Super crispy and flavorful, this Air Fryer Tofu is worth getting an air fryer for! The tofu pieces get incredibly crispy as if they were deep fried, with just a smidge of oil. No more tofu sticking to an oily pan!
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This air fryer tofu is completely worth getting an air fryer for, even if you never make anything else in it! I’m a huge fan of tofu and have it in some form a couple of times a week, and using the air fryer is a game changer. Mostly because it makes delicious, crispy and flavorful tofu FAST. No more tofu sticking to an oily pan, or carefully flipping over every piece on a baking sheet. With the air fryer, you simply shake it here and there. It seriously couldn’t be easier!
Of course, if you are like me you will find yourself making all sorts of things in the air fryer, like french fries, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and more. I make my kid’s vegan nuggets in there now as well, and they love it! It’s also fantastic for re-warming leftovers that you want to crisp back up again, such as tempeh bacon or pizza.
How to press tofu fast:
You can always use a tofu press if you have one, which lets you press a block of tofu in under 15 minutes. But if you don’t have a press, this is the next fastest way to press the water out of tofu.
To press it very quickly, remove the tofu from the water pack and cut into cubes. Place the cubed tofu on a flat surface like a cutting board, lined with paper towels (or a clean tea towel.) Cover with more paper towels, a baking sheet, and then place something heavy on top like a cast iron skillet. This way, you only need to let it press for about 15 minutes while you make the marinade.
Want to avoid pressing tofu altogether? Buy the super-firm tofu in a vacuum pack, and there is no need to press.
How to make air fryer tofu:
While the tofu is pressing, make your simple marinade. The marinade consists of:
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (or use tamari for gluten free)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
That’s it. There really is no need to add cornstarch here, but if you wanted to, you could. The tofu gets plenty crispy in my opinion without it. Toss the tofu cubes with the marinade to coat, and let them sit for about 15 minutes, or longer.
After 15 minutes, place the tofu cubes in your air fryer in a single layer, so they do not touch. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do this in 2 batches. This is the only downfall of the air fryer in my opinion; it’s not big enough! Well, at least for my family of 5. But that’s okay, it’s still totally worth it.
* I bought the Chefman TurboFry Air Fryer a few months ago and LOVE it. I totally recommend it, AND it’s a great price. It’s quiet, simple and doesn’t take up much space on my countertop. It’s also light enough to store in a pantry and easily take it out when you want to use it. *
Cook it at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally after 10 minutes. The tofu is done when it is golden, even a little black in places but not burnt. It should be nice and crispy!
Want more tofu recipes?
- Marinated Tofu (the best tofu ever!)
- Easy Baked Tofu Nuggets (pretty sure you could make these in the air fryer, too!)
- Sticky Sriracha Tofu
- Orange Tofu
- Peanut Tofu
Air Fryer Tofu - Crispy & Flavorful!
- Quick press the tofu: Cut the tofu into cubes. Place them evenly on a flat surface such as a cutting board lined with paper towels or a clean towel. Cover with a layer of paper towels, set a baking sheet on top and then something heavy, like a large book or cast iron skillet. Press like this for 15 minutes. Or use a tofu press.
- In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil.
- Add the pressed tofu cubes to a bowl and drizzle the marinade over them. Toss gently to coat the pieces. Let the tofu marinate for about 15 minutes, longer if desired (up to 8 hours in the refrigerator).
- Place the tofu cubes in the air fryer, in a single layer, so the pieces don't touch. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook half the tofu at a time. Cook at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally after 10 minutes. Cook until the tofu is golden and crispy, but not burned.
- Gluten free? Use tamari instead of soy sauce.
- May use olive oil instead of sesame oil, but I love the flavor sesame oil adds. For oil free, you may omit it but it may not get as crispy.
- If you have leftover tofu, simply re-heat in the air fryer for 5 minutes to re-crisp!