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air fryer tofu crispy

Crispy Tofu (Air Fryer Recipe)

Summer Yule
What’s the best way to prepare firm tofu so it’s crispy and doesn’t stick to the pan? Try this crispy tofu air fryer recipe! Vegan and keto!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Chinese
Servings 3
Calories 173 kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces firm tofu (425 grams, extra firm or super firm tofu may also be used)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • cooking oil spray (non-aerosol)

Instructions

  • Press the tofu to remove excess water. You can place it between two plates that are weighted on top (takes 30 minutes), or you can use a tofu press (takes 15-20 minutes).
  • Cut the pressed tofu into 16 uniformly-sized pieces.
  • Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil together. Put the tofu in a food-safe container and pour the marinade over it. Let the tofu marinate in the fridge for 4-5 hours (or more). It should absorb nearly all the marinade.
  • Mist your air fryer basket or tray with cooking spray. I was able to fit all of the tofu on one tray in a single layer.
  • Air fry for 10 minutes at 400°F (200°C). (Use the top rack position for air fryer ovens.) After the 10 minutes, gently flip the tofu and air fry for an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Notes

This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). Tofu counts as a lean protein, it’s versatile, and it’s low carb friendly. Is there anything this plant-based super food can’t do?
The only way I’d consider possibly lightening this vegan main dish is omitting the sesame oil. I’d do this for two reasons. One, added oils are extremely energy dense, typically adding 120 calories per tablespoon.
Second, toasted sesame oil is really more of a flavoring oil, not a cooking oil. It’s not really supposed to go in the air fryer (but I’m a cooking rebel). If you’re concerned about the oxidative stability of sesame oil, use avocado oil or experiment with using no oil in the marinade.
The downside of ditching the sesame oil is that it provides a lot of rich flavor. I’d consider air frying the tofu until crispy and drizzling the sesame oil after. Unfortunately, when you make crispy tofu in the air fryer with no oil, there’s a risk it will become unpleasantly dry.
(If you do try it without the oil, drop me a comment below! I’d love to hear how it turned out.)
 

🥗How to Make Air Fryer Tofu Bowls

  • 1 finished recipe crispy air fryer tofu
For the ginger-lime aioli:
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
For assembling the air fryer tofu bowls:
  • ½ cup dry wild rice (cooked in 1 cup of vegetable broth)
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (142 grams)
  • 4 ounces broccoli slaw mix (113 grams)
  • ½ medium cucumber, diced (7 ounces/198 grams)
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • ½ small yellow pepper, diced
  • scallions, sliced
Make the aioli by whisking the garlic, lime zest, ginger, mayo, and lime juice together. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
Cook the rice in the vegetable broth on the stovetop (following cooking directions on the rice package). It will take around 45 minutes.
Dice the cucumber and bell peppers into ½-¾ inch (1.27-1.9 cm) pieces.
To assemble the meal, divide the spinach evenly between three bowls. Top each bowl with equal amounts of tofu, wild rice, broccoli slaw mix, cucumber, red pepper, and yellow pepper. 
Drizzle the bowls with the ginger-lime aioli. Garnish with the scallions.
This tofu bowl recipe is just a smidge over 500 calories. To cut it back to level 1, I’d reduce the amount of aioli per serving. I was initially going to use half of the aioli I’m using here (but OMG it’s so good, I could not resist doubling it haha).
 
 
Nutrition information is for one serving of crispy air fryer tofu only. This nutrition information includes the tofu marinade (since the marinade is almost completely absorbed). The tofu bowls provide 515 calories, 27 grams net carbs, and 22.2 grams of protein per serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcalCarbohydrates: 4.6gProtein: 15gFat: 10.9gSaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 429.3mgFiber: 1.8gVitamin A: 0.1% DVVitamin C: 0.7% DVCalcium: 18.1% DVIron: 10.7% DV
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