Air Fryer Tofu is crispy on the outside while moist and spongy on the inside. Cooking tofu in air fryer uses only a tablespoon of oil compared to frying tofu. This tofu recipe uses firm tofu paired with vinegar and onion dip.
What is tofu
Tofu also known as bean curd are made from soy beans. Soy beans are soaked in water, boiled and soy milk is extracted. A coagulant agent is mixed with soy milk until it curds. The curds are pressed into blocks that are sold as tofu. It is package submerged in water.
Tofu originated in China and a staple in most Asian countries. It became known in the Western world when vegetarian and vegan dishes became popular. It is a healthy meat replacement. Due to it’s subtle bland flavor, it can easily pickup the flavor of seasonings.
Tofu is produced in a variety of textures from soft to firm. It is a low calorie protein packed with nutrients.
Some local grocery stores in the US carry tofu. To find the different types of tofu, your best bet is to go to Asian store.
Types of tofu
There are different types of tofu, from soft silken tofu to extra firm tofu. Before you buy, make sure to check what the recipe is using.
Soft or Silken Tofu – are used in desserts. In Asia, it is prepared with sugar flavored syrup. In the Philippines, it is a common snack with sugar syrup and boba. As it became popular, it is now used in smoothies, dips and cakes.
Firm or Extra Firm Tofu – this type is ideal for frying or adding to dishes with meat, seafood and vegetables. For Vegetarian or Vegan dishes, tofu can be used as substitute for meat.
Dried Tofu – is air dried firm tofu. It is chopped and added to noodle soup or dish with sauce. It will absorb the flavor of the food you are cooking with a chewy texture.
What is the taste of tofu
Tofu has a bland flavor. If fried in oil or air fried, it is paired with a dipping sauce. If added to a dish, it will pickup the flavor of meat and seasonings. When used in desserts, it is flavored with sugar syrup, vanilla and other ingredients.
How long to store packaged tofu
Packaged tofu should be stored in the refrigerator. It is usually submerged in water with a "sell by" date. If package is well sealed and not open, it is actually good up to 3 months.
Once open, use within 3 to 5 days and keep it submerged in water.
How to cook firm tofu in air fryer
Remove tofu from packaging. Wash tofu quickly in running water. Drain water and pat dry with paper towel.
This is a 1 pound 3 ounces firm tofu, pre-sliced into 4 blocks. Cut each block into 16 pieces. The easiest way to do it is cut a block in half then cut each half evenly then repeat the process on the other side and cut into 16 pieces. Brush lightly each tofu slice with oil.
Brush the air fryer basket with oil and place tofu in the basket.
Set air fryer at 375 degrees F, do not preheat and cook between 15-18 minutes. Turn tofu halfway through cooking. Note: This is the suggested cooking time stated in the air fryer manual. Check if this is good enough for you. Tip: You can add 1-2 more minutes if you like it crispier.
Remove as soon as it is done cooking.
Note: Air fryer brands or models will have a slight difference in cooking time. It is best to check your manual.
Air Fryer Tofu
- 1 packaged 1 pound 3 ounces firm tofu pre-sliced into 4 blocks
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup red onion chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon soy sauce optional
- salt to taste
- Drain water and quickly wash tofu in running water. Dry with paper towel.
- Take a block, cut in half then cut each half evenly. Repeat the process on the opposite side to have 16 slices tofu. Continue cutting the other blocks. Brush lightly with oil.
- Brush air fryer basket with oil and place cut tofu.
- Set air fryer at 375 degrees F, do not preheat and cook between 15-18 minutes. Turn the tofu halfway through cooking. Note: This is the suggested cooking time stated in the air fryer manual. Check if this is good enough for you. If you like it crispier, you can add 1-2 minutes more.
- Remove as soon as it is done cooking.
- Combine dip ingredients and serve tofu with dip.
- Air fryer brands or models will have a slight difference in cooking time. It is best to check your manual.
- When setting cooking time, start with the lowest cooking time of 15 minutes then increase time if needed.
- For vinegar dip, you can substitute onion with 5 minced garlic. Store leftover tofu in the fridge.
- Reheat in air fryer at 300 degrees F between 2 to 3 minutes depending on the amount or warm in the microwave for a 30 seconds to a minute.