Crispy Air Fryer Tofu. A crunchy vegan delight! This easy and healthy recipe for air fryer tofu is the perfect way to get your protein fix. The crispy exterior and tender interior make it a versatile dish that can be used in a variety of ways. From vegan salads to stir-fries, this air fryer tofu recipe will quickly become a staple in your household.
Gone are the days of deep frying for a crispy texture. The air fryer allows for that perfect crunch without all the added oil and guilt. This tofu recipe is not only delicious but also a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods.
Ingredients & Substitutions: What Is In Crispy Air Fryer Tofu?
To make the perfect crispy air fryer tofu, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1 brick of extra firm tofu, pressed to remove excess moisture
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Adding “Nooch” to this tofu recipe gives it a deliciously cheesy and nutty flavour. I believe nutritional yeast compliments any of the spice blends listed above. If you have it, I would highly recommend using it in this tofu recipe!
- 1-2 tablespoons of coconut aminos or soy sauce, for a savory umami taste
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, for added crunch
- 1 tablespoon of Italian spice blend, for a fragrant and flavorful kick
- Salt and pepper to taste, for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, for a healthy and delicious fat source
These ingredients work together to create a tasty and satisfying dish that’s both healthy and filling. The extra firm tofu provides a great base for the other ingredients to cling to, while the nutritional yeast and coconut aminos (or soy sauce) add depth and richness to the flavor. The cornstarch and Italian spice blend add the perfect amount of crunch and zing, and the olive oil helps everything crisp up to perfection in the air fryer.
While making crispy air fryer tofu is a fairly straightforward process, having the right tools can definitely make the process a lot easier and more enjoyable. Here are some helpful tools to keep in mind when making this recipe:
- Air Fryer – This is the most important tool you’ll need to make crispy air fryer tofu. If you don’t already have one, consider investing in one as they are a versatile kitchen appliance that can cook a wide range of dishes with less oil and in less time than traditional methods.
- Tofu Press – If you’re pressing your tofu ahead of time. A tofu press can make the process much easier and more efficient. Simply place your block of tofu in the press, tighten the knobs to apply pressure, and let it sit for a few minutes to remove excess moisture.
- Mixing Bowl – A medium-sized mixing bowl is essential for combining all of the ingredients for the tofu coating.
- Measuring Spoons – Precise measurements are key when it comes to cooking. Having a set of measuring spoons on hand can ensure that you’re adding the correct amount of each ingredient.
- Spatula or Tongs – When placing the tofu in the air fryer and flipping it halfway through cooking, a spatula or tongs can be helpful in handling the pieces of tofu without damaging their crispy exterior.
How To Make This Vegan Air Fryer Crispy Tofu Recipe
Now that you’ve gathered all the necessary ingredients. Let’s get started on making some delicious crispy air fryer tofu!
The first step is to press the tofu ahead of time or purchase extra firm tofu that is already pressed. This helps remove any excess moisture. Allowing the tofu to crisp up nicely in the air fryer.
Next, cut the tofu into bite-sized cubes and add them to a medium mixing bowl.
Drizzle the tofu with the extra virgin olive oil, coconut aminos (or soy sauce), nutritional yeast, cornstarch, and an Italian spice blend.
Put the lid on the bowl and give it a good shake. Or gently stir the tofu with a spoon, to ensure that all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Once the tofu is coated in the mixture. Place it evenly into your air fryer basket, making sure to leave a little bit of space between each piece for optimal air circulation.
Air fry the tofu at 390 degrees for 5 minutes. After the first 5 minutes, shake or toss the tofu so that it flips over and air fry for another 5 minutes.
Once the tofu is cooked to crispy perfection. Allow it to cool for a minute before serving.
This crispy air fryer tofu makes for a delicious and healthy meal or snack. Serve it up with some rice, quinoa, or veggies for a complete and satisfying meal. And if you don’t have an air fryer, no worries! You can bake the tofu in the oven as well. Simply follow the instructions in the FAQ section below.
Tips and Tricks for Making the Perfect Crispy Air Fryer Tofu
- For an even more satisfying, meat-like texture in your crispy air fryer tofu, try freezing and then thawing your tofu before preparing it. This simple step will make a big difference in the final texture and flavor of your dish. This technique improves the texture and gives it more of a “meaty” feel.
- Use extra firm tofu – Extra firm tofu has a denser texture and will hold up better during the cooking process, resulting in a crispier exterior and a chewy interior.
- Press your tofu – Pressing your tofu before cooking will remove excess moisture and allow the tofu to absorb the marinade and coating more effectively. Use a tofu press or wrap your tofu in a clean dish towel and place a heavy object on top for 10-15 minutes.
- Cut tofu into small pieces – Cutting the tofu into bite-sized pieces will help ensure that the pieces cook evenly and are crispy all around.
- Shake or toss tofu halfway through cooking – This will help the tofu cook evenly and prevent any sticking to the air fryer basket.
- Experiment with different spices and sauces – While the recipe calls for an Italian spice blend and coconut aminos. Feel free to experiment with different spices and sauces to create your own unique flavor profile.
- Serve hot and fresh – Crispy air fryer tofu is best enjoyed straight out of the air fryer while still hot and crispy. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or atop a bed of rice or noodles.
FAQ: Vegan Crispy Air Fryer Tofu
Yes, you can still make this tofu recipe even without an air fryer. You can try the oven-baked version of this recipe. Just preheat your oven to 400 degrees, follow the tofu prep instructions, place tofu bites on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the tofu and place it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until crispy.
You can eat it alone as a high protein snack, or serve it with your favorite dip as a tasty appetizer. It also goes great on top of a salad or in a nourish bowl. For a heartier meal, add it into your favorite stir fry or curry dish, or pair it with a grain and vegetable for a complete protein portion. And for a festive touch during the holidays, try topping it with vegan gravy.
Get creative with the seasoning on these tofu bites. The dried herbs can be changed from Italian seasoning to, Masala spice blend, Paprika, onion and garlic, Cajun seasoning, Curry spice, Herbs de provence and garlic, or any dried herb blend you like!
Crispy Air Fryer Tofu
- Press tofu ahead or time or purchase extra firm tofu that is already pressed.
- Cut tofu into bite sized cubes and add to a medium mixing bowl.
- Top the tofu with olive oil, coconut aminos, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, and spices.
- Place the lid on your bowl and shake well to combine or stir gently to combine all ingredients.
- Place tofu evenly into your airfryer leaving a little room between each piece. (To bake in the oven see instructions in the notes below.)
- Air fry at 390 degrees for 5 minutes. Shake or toss the tofu so it flips, and air fry for another 5 minutes.
- Allow to cool for a minute, then serve and enjoy!
In conclusion, this Crispy Air Fryer Tofu recipe is an easy and delicious way to get your vegan protein fix. Not only is it healthy, but it’s also incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. Whether you’re looking for a snack or a topping for your salad, this recipe is sure to satisfy.
The best part is that it can be made in the air fryer or in the oven, making it accessible to anyone. With a little creativity and some delicious seasonings, you’ll have a new go-to recipe that will quickly become a staple in your household. So, give this recipe a try and enjoy the satisfying crunch and delicious flavor of crispy tofu. Happy vegan cooking!