Spicy and crispy air fryer tofu with five simple ingredients is flavorful and versatile.
Thought you didn’t like tofu? You’ve got to try this recipe. Serve as an appetizer, add to your salad or buddha bowl, or mix it into your vegetable stir-fry. There are so many ways you can enjoy this tofu air fryer recipe!
In my house it’s two against two when it comes to tofu. My youngest son and I are crazy for tofu. My husband and oldest, not so much!
Sometimes I think it’s more challenging to get a stubborn adult to give something they think they don’t like another shot than it is to get your picky kids to try something new.
At least that’s the case in my house. When my oldest was a toddler I gave him tofu about once a week.
I didn’t do anything to it, just cut it up into little squares. He loved it! It was bland, and soft, and a good source of protein for a kid who’s never been a fan of most animal protein.
The Tofu Debate
However, as he got older he didn’t like the texture. It was too soft, and squishy as he put it.
Then my youngest came along, he too loved tofu as a toddler and still enjoys it today, thank goodness!
When I served him some of this air fryer tofu he exclaimed, “I love tofu!”
My husband gave me a smirk. “It smells good,” he said. “But I don’t know.”
Lucky for me decided to go vegan for the month, so he reluctantly gave it a try! “This is pretty good!” Which I’ll take as a compliment from an omnivore who would prefer to keep tofu at an arms length.
The other thing I love about this recipe is how easy it is in the air fryer. All it takes is 10 minutes for perfectly crispy tofu!
Not only that, but all the excess oil drips away! You can also leave the oil out all together and use rice wine vinegar as a replacement.
The air fryer is the best and easiest way to get crispy tofu with great texture!
Why You’ll Love this Air Fryer Tofu…
- 5 simple ingredients
- Uses my special tofu trick to improve consistency
- Super crispy outside, nice and firm on the inside
- Full of Asian flavors (my favorite!)
- Top on salads
- Serve as an appetizer
- Throw into your buddha bowl
- Stir into your vegetable stir-fry
- Dial the spice up or down, or leave it out all together depending on your preference
- 16 oz package of extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- ½ teaspoon Sriracha
Tools You’ll Need
- Air Fryer
- Tofu Press (or see below for my simple method)
You’re going to need an air fryer for this recipe. If you don’t have one already there are many different types on the market. I use a small Dash Air Fryer. I got it at Target with a gift card because I was curious about this whole air fryer thing, but I didn’t want to commit to a big expensive gadget. This Dash Air Fryer is perfect for our family needs. But here are some pros and cons for you to decide if it’s right for you.
Pros of Dash Air Fryer:
- Small and compact, 1.6 qt
- Easy to use, set time and temperature, that’s it!
- Affordable price point at about $40
- Comes with a small recipe book
- Easy to clean
Cons of Dash Air Fryer:
- Not ideal for large recipes
- Need to make multiple batches for large recipes
- No cooking pre-sets
- No alarm to remind you to shake
- Too small for large families
If you have a large family and need a larger appliance I recommend the Go Wise 5.8 Qt Air Fryer. It has 8 cooking presets, and an alarm that will go off at 5, 10, and 15 minute increments to remind you to shake the basket.
How to Press Tofu
The key to crispy tofu with texture is to press it first. You can use a tofu press or this easy method.
- Sandwich tofu between several sheets of paper towel on a plate or baking sheet.
- Place a heavy pan on top of the tofu with 3-4 heavy cans on top of the pan.
- Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
- If this is challenging to balance, another option is to cut the tofu into large cubes. line paper towels on baking sheet, and sandwich the tofu cubes with paper towel. Then place another large cookie sheet on top with heavy cans, and allow to press for 30 minutes
How to Make Air Fryer Tofu – Step by Step
Step 1: Press Tofu-Using a tofu press or method above.
Step 2: When tofu is pressed slice into 1 inch cubes.
Step 3: Mix soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, and sriracha in small bowl. Pour over tofu. Allow to marinate for 15-30 minutes. Flip tofu halfway through marinating time to make sure all sides soak up the marinade.
Step 4: Place tofu in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd.
Bake for 10 minutes at 375 F. Toss at the 5 minute mark. It should be golden brown.
Tips for making this air fryer tofu recipe
- To make this gluten free eliminate soy sauce and use tamari.
- Be sure to press tofu before air frying.
- To make oil free eliminate olive oil and use rice wine vinegar.
What are the health benefits of tofu and soy beans?
- High in Protein-A good source of plant protein. There’s 10 grams of protein per serving in this recipe.
- Low in Saturated Fat-A good source of monounsaturated fat, and low in saturated fat. Monounsaturated fats are healthy fats that can help with weight loss, reduce risk of heart disease, and decrease inflammation.
- Cholesterol Free-An excellent source of protein without any cholesterol. Which is good for heart health and may reduce risk of heart disease.
- High in Vitamins and Minerals-Contains iron, potassium, manganese, selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, and copper.
What do I serve with tofu?
Tofu is a versatile plant protein. Serve this air fryer tofu over sticky rice with steamed vegetables. Or sprinkle on top of your buddha bowl. Top a salad with it, or stir into your stir-fry. I love eating them as a snack all by themselves!
Check-Out these other Vegan Air Fryer Recipes!
- Apple Chips
- Potato Wedges
- Sweet Potato Tots by Cooking Light
If you’ve tried my Air Fryer Tofu, please rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more plant-based family recipes your whole family will enjoy!
Air Fryer Tofu
Spicy and crispy air fryer tofu with five simple ingredients is flavorful and versatile. Thought you didn’t like tofu? You’ve got to try this recipe. Serve as an appetizer, add to your salad or buddha bowl, or mix it into your vegetable stir-fry. There are so many ways you can enjoy this recipe!
- 16 oz block of extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon sriracha
Press Tofu-Use a tofu press, or line a plate with paper towels. Place block of tofu on top and place more paper towels on the top of the tofu so that the tofu is sandwiched between paper towels.Place a heavy pan on top of the tofu with 3-4 heavy cans on top of the pan. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
When tofu is pressed slice into 1 inch cubes.
Mix soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, and sriracha in small bowl. Pour over tofu. Allow to marinate for 15-30 minutes. Flip tofu halfway through marinating time to make sure all sides soak up the marinade.
Place tofu in air fryer basket in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 F. Toss at the 5 minute mark.
- To make gluten free eliminate soy sauce and use tamari.
- Be sure to press tofu before air frying.
- To make oil free eliminate olive oil and use rice wine vinegar.excess
Do you need to press the tofu again after marinating?
No, you do not need to press the tofu again after you marinate it. Just the once, before marinating.
How well does this store? If I were to prep a batch of it to use for various recipes will it keep well and what is the best way to store it?
The tofu will keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. It won’t be as crispy when stored as it will be if eaten fresh. However, you can make a large batch, then store in an airtight container. When you’re ready to eat it again, pop it in your air fryer for about 5 minutes at 350 and it will crisp back up!
How much rice vinegar should you use in place of oil? Do you add it to marinade?
You will add 1 tablespoon of the rice wine vinegar to the marinade. Hope you enjoy the recipe!
I love crispy tofu and this version looks so good!
The only way I can get my family to eat tofu is if it’s crispy! This is such a great idea and now I have a very good reason to get an air fryer! This will be the first thing I make!
Awesome! I’m so glad you’re going to give the air fryer a try! It’s really a cool little gadget!
I’ve been looking for a simple way to make crispy tofu (without deep frying it) and this recipe was absolutely perfect!! The tofu was crispy on the outside but creamy on the inside and worked really well in a stir fry I made later that evening! Thank you for this recipe!
I’m so glad you like this recipe! I love the versatility of tofu!
Did you say Air fryer and Tofu…..What. I can’t get enough of this one. Thank you for sharing.
This is a great way to prepare tofu in an air-fryer. I love the simple seasonings too. 🙂