This Air Fryer Tofu is crispy and flavourful, perfect for adding plant-based protein to salads, stir fried veggies or noodles, or your favourite rice bowls. Easy-to-make crispy tofu recipe that’s ready in minutes!
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Air Fryer Tofu Recipe
Here at The Busy Baker we love a good kitchen hack, and this Crispy Air Fryer Tofu is our latest favourite. If you eat a plant-based diet or simply enjoy meat-free meals every now and then, and you’re looking for quick, easy, and delicious ways to get your protein in, THIS is the recipe you need!
This Air Fryer Tofu is simple to make in minutes with basic, versatile flavours that go with almost any dish. Enjoy this crispy tofu on your favourite salads, in noodle or rice bowls, or even on top of soup for lunch!
Crispy Tofu Recipe
After testing this recipe in The Busy Baker test kitchen many, many times, we’ve come to the conclusion that for the crispiest tofu cornstarch is a critical ingredient. Dusting the outside of the tofu cubes with cornstarch before cooking creates a thin, crispy coating that takes this tofu over the top.
Of course, it’s possible to make this recipe without the cornstarch. Simply follow the recipe directions and skip the cornstarch stop. Unfortunately the tofu won’t be quite as crispy without it, but you’ll still achieve some crispiness and golden brown colour.
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Why use an Air Fryer to Make Tofu?
If you’ve been gifted an Air Fryer for the holidays and it’s been sitting on your shelf collecting dust, or if you’ve been thinking about picking up an Air Fryer for awhile but haven’t yet, we’d HIGHLY recommend getting started. An Air Fryer is a fantastic kitchen appliance for achieving that oven-crisp or fried texture in a fraction of the time with next to no added fat, and to be honest it’s a kitchen appliance we’d have a hard time living without!
It uses far less energy than an oven, heats up in a fraction of the time, and cuts down on cooking time. It allows you to cook your tofu with hardly any oil and it becomes just as crispy (if not crispier!) as if you baked it in the oven or fried it in a frying pan.
Kitchen items you’ll need for this recipe
The best and easiest way to make crispy tofu is in the Air Fryer. Here are a few we recommend (affiliate links):
- A great Air Fryer for space-saving (2 quart capacity)
- The perfect Air Fryer for large families with a dual basket feature
- A standard Air Fryer for everyday use (works well for a family of 2 to 4 people)
- A large Air Fryer for everyday use (works well for a family of 2 to 4 people)
You’ll also need these items for this recipe (affiliate links):
- a cutting board
- a sharp knife
- a pair of tongs
- a tofu press OR a large heavy frying pan
- kitchen paper towels
- small prep bowls
- a small whisk
Ingredients for Crispy Air Fryer Tofu
To make this tofu recipe, you’ll need:
- firm or extra-firm tofu
- soy sauce
- maple syrup
- garlic powder
- sesame oil
How to Make Crispy Tofu in the Air Fryer
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Follow these tips for ultra crispy air fryer tofu!
- Choose the right tofu.
Firm or extra firm tofu makes the crispiest tofu. Don’t choose silken, soft, or extra-soft tofu because it will crumble and won’t keep its shape.
- Press the tofu well.
Extra water in the tofu will steam it and prevent it from becoming crispy. Pressing it well removes any excess moisture and creates crispy tofu.
- Don’t forget the cornstarch.
Toss the tofu cubes in a little bit of cornstarch for extra crispiness.
- Shake halfway through cooking.
Shaking the air fryer basket halfway through cooking helps the tofu cook evenly and become golden brown on all sides.
Is this crispy tofu gluten free?
Soy sauce contains gluten, but feel free to substitute the soy sauce for your favourite gluten free soy sauce, Tamari or liquid aminos.
Can I make this crispy tofu recipe without cornstarch?
Yes, although the cornstarch helps the tofu become extra crispy so without it the tofu won’t be quite as crispy.
Can I make this tofu recipe sugar-free?
Yes. Simply leave out the maple syrup from the marinade and make as directed in the recipe.
We hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Let us know in the comments below, what’s your favourite way to enjoy tofu? We’d love to know!
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Air Fryer Crispy Tofu Recipe Video
Watch the video below to see exactly how I make this recipe. You can find many more deliciously simple recipe videos on my YouTube channel!
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Air Fryer Tofu
- 1/2 pound firm or extra firm tofu (approximately 250 grams)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- sesame seeds and sliced green onions, for garnish
- Press the block of tofu in a tofu press to remove the liquid, or place it between two folded pieces of kitchen paper towel on a cutting board with a heavy pan on top. Don't skip this step! Pressing the tofu to remove the liquid helps the tofu become crispy when cooked.
- While the tofu is draining for 7-10 minutes, add the soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder and sesame oil to a bowl and whisk them together.
- Add the cornstarch to a separate small bowl.
- When the tofu has been pressed, slice it into 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes and add the tofu cubes to the bowl with the marinade. Toss the tofu in the marinade.
- Remove the tofu from the marinade and toss it in the cornstarch to coat. Shake off any excess cornstarch.
- Spray the basket of the air fryer with non-stick baking spray, olive oil spray, or something similar. This will prevent the tofu from sticking.
- Place the cubes of tofu in the basket of the air fryer in a single layer, spacing them apart.
- Air fry at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) for 5 minutes. Shake the basket to turn the tofu after 5 minutes and air fry for another 4-6 minutes until the tofu cubes are golden brown and crispy.
- Serve with sesame seeds and sliced green onions, over salads, noodles, or rice with veggies.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.