinate the tofu in soy sauce or a seasoning mixture of your own creation.
- Grease Air Fryer Basket: Spray your Air Fryer basket with a little bit of oil or cooking spray.
- Insert Tofu: Place the drained and marinated tofu into your Air Fryer basket. You may have to separate it into batches.
- Cook: Set the Air Fryer to 375°F. Cook the tofu for 13-15 minutes, or until it reaches your desired crispiness. Give the basket a good shake here and there to toss the tofu so it cooks evenly.
Tips for Success
Tofu is easy to work with, especially if you know all the ways to help it get nice and crispy. Be sure to check out the tips below!
- Drain the Tofu Well: If you don’t drain enough water out of your tofu, it won’t get crispy. I recommend pressing and draining it a second time after you cut it to make sure all of the excess moisture is removed.
- Do I Really Have to Marinate My Tofu? Marinating your tofu makes it so much more flavorful, even if you only do it for 15 minutes. I definitely don’t suggest skipping this step. If you’d like, you can let your tofu marinate for as long as 2 days.
- Add Cornstarch: You don’t need cornstarch or arrowroot starch to cook crispy tofu in the Air Fryer, but it certainly won’t hurt! A quick little coating before you cook it goes a long way.
- Don’t Crowd the Basket: Crowding your Air Fryer basket will cause your tofu to cook unevenly. It’s much better to work in batches.
- Flip it Up: Don’t forget to remove your Air Fryer basket and toss the tofu at least once about halfway through the cook time. If you forget to flip the tofu, one side will get crispier than the other.
Go ahead and add your air-fried tofu to any dish where you’d find some type of meat. Tacos and Fried Rice are a couple of my favorite dishes to incorporate it into. I also love serving my tofu over a fresh salad like this Hearty Broccoli Salad or my Summer Pasta Salad! No matter how you choose to enjoy it, you’ll be more than satisfied.
Storing and Reheating Air Fryer Tofu
Air Fryer tofu is best right after it’s cooked, but you can store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat them later. Place the cooled tofu in an airtight container and refrigerate it for 2-3 days. When you want to enjoy it, set your oven to 375°F and heat the tofu on a parchment-lined baking sheet until it’s very hot.
Can I Freeze This?
Freezing cooked tofu may cause it to develop a slightly spongy texture. If you’re okay with that, you can freeze your tofu in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Allow it to thaw completely in the fridge before reheating it.
More healthy tofu recipes:
- Teriyaki Tofu
- Sesame Tofu
- Orange Tofu
- Crispy Tofu Tenders
- Tofu Fries
- Tofu Nuggets
- Easy Tofu Stir Fry
- Crispy Tofu Fries
- How to Cook Tofu
Cooking up crispy tofu is easier than ever before with this fail-proof Air Fryer Tofu recipe! You get all the perks of deep-fried tofu with almost none of the oil.
- 14-16 oz extra-firm tofu we buy ours from Whole Foods
- 1 pinch fine sea salt
- 1 tsp Trader Joe's mushroom umami seasoning
- 2 tsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
Use a tofu press to remove excess moisture or place the block of tofu between two paper towel lined heavy plates or blocks for 10 minutes.
Cut into small cubes and season with salt, seasoning + coconut aminos. Toss to coat and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Spray air fryer basket with oil, then place the tofu in the basket in a single layer. You may have to work in batches.
Air fry at 375°F for 13-15 minutes or until golden and desired crispiness, tossing halfway through.
- To Store: Tofu is best enjoyed fresh, but cooled leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- To Reheat: Reheat tofu on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 375°F until it's very hot.
- To Freeze: Freezing cooked tofu may cause it to develop a spongy texture. If you're okay with that, you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
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