Crispy air fryer tofu that’s jam packed with flavour, low in calories and fat, oil free, high in protein and absolutely delicious! Crispy on the outside, soft and tender in the middle.
Enjoy as a healthy snack with a dip, or make it a main dish with some rice and veggies.
Why air fry tofu?
- It’s FASTER than baking and cooks up in just 13 minutes!!
- Super crispy, and all without any oil required.
- Far healthier than frying, but with similar flavour results.
- And the best reason, it’s delicious!
How to make it
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Gather your ingredients. All you’ll need is a block of extra firm tofu and some spices and seasoning for the marinade.
Begin by preparing and pressing your tofu. Slice and cut into half inch cubes. (photos 1-2)
Then line a cutting board with paper towels or a clean dish towel and arrange the cubed pieces in a single layer on top. (photo 3)
Add more paper towels above the tofu cubes and then place a baking sheet or another cutting board on top. And finally, place something heavy like a cast iron skillet or books on top.
Press like this for 15 minutes. Then remove the weight/s and peel off the paper towels. You’ll notice that the paper towels have absorbed a lot of moisture. (photo 4)
Transfer the cubed tofu pieces to a shallow dish or container and pour the soy sauce and rice vinegar mixture on top. Toss to evenly coat. (photos 5-6)
Mix up your seasoning and the corn starch and sprinkle over the tofu. (photos 7-8)
Then mix well to evenly coat. If you’re using a container, you can place the lid on and gently rotate and shake it to evenly spread the seasoning. (photos 9-10)
Now place the seasoned cubes in an even layer in your fryer basket and air fry at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. (photos 11-12)
NOTES: Work in batches if needed so you don’t overcrowd the tofu. Start checking around the 10 minute mark, since different fryers will operate at different speeds.
What kind of air fryer do I need?
We use a Ninja Foodi 8 quart that we absolutely love. However, for this recipe, any basket style of fryer will work well.
Just keep in mind that individual models will cook at different temperatures and speeds, so be sure to check on your tofu often, starting around the 10 minute mark.
Commonly Asked Questions
I find tofu pretty flavourless on its own, which is why a good marinade is key to preparing it.
Make sure to grab EXTRA FIRM tofu, not silken extra firm. Extra firm will hold best and result in the best crispy air fryer tofu.
Yes. Don’t skip pressing for this recipe as it helps remove excess water and moisture from the tofu, for crispier results. It also allows more flavour to be absorbed from the marinade.
Yes! It’s a great source of protein, essential amino acids, calcium, iron and a variety of other vitamins and minerals. Plus, it’s low in calories and fat, making it a great protein choice for weight loss or management.
Yes, it is naturally gluten free in its plain form. However, if you purchase a flavoured or breaded variety, be sure to read the ingredients.
Luckily, most tofu in stores is already non GMO, which I do recommend. Since we hear that much of the soy produced is genetically modified, it’s a good idea to use non GMO, if you’re concerned.
Do not overcrowd the tofu, or it won’t get as crispy. If you have a smaller fryer, work in two batches for best texture and results.
If you’re working in batches, remember that your second batch will cook faster since your fryer is already hot, so start checking on the tofu sooner.
Try your best to cut your cubes into similarly sized pieces for even cooking and best results.
Plan to consume your air fryer tofu the same day its made as it will begin to lose its crispiness the longer it sits.
More air fried dishes you’ll love
- Air Fried Broccoli
- Healthy Air Fried Mushrooms
- Air Fried Butternut Squash [Two Ways!]
- Healthy Air Fried Eggplant
- Air Fried Carrots [Two Ways!]
- Low Cal Air Fried Spaghetti Squash
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- 350 grams (12 ounce) block extra firm tofu GMO free preferred
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce if not avoiding gluten
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or sweet
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt optional
Press the Tofu
- Cut your tofu into half inch cubes. Then arrange some paper towels or a clean dish towel on a cutting board and place the tofu cubes in a single layer on top. Now add more paper towels on top of the cubes and place another cutting board, flat plate or baking sheet on top. Finally place something very heavy on top like a cast iron skillet or a heavy book. Press like this for 15 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Prepare the Tofu
- Combine all the seasoning, including the corn starch in a small bowl, and set aside.
- Place the pressed tofu cubes in a shallow dish or container and pour the tamari and rice vinegar on top, toss to evenly coat. Then sprinkle all the seasoning on top and mix well. If you use a container, you can put the lid on and gently rotate the container around to evenly spread the seasoning.
- Arrange your cubes in your fryer basket in a single layer working in two batches, if you have a small fryer. Do not over crowd your tofu to ensure maximum crispiness. Air fry at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, mixing or shaking your basket around the halfway point. Mine were perfect at 13 minutes, but start checking on the tofu around the 10 minute mark.