Ridiculously Good Air Fryer Tofu Recipe

4 mins read

Note 1 on Tofu: The vacuum sealed extra firm tofu is amazing because it’s not only firm but drier than the kind that comes sitting in water. If you can’t find the vacuum sealed tofu packages, that’s fine – look for extra firm tofu and then press the tofu for a bit to remove excess moisture. To do this, I cut the block of tofu into a few slices, lay them flat with paper towels on top and bottom, and set a heavy pan on top for a few minutes. I find that this tofu also crumbles more easily – so when you’re tossing the tofu in the batter, use a wide spatula and just make a few gentle turns in the bowl to avoid crumbling the tofu entirely (but don’t worry, some breaking is normal and will form delicious crumbles – promise).

Note 2a on Making This Without Nutritional Yeast: Change the ingredient amounts to what’s listed below.

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2–3 teaspoons all-purpose spice blend (see note 3)

Note 2b on Making This Without Nutritional Yeast (Photo): The photo below shows two versions – the top is made with only cornstarch, and the bottom is the original with cornstarch and nutritional yeast. Here are the main differences:

  • Cornstarch only version doesn’t coat quite as evenly – it has a slightly more spotty exterior.
  • Nutritional yeast version covers really evenly, makes it super golden, and gives it a uniquely salty, nutty, umami flavor.

Note 3 on Spices: I use and love this rotisserie chicken seasoning for both the air fryer chicken and now this air fryer tofu. If you don’t have a spice blend that you like, use 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. And if you are using a spice blend that doesn’t have salt, you may want to add an extra pinch of salt to the tofu batter.

Note 4 on Sauces: I have been hung up on this gochujang sauce for a minute. It’s so good to toss with the crispy tofu. Mix the following: 1/2 cup mayo, 2 tablespooons gochujang sauce (not paste), 1 clove grated garlic, a shot of soy sauce, a dash of rice vinegar, and salt and pepp. I cover the tofu in sauce and toss it together after the tofu is done let it sort of melt in so it creates almost a glaze-like consistency on the outside of the tofu. It’s SO good on a rice bowl. Other sauces I like: this store-bought mango chutney, this honey mustard, or this peanut sauce.

Note 5 on Air Fryer Temp: I have both a Cosori 4 quart air fryer as well as a Ninja 5 quart air fryer (affiliate links). My Cosori does this tofu perfectly at 400 degrees with the timing above, while the Ninja does it perfectly at 390 degrees. If you stop and shake the tofu after 8 minutes and you feel like it’s a tad too dark golden at 400, just reduce the temp slightly for the last 5 to find your perfect temp. I would shoot for anything in the 375-400 range. Air fryer temps and performance will vary slightly!

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