Perfectly crispy this Air Fryer Tofu with cornstarch is the perfect blank slate for a fabulous meatless meal. This basic ‘How-To’ recipe for air fried tofu is simple and easy, perfect for adding your favorite sauces and adding to your favorite dishes!
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Air Fryer Crispy Tofu
Two things I really like are tofu and being able to have a basic cooking method for a protein that I am able to make my own for whatever meal I am making.
This tofu recipe in the air fryer is exactly that. This is less of a recipe and more of a HOW TO make crispy tofu.
With the basic knowledge of how to make this delicious tofu you are able to do whatever you want with it.
- Add your favorite sauce
- Overtop a Veggie Stir Fry
- On top of a Grain Bowl
- As the star of a Salad
Plus it is a bonus that if you are introducing tofu to maybe someone who hasn’t tried it yet, including kids this is a great option!
This crispy outside leading way to a soft interior is reminiscent of, dare I say a chicken nugget?
My kids love choosing different sauces to dip it in and basically end up inhaling it!
There are basically two main components to getting good crispy tofu, pressing the tofu and cornstarch.
Honestly it is the same basic recipe I have always use with pan frying the tofu, but you guessed it with a crazy amount less of oil!
Let’s take a minute to talk air fryers, because yes they can be quite different.
I have the Ninja® Air Fryer Max XL and that is what I use for all recipe testing.
My air fryer has a circular basket, it also comes with a rack so that I can layer things and/or make things higher or not touching the bottom if needed. Most of the time you can buy extra racks as accessories with most brands!
I use the rack in this recipe because it allows me from not having to make two batches. Instead I can place half on the bottom insert and half on the rack. After about halfway through they are already crispy enough to mix together and take the rack out.
If you are unable to do this because your brand of air fryer doesn’t allow for it or you don’t have a rack no worries you can just easily do two batches!
- Extra Firm Block Tofu – In this day and age I have had luck finding extra firm tofu at all groceries where I live, even including the grocery section at Target! If you are new to buying Tofu just note that there are different tofu hardnesses, including silken, firm, and extra firm. For air frying make sure you grab extra firm!
- Salt – Just a pinch to help flavor the tofu.
- Corn Starch – The secret to the crispiness. A little goes a long way here. When adding it to the tofu try to sprinkle it over it as easy as possible.
- Spray Oil – Your choice of oil that is in a spray canister. I prefer olive oil, I fill it myself in a little spray canister. You can use what you like best though.
For a complete detailed list of the ingredients continue towards the bottom of the page.
To begin the prep for this recipe you need to press the tofu. In order to get that crispiness you want enough liquid has to escape the tofu.
Because tofu comes stored in liquid it needs to be pressed out. And yes they make actual tofu presses, I don’t have one but I do have cutting boards, heavy pans, and cookbooks that work just as well. I also recommend using tea towels to get the liquid out, if you don’t have tea towels for this purpose you can also use a few sheets of paper towels folded.
What you will do is press the tofu for at least 15 minutes. Set the tofu in between 2 towels and add a heavy pan on top of it and/or a cutting board and/or some cookbooks (or use a tofu press) letting the moisture drain. Don’t be afraid to really add some heavy weigh to the top of it, it will probably handle more than you think. I usually use a heavy wood cutting board and my heavy stainless steel pan.
Once the tofu is pressed preheat your air fryer to 390º F.
Cut into 1 inch squares. Cut the whole block in half and then into squares.
Transfer to a bowl.
Add cornstarch and salt, gently toss until coated. Spray lightly with oil, just enough for a light coat.
Spread out half of the tofu on the bottom of the air fryer so that the pieces are not touching. If available use a rack for the second half, placing the tofu spread out up above the other batch (otherwise cook in 2 batches). Cook for 6 minutes then toss, including taking the tofu off the rack and removing it, letting it mix on the bottom.
Cook an additional 6 to 8 more minutes tossing every 1 to 2 minutes. Serve once the tofu have reached desired crispiness.
Serve immediately while hot.
Tips, Tricks, and Questions
If you are looking for an awesome dish to air this tofu with I would like to suggest my Easy One-Pot Teriyaki Noodles!
If you like this Tofu in the Air Fryer you might like some of these other recipes:
- 14 ounce block tofu (extra firm)
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- spray oil
- Press tofu for at least 15 minutes, setting the tofu in between 2 towels and adding a heavy pan on top of it and/or cutting board with makeshift weights (or use a tofu press) letting the moisture drain.
- Preheat your air fryer to 390º F.
- Cut into 1 inch squares. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add cornstarch and salt, gently toss until coated. Spray lightly with oil, just enough for a light coat.
- Spread out half on the bottom of the air fryer so that the pieces are not touching. If available use a rack for the second half, placing the tofu spread out up above the other batch (otherwise cook in 2 batches). Cook for 6 minutes then toss, including taking the tofu off the rack and removing it, letting it mix on the bottom.
- Cook an additional 6 to 8 more minutes tossing every 1 to 2 minutes. Serve once the tofu have reached desired crispiness.
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Serving Size:6 pieces of tofu
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 121Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 37mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 10g
Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.
Peace & Love
Lauren, The Schmidty Wife