The air fryer is the best thing I’ve added to my kitchen in a long time.
This might seem like a bold statement, but I stand by it! It’s perfect for cooking for two, easy to clean, cooks salmon to perfection, and makes all sorts of foods nice and crispy.
I’ve made this crispy air fried tofu with peanut sauce probably 25x since getting an air fryer (this is the one I have, by the way). When I was making pan-fried or oven-baked crispy tofu, I could never find that perfect crispy exterior. The secret? Corn starch of course, but the real secret? A tiny convection oven that takes up way too much counter space.
Convection oven? I thought we were talking about an air fryer!
An air fryer is actually just a tiny convection oven. A convection oven circulates hot air around your food and helps brown the food by drying out the surface of whatever you’re cooking. Browning is key to getting something crispy and flavourful, and it occurs through something called the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction occurs when the heat is applied to amino acids and reducing sugars, and it leaves the surface of your food golden brown and flavourful aka. delicious.
Long story short, an air fryer is just a mini convection oven. If you have a big convection oven, it might not be a worthy investment at this time. However, if you have a conventional oven like me, the air fryer can be a total game-changer. Especially when it comes to getting making crispy air fried tofu!
This crispy air fried tofu is so easy to make and packs a serious flavour punch! Pair it with the spicy peanut sauce and you’ve got yourself a snack or side dish that is loaded with protein, fibre, fat, flavour, and texture.
If you try this recipe, please give it a rating and leave a comment below!
Looking for something to listen to while you cook? Check out Dietetics After Dark, the podcast where true crime meets food. You can download it wherever you listen to podcasts!
Want a healthy air fried dessert recipe? Try these air fried pears!
Crispy Air Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce
- Air Fryer
Crispy Air Fried Tofu
- 1 brick tofu extra firm, pressed to remove moisture
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1½ tbsp corn starch
- ½ tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne optional
- Pinch salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp fish sauce optional
- 2-3 tbsp hot water
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- ½ tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp ginger finely chopped
Air Fried Crispy Tofu
- Press your tofu to remove excess moisture. Cut into 1" cubes.
- In a bowl, mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, and maple syrup. Stir to combine and add mixture to a plastic bag. Add the tofu and toss to coat. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
- In a seperate bowl, mix cornstarch, curry powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Preheat air fryer to 380°F.
- Remove tofu from marinade and toss in 1 tsp of olive oil then toss in corn starch mixture. Gently mix until evenly coated.
- Air fry at 380°F for 12 minutes, shaking the basket after 6 minutes.
- While the tofu air fries, add peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce, and hot water to a small bowl and stir to combine.
- When smooth, add 1 clove garlic, ginger, and red chilli flakes and stir to combine.
- Allow tofu to cool for 1 minute then drizzle with peanut sauce.