Air Fryer Tofu is hands down the best way to get crispy, flavorful tofu that cooks in just 10 minutes! Toss it in a buddha bowl or add to vegetable stir fry or salad. This tofu tastes good nearly anywhere!
If you love this tofu, you will love my popular Marinated Tofu recipe! Never eat bland or boring tofu again.
Crispy tofu in the air fryer
If my Easy Air Fryer Fries recipe doesn’t convince you to buy an air fryer, this Air Fryer Tofu sure will! Crispy, golden brown tofu has never been better or easier to make thanks to the air fryer. The best part is you only need a little bit of oil!
The air fryer is my family’s most used kitchen tool. We use it to make crispy brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, frozen tater tots, spring rolls, and vegan nuggets too. It’s a pro at turning vegetables and snacks into crispy, crunchy treats.
Making crispy tofu in the air fryer is easy. The cubed tofu is first coated in a simple 4-ingredient coating, forming a crispy, flavorful layer around each piece. You don’t have to wait for them to marinate for very long, either. Just coat, air fry, and enjoy!
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Extra firm tofu – Only extra firm or firm tofu will work for this recipe. Make sure you take the time to press all of the excess moisture out first or else the cubes won’t be as crispy. You can do this on the weekend to make for quick weeknight meals!
- Cornstarch – This is where air fryer tofu gets its crunch. When cooked, cornstarch sticks to the outside of the tofu cubes and forms an ultra-crisp and light coating. Arrowroot starch can be used as a substitute.
- Soy sauce – Or tamari for gluten free.
- Rice vinegar
- Sesame oil – You can use olive oil or vegetable oil if you don’t have sesame oil, but the tofu will be missing a delicious nutty, umami-like flavor.
The tofu marinade is fun to play with, so don’t feel like you have to only use soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Mix it up by stirring in maple syrup, sriracha or your favorite hot sauce, fresh garlic, dried herbs, and any other condiments or seasonings you love.
How to make air fryer tofu
Find the instructions with measurements, temperatures, and bake times on the recipe card below.
Make sure you press all of the excess moisture out of the brick of tofu before getting started. You can do this with a tofu press or by covering the tofu cubes with a clean towel and placing something heavy on top. Let the water drain out for about 15 minutes.
Once that’s done, transfer the tofu cubes to a large bowl. Drizzle the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil over the tofu.
Next, sprinkle the cornstarch over the tofu. Stir to coat.
Place the tofu in a single layer in the air fryer. If the cubes are too crowded or piled on top of each other, they won’t get crispy. Work in batches if necessary.
Air fry for 10 to 15 minutes on high heat, shaking the basket after about 10 minutes. The tofu is ready to eat once it’s golden and crispy!
The great thing about air fryer tofu is how flexible it is. Simply enjoy it as-is on a loaded green salad, meal prep bowls, or vegan stir fry. It can give all kinds of meals a flavorful crunch and extra protein all in one.
When you want to take it up a notch, toss the crispy tofu in bang bang sauce, orange sauce, peanut sauce, or barbecue sauce. Now that it’s saucy and extra delicious, it would be a fantastic addition to vegetable wraps or teriyaki noodles. The possibilities are endless!
Storing crispy tofu
The cooked tofu cubes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. To retain its crispiness later on, reheat the tofu in the air fryer at 375ºF for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Pro tip: Save a little time and leave the uncooked cubes in the soy sauce marinade for up to 1 day in advance. Afterward, toss in cornstarch and air fry!
Want more delicious tofu recipes?
Air Fryer Tofu
- 14 ounce block extra-firm or firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari for gluten free
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 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.
- Add the pressed tofu cubes to a bowl and drizzle the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil over them. Toss gently to coat the pieces, then sprinkle on the cornstarch and gently toss to coat. Let the tofu marinate for about 15 minutes, or longer if desired (overnight is fine).
- 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. Air fry 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. Serve and enjoy!
- 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! It will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
I don’t generally give anything five stars, especially food wise; but, this is the best tofu I’ve ever tried! A few splashes of soy sauce, some teriyaki sauce, and some chili powder. A plain yogurt dipping sauce mixed with siracha, onion powder, and garlic powder.
I feel so honored! Thank you so much for your wonderful review and feedback!
Can I substitute potato starch for cornstarch?
It’s hard to say for sure because I’ve only tested this recipe with cornstarch, but it should work.
Appears to have worked. Thanks for the recipe. Delish.
So good!! I think it’s my new favourite tofu recipe!! It turned out so crispy. Way better then other ones I’ve tried.
I’m thrilled the tofu turned out great for you and that you love it! Thank you for amazing feedback and review!
The best air fryer recipe I’ve used!!! Great!!! I used extra firm tofu and pressed it for a couple hrs. I added a tsp of dijon mustard as well.
This came out amazing! I tried another tofu air fryer recipe and it came out disgustingly salty. This one had the perfect amount of saltiness and a kick of flavor from the vinegar.
Thanks so much for your wonderful review, Mikayla!
Can I make without the rice vinegar? Or something in it’s place? I forgot to get some!
I’m not sure anything else will taste quite the same, perhaps just a little lime juice if you have it. Or leave it out if needed.
Your baked tofu recipe called for mixing the cornstarch with the marinade then tossing the tofu in the mixture. It works great and eliminates one step. I use a New Wave oven which is similar to air frying and one batch fits perfectly. The results were the best of any tofu anywhere. Thanks for all your great recipes that have positively changed my eating.
This is my GOTO for everything TOFU I haven’t tried with the cornflour though. I also add curry powder to mine. And I leave it marinating for a couple of hours turning regularly. Occasionally I add maple syrup or sugar depending what I am making.
I love the sound of curry air fryer tofu, Joanne! I’m so glad you love this recipe and thank you for your wonderful feedback!