Air frying tofu is one of my favorite ways to prepare tofu for recipes because it’s super quick and turns out crispy without even using oil.
If you are looking to add a few more vegetarian or plant-based meals to your weeknights, knowing how to air fry tofu will help you out!
First off, when I’ve had friends start eating tofu for the first time they usually have questions like “Is tofu healthy?” or “Isn’t tofu bad for you?”
I certainly don’t think you should eat it exclusively, as there are lots of great protein sources in the world.
Air Fried Tofu Recipes:
- How to Build the Perfect Stir Fry
- Red Curry
- Pineapple Fried Rice
- Massaman Curry
- Easy Pad Thai (this recipe has shrimp, which you can substitute for tofu)
- Pad See Ew
- Simple Yellow Curry
A few tips and notes about cooking with tofu:
Can you eat tofu raw? Technically, yes. I’ve personally never eaten it cold or straight from the container, but you could. Like, you can add tofu right into homemade miso soup (although that still warms it).
What I find comforting about this is, unlike most meat, you don’t have to worry about if you are cooking tofu enough. It’s safe to eat as is, so you can experience with air frying times to get the level of crispiness you prefer.
Do I have to drain and press tofu? I would recommend you do. I have tried air frying tofu without pressing it (to drain away excess moisture) and although it works fine, it doesn’t get quite as crispy.
Can I air fry tofu with no oil? Yes! See the recipe card below for exactly how I air fry tofu, but I think it’s better to air fry without any oil at all.
Can I air fry tofu without cornstarch? Yes! Again, I recommend and prefer this. As you can see in the photo below, adding cornstarch or arrow root powder to your tofu before air frying can make it stick.
My favorite brands/ types for the air fryer are brands where the tofu is packaged with some liquid (as opposed to snuggly packaged in the container without liquid surrounding it).
You’ll also want to use extra firm tofu for air frying.
Try to keep your pieces of tofu in one layer and not touching each other when air frying. It’s OK if they touch a little, although they may stick together some. If they do so, you’ll have to separate them after cooking.
But as much as possible, try not to overcrowd your air fryer basket.
No extra ingredients—just crispy tofu ready for use! xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman.
Air Fried Tofu
- 1 package tofu extra firm
- Drain the tofu from the package liquid.
- Using paper towels or clean kitchen towels (that will not leave lint) press the tofu, removing excess liquid. I usually place the tofu before two plates and set something semi-heavy on top of the upper place like a heavy bowl or cookbook.
- Cut the drained tofu into bite-sized cubes.
- Air fry at 390°F for 10-12 minutes. Halfway through, pause the air fryer and toss the cubes.