Crispy and delicious air fryer tofu. Super quick and easy to make. This tofu goes great on a salad, in a stir fry or buddha bowl. Never have boring or bland tofu again!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Tofu is high in calcium, protein, fiber and many other nutrients.
- Vegan and gluten free if you use tamari instead of soy sauce.
- Air frying creates the perfect, crispy tofu texture.
- Quick and easy way to get perfect tofu every time.
Air frying tofu is the easiest and best way to cook tofu. I love this recipe because of the simplicity of ingredient. You can always play around with different flavors later, but this is what I love to start with.
- Extra firm tofu - Make sure to use this type of tofu to give you the chewiest and best texture. Firm or medium firm tofu will be less chewy and end up being less crispy as well.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Soy sauce - This adds a nice saltiness and umami flavor to the tofu
- Oil - I usually try to use oils that have a good smoke point because we're going to be roasting the tofu at 400 degree. Some oils I've used in the past are: avocado oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil. You can also use olive oil. Toasted sesame oil is also fun to add.
- Corn starch - This is how you get nice crispy texture on the tofu. Corn starch adds an amazing crispy and crunchy texture to the outside of the tofu. If you don't have corn starch you can use arrowroot powder or tapioca powder
👩🍳 Helpful tips
Make sure not to overcrowd the air fryer basket. Do this recipe in batches if needed. Lay the tofu in a single layer. This allows for the hot air to circulate the around the whole tofu cube, getting it evenly crispy.
It's very important to press the tofu block before air frying to get the perfect texture. This takes out excess water, so you don't end up with soggy tofu. To make it easier you can get a tofu press. Use code DAMNTASTY for 10% off. The one I just linked is my favorite. It makes clean up a lot easier and is my favorite way to press tofu.
If you want to go one step further and make the crispiest tofu, freeze it in the container. Then let it completely thaw. After it thaws, gently press the water out for only 1-2 minutes. Freezing the tofu changes the structure of the tofu so it's more chewy, like chicken.
After air frying the tofu, let it sit for 5 minutes. It crisps up even more once it starts to slightly cool.
If you'd like more tofu tips, check out my blog on how to cook tofu.
🍅 Adding sauce
The base of this recipe is oil, cornstarch and soy sauce. From there, you can play around with different seasonings. After crisping the tofu up in the air fryer, add some of your favorite sauces to the tofu. Heat it up on the stove, then add in the tofu.
- Maple syrup, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and vinegar combined makes a great sauce.
- Any sort of bottled meat marinade works great as well. Most are already vegan.
- Barbecue sauce
- Buffalo sauce
- Peanut sauce
🍴 Recommended equipment
An air fryer with a big basket would be best for this recipe.
I don't have room in my kitchen for a big air fryer, so I use the AICOOK air fryer instant pot lid.
I love this air fryer because it transforms an appliance I already have, into another appliance, so it takes up less storage space.
🔪 How to make tofu in the air fryer
Make sure to scroll to the recipe card for full step-by-step instructions.
- Press the tofu to get out excess moisture so that it becomes crispy. You can either set a few heavy pans and paper towels or clean kitchen towel on top of the tofu and press for 20-30 minutes. Or use a tofu press.
- Cut the tofu into cubes. Add on the oil. Then sprinkle on the soy sauce and seasonings. Mix well.
- Sprinkle on the corn starch and stir gently until each piece is coated.
- Place in the air fryer basket, making sure to give a little space in between each piece. You may need to do this in two batches.
- Air fry at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Halfway through, shake the tofu cubes.
- This tastes really good with a sauce added after it's crisped up. Heat up your sauce of choice, like a BBQ sauce, in a skillet. Throw the air fried tofu cubes in there and stir until they're well coated.
🍚 Serving suggestions
Serve the tofu over instant pot quinoa, brown or white rice and with your favorite stir fried vegetables and top with green onions if you'd like.
Serve in a quinoa buddha bowl with a delicious peanut, soy, maple sauce.
Serve with a side of this Crispy Air Fryer Frozen Brussels Sprouts for a hassle free side dish.
This tofu tastes amazing if you cover it in some sauce after it's been air fried, like this maple miso tofu recipe.
❄️ Storing & reheating tips
If you want to meal prep this tofu and make it ahead, it can last in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. It will lose its crispiness.
To re-heat the tofu, heat it in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, or until it's warmed through. Re-heating in the air fryer will help get its crispiness back.
❓ Recipe FAQs
The great thing about the air fryer is that you can use a lot less oil in recipes. You can absolutely make this oil free. It just won't taste as rich, but it will be healthier.
Yes! Before I got an air fryer, I used to make tofu in the oven all the time. Just put it on a lined baking sheet, then bake ate 420 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Yes! If you want the tofu to not turn out mushy or soggy, it's very important to not skip this step. To make it easier, invest in a tofu press. Use code DAMNTASY for 10% off.
It took me a while to finally buy a tofu press because I though I didn't need one more kitchen tool. I was so happy I made the choice to get one, because I make a lot of tofu, and it makes it a lot easier.
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Crispy air fryer tofu
- Air fryer
- 16 ounce block of extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- Press the tofu with a tofu press or heavy pan for 15-20 minutes.
- Cut the tofu into 1" cubes and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and corn starch. Mix very gently with a flat spoon, so you don't make the tofu crumble.16 ounce block of extra firm tofu, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon corn starch
- Add to the air fryer, making sure not to crowd the the tofu. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until it looks crispy and golden brown. Shake it halfway throught. Let it cool and crisp up for 5 minutes before serving.
- This tofu tastes amazing with a sauce. Heat up your sauce of choice in a skillet (BBQ, Sesame Ginger, Buffalo sauce, etc) and add in the air fried tofu. Stir until it's covered.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.