What’s the secret to the easiest, crispiest tofu EVER? The Air Fryer! Perfect alone or in your favorite meatless recipes, this Air Fryer tofu is simple, crunchy, and versatile.
Why This Recipe Is So Good
- Using the air fryer makes the most ridiculously crispy tofu ever! Lightly seasoned, you will not believe how addictive this tofu is.
- This recipe is so insanely easy! Even if you’ve never cooked tofu before, you can make crunchy, restaurant-quality tofu the first time and every time.
- We absolutely love using our air fryer to make tofu for stir-fries, ramen, curry, nachos… basically anything you can think of!
How To Cook Tofu in the Air Fryer
The full recipe & ingredients list are below, but here you’ll find a quick overview for making this recipe perfectly, along with useful tips and info!
- Wrap your tofu in paper towels and place them on a plate.
- Press under a heavy pan or skillet until the tofu has drained. (Change the paper towels after 30 minutes and then check again in 30 more minutes.) Alternately, use a tofu press to squeeze out tofu’s excess liquid.
- Cut the tofu into cubes and pat dry. Season well with salt and add to the air fryer basket. Spray everything with cooking oil.
- Cook at 380º for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how crispy you want your tofu (see notes). Toss the tofu halfway through cooking time.
Top Tips For Making
- Cook your tofu 10 minutes for tofu that is golden and crispy on the edges. 15 minutes makes tofu that is crispy all over but still soft. 20 minutes will make your tofu super duper crispy and very firm like it has been commercially deep-fried. (The third option isn’t great on its own, but perfect for something saucy like a stir fry!)
- Do not skip pressing and draining the tofu! While it takes a little time, it ensures your tofu cooks properly and has the perfect texture.
- If you don’t have paper towels, you can also wrap your tofu in a clean dish towel to drain. Better yet, grab a tofu press!
- Skillet being used? Press your tofu with books! Place a cutting board between the tofu and books so that they don’t get wet, and don’t use any nice books! (Finally, a use for your old college textbooks.)
Marinating Your Tofu
Tofu absorbs the flavors of any marinade, and marinating is an easy way to load it with taste. The key to marinating tofu to later cook in the air fryer is to ensure that it’s dry after removing from the marinade. Marinade the tofu after pressing and cubing, then make sure to pat dry with more paper towels after removing from the marinade before transferring to the air fryer.
I personally do not marinate my tofu before air frying, because a) I’m lazy and not that prepared and b) I find that plain, non-marinated tofu takes on a “deep-fried” taste as you find at the Chinese restaurant. Perfect for tossing in a sauce or serving with something yummy to dip it in.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Baked Potato
- Air Fryer Hard Boiled Eggs
- Air Fryer Bacon
- Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
- Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- Air Fryer Tater Tots
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Air Fryer Tofu
- Air fryer
- tofu press, optional
- 1 block firm or extra firm tofu drained from package
- spray cooking oil
- Wrap tofu in paper towels and place on a plate.
- Press under a heavy pan or skillet until tofu has drained. Change paper towels after 30 minutes, then check again in 30 more minutes. Alternately,
- Cut the tofu into cubes. Pat dry. Salt liberally and add to the air fryer basket. Spray everything with cooking oil and toss again.
- Cook at 380º for 10 to 20 minutes (see notes for desired crispiness). Toss tofu halfway through cooking time. Toss in sauce or serve with dipping sauce!
- 10 minutes – golden and crispy on the edges
- 15 minutes – crispy all over but still soft
- 20 minutes -super crispy and very firm, like it has been commercially deep fried (not great on its own, but perfect for something saucy like a stir fry)
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.