This air fryer tofu is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and flavorful. We marinate the tofu in a gochujang marinade, fry it for 10 minutes, and serve it with a delicious creamy sauce.
Air Fryer Tofu
This meatless air fryer tofu is flavorful and crispy! The marinated air fryer tofu is marinated, tender on the inside, and served with white rice on the side. If you are looking for a high-protein vegetarian meal, this is your meal.
Quick FAQ Before You Start
Can you fry tofu in the air fryer?
Yes, you can fry tofu in the air fryer. We recommend pressing the tofu and cutting it into cubes before frying.
Why use avocado oil instead of olive oil?
We use avocado oil instead of olive oil because it crisps up the outside of the tofu faster and better than other oils.
Do you have to press tofu before air frying?
Yes, you have to press the tofu before air frying to remove moisture from the air fryer. The tofu will not crisp up if there is too much moisture.
How long does tofu need in the air fryer?
This tofu needs to be air fried for 10 minutes, flipping half way through to insure the tofu does not stick to the air fryer.
How do you keep tofu from sticking to the air fryer?
Be sure the air fryer has been oiled before placing the tofu in the basket. Making sure the tofu is not cold before placing it in the air fryer also helps to insure the tofu will not stick to the air fryer basket.
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There is a longer list of ingredients for this air fryer tofu, but the ingredients below are some key ingredients that deserve a little extra love.
- Extra firm tofu- we recommend using extra firm tofu because it tends to have less moisture and firms up nicely in the air fryer. If you use a different type of tofu, be sure to press the tofu longer to release the moisture.
- Gochujang– this Korean chile paste is the secret ingredient to the marinade for moisture. Don’t be afraid of it and don’t skip it! You can find it at most grocery stores or order it right on Amazon.
- Cornstarch- we add a little bit of cornstarch to the marinade of the tofu to crisp up the outside while it’s in the air fryer. It is important to add the corn starch to some liquid or else the cornstarch will burn in the air fryer.
- Fish sauce- the fish sauce adds the perfect amount of umami to the marinade of the tofu. Don’t you dare skip it. A little goes a long way.
How to Make Air Fryer Tofu
Make sure to scroll all the way down to the recipe card to get the full ingredient list and written recipe.
- Drain the liquid from the tofu and press the tofu by wrapping it in a paper towel or a tea towel. Place something heavy on the tofu for about an hour to release excess moisture from the tofu.
- Add all of the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl and mix to combine.
- After the tofu has been pressed, slice it into cubes and place it in the marinade for a least an hour or longer for optimal flavor.
- Preheat the air fryer and transfer the marinated tofu into the air fryer. Spoon a bit of the marinade onto the top of each cube and fry the tofu for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Mix up the sauce for the fried tofu and serve it alongside the tofu. Top everything with sesame seeds and green onions.
Top Tips for Air Fryer Tofu
Extra firm tofu is best but you can use firm tofu as well. Just be sure to press the tofu.
If you want a little extra spice, add a bit more gochujang or add a few teaspoons of sriracha sauce.
Every air fryer is different, so check the timing and temperature of your air fryer by testing a few cubes of tofu before frying all of them.
Let the tofu cool completely and then store the tofu in an air-tight container and store the tofu in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheating instructions: reheat the tofu in an air fryer at 400ºF for 5-7 minutes.
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Air Fryer Tofu
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic chili sauce
- Sesame seeds
- Diced green onion
- Drain the liquid from the tofu and wrap the tofu in a tea towel or paper towel and set it on a plate. Then, place a heavy cast iron dish on top of the wrapped tofu and let it sit for 1 hour to draw out moisture.
- Meanwhile, add the gochujang, honey, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce, garlic powder, and cornstarch to a bowl and whisk the ingredients together until they are combined. Set aside.
- When the tofu has been pressed for 1 hour, remove the pan and tea towel and slice the tofu into ½-inch sized cubes. Add the tofu cubes to the gochujang sauce and toss to coat. Let the tofu marinate for at least 30 minutes (or longer for extra flavor).
- Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF and spray the basket with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the tofu cubes in the air fryer, leaving a bit of space between each cube. Take a spoon and a little bit of the gochujang marinade to the top of each cube. Drizzle the avocado oil over the tofu and cook the tofu for 10 minutes at 400ºF, tossing at 5 minutes.
- While the tofu is cooking, mix the mayo, soy sauce, and garlic chili sauce in a bowl and set aside.
- When the tofu is browned remove them from the air fryer and let the rest on a plate for 5 minutes before serving with the mayo sauce.
Tips & Notes
- Extra firm tofu is best but you can use firm tofu as well. Just be sure to press the tofu.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.