Tofu is one of those ingredients that is any vegan’s rescuer in the kitchen. When you don’t have anything else to make or are too tired, Air Fry Tofu will never disappoint you!

Whether it is pan-fried tofu or cooked in a broth or curry, tofu is that one ingredient that goes well with anything. and by anything, I mean with ramen, salad, quinoa, soup, curry, snacks, desserts, smoothies, etc. Check out Vegan Tofu Meatball and Baked Tofu Nuggets.

You might have tried tofu a million ways, but have you ever air-fried one? If not, you have been missing out on a very delicious, crispy, and easy way of making tofu!

tofu sliced on a wooden cutting board on a white background with soy beans

What Is Tofu?

To someone who hasn’t seen tofu before, it looks exactly like a block of white cheese! It is made from the curd of condensed soy milk. The process of making tofu resembles a lot of cheese-making processes.

Tofu has been used in China since ancient times. However, it was made by an accident when a worker accidentally mixed soy milk with nigiri. As a result, the soy milk curded up and gave tofu. Well, all thanks go to that person, whoever he was, for making that mistake and for giving us this amazing ingredient.

Apart from the fact that it is a plant-based ingredient, tofu is high in protein. For this reason, it has been used in several Asian countries since ancient times. And it is still a staple in many countries. It is very affordable, and because of its plant-based nature, it is quite a popular ingredient and a favorite of vegans all around the world.

The thing about tofu is that it doesn’t have a taste of its own. In fact, it is quite bland. Therefore, when you add it to any dish or marinate it, it absorbs the spices, and you get a nice flavor.

Types Of Tofu

When you are out to buy tofu, you will come up with several different types. Here are the most commonly found types of tofu and their properties:

  • Silken tofu: The first most common type of tofu is called silken tofu. It is also widely known as Japanese-style tofu. This tofu has a soft texture that resembles cream cheese or soft mozzarella cheese as well. It is almost jiggly and resembles a jelly-O. The reason for its softness is that it has the highest amount of water in it. It is best used for recipes that require a creamy element like smoothies, vegan cakes, ravioli fillings, and even in dips.
  • Regular Tofu: Next, the tofu is a bit firmer than silken tofu but still has a high-water content than firm tofu. It is the most commonly and widely used type of tofu. You can find this type in every grocery store. It is most widely used in Asian dishes. That’s because it soaks up the flavors of the curries and broths pretty well. It is soft, almost crumbly in texture. It is perfect in ramen, soups, and curries but not at all ideal for frying. That’s because of the water content in it.
  • Firm Tofu: As the name indicates, firm tofu is a bit firmer than regular tofu and has less water content. It resembles a lot like feta cheese when it comes to looks and texture. This type of tofu is ideal for frying but needs to be dried first. It is also less crumbly and therefore easy to cut into slices. It comes in flavors as well.
  • Extra-firm tofu: now, this type is just the perfect one for deep frying, pan-frying, and air frying. It has the least amount of water in it and is pretty tight. It holds the shape perfectly well, and honestly, it is my favorite type! You can turn the firm tofu into an extra firm by pressing it for 20 minutes underweight.

Health Benefits Of Tofu

Tofu is widely known for its many benefits. here are a few to name:

  • Tofu is a plant-based ingredient that is very high in protein.
  • It is also low in fats and is very low in calories as well. So, it is a perfect ingredient for calorie-conscious people. Furthermore, it also helps in weight loss and weight management.
  • It has high calcium; thus, it is very beneficial for bone health.
  • Contains a plant-based compound called isoflavones which helps in promoting heart health.
  • It is also said to reduce the risks of several cancers like breast cancer, prostate cancer, etc.
  • It also helps in reducing the risk of diabetes by boosting sugar level control.

air fryer tofu ingredients

Ingredient Breakdown

 

  • Tofu: Because we are going to air fry tofu, I have used extra firm tofu. You can use firm tofu and press it to get rid of excess water.
  • Tamari: this Japanese-style soy sauce is utterly delicious and adds an umami flavor to everything. It is slightly darker in color and is less salty as compared to regular soy sauce.
  • Olive oil: a little olive oil will help to make the tofu crispy.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes: It boosts the flavor of the tofu and brings out the health benefits of the ingredients and is an essential vegan ingredient.
  • Paprika:  gives your tofu a lovely golden color.  You can use smoked paprika or cayenne as well.
  • Garlic powder: Again, garlic powder adds more flavor to the tofu.

How To Cook Tofu In The Air Fryer?

Although there are several ways, you can cook tofu. For instance, you can pan fry it, deep fry it, and even Stir Fry it. But the method I love above all is air frying the tofu! It doesn’t only use the minimum amount of oil of all the methods but also results in crispy tofu. So, it is a win-win situation. Here is how you can make tofu in an air fryer:

Step 1: If you are using firm tofu, make sure you press it for 20 minutes before cutting it into cubes.

 2: In a bowl, add tamari, paprika, garlic powder, olive oil, nutritional yeast flakes and mix well.

tofu cubes with spices in a bowl

3: Add tofu cubes and toss well so that the mixture coats the pieces well.

 4: let the tofu sit for about 10 minutes to soak up all the flavors.

5: Place the tofu in an air fryer basket and air fry for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees F.

Air fryer tofu cubes in air fryer basket

6: Turn the tofu cubes halfway into the cook so that they are cooked evenly.

Step 7: once they get a nice golden color, serve.

Tips For Perfect Air Fryer Tofu

Here are a few tips you should follow to get the perfect results:

  • If you find pressing tofu inconvenient, simply buy the one that has a vacuumed packaging and is without water.
  • If you don’t have tamari, you can use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos as well.
  • To add more flavor to the tofu, you can also use smoked paprika.
  • Make sure the tofu you are buying is fresh and doesn’t have yellow coloring.
  • Make sure you place the tofu pieces with a little gap in the air fryer basket.
  • For even cooking, make sure you flip it over after 7 minutes into the air frying.

Other Tofu Recipes To Prepare

  1. Sesame Tofu
  2. Crispy Baked Tofu
  3. General Tso Tofu
  4. Sweet And Sour Tofu
  5. Easy Tofu Scramble
  6. Cajun Tofu Salad
  7. Tofu Bacon
  8. Barbecue Tofu Sandwich
  9. Tofu Fries
  10. Shawarma Tofu

How To Store Air Fried Tofu?

You can store the air-fried tofu in an air-tight container and place it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 5 days without getting soggy. Reheat it in the air fryer for about 5-6 minutes.

How To Serve Air Fried Tofu?

The choices to serve air-fried tofu are unlimited! It goes perfectly well with almost anything. Whether you eat it with your favorite dip or sauce, add it to a salad, broth, or curry. In simple words, do whatever you want to do with it and create any version; it is a highly versatile ingredient that goes perfectly well with everything!

air fryer tofu on a white plate being dipped in ketchup

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Categories

Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 287 kcal / 1200 kJ
  • Fat: 20.4 g
  • Protein: 25.3 g
  • Carbs: 7.1 g

Cooking Time

  • Preparation: 25 min
  • Cooking: 15 min
  • Ready in: 40 min
  • For:
  • 2 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Press tofu by placing it underweight for 15 to 20 minutes. cut tofu into small cubes
  2. In a bowl, add tamari, olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and paprika. Mix well and add tofu cubes. Toss so that the mixture covers the tofu pieces.
  3. Marinate tofu for 10 minutes.
  4. Brush the air fryer basket or pan with oil. 
  5. Place the tofu pieces on an air fryer basket and air fry for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees F. Turn the tofu halfway into the cook.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.