Crispy and savoury, these air fryer tofu bites, topped with fried red chillies, ginger, garlic and sliced green onions, are packed with flavour and will have you reaching for more!
Looking for a tofu breakfast recipe? Try this Creamy Egg Tofu Scramble!
Although it took me a while to get into tofu, I’ve recently had a lot of fun playing around with different ways of cooking with it. With a subtle taste of its own but the ability to soak up all sorts of flavours, there are a million ways to turn it into a great meal or intriguing snack.
Because they can be turned into such a flavoursome snack, I love the idea of bite-sized pieces infused with spice. It didn’t take a lot to turn these morsels into tasty treats!
To make them even better, the coating crisps up nicely when added to an air fryer. Tender on the inside with a bit of crunch on the outside is the perfect combination!
As an added bonus, I’ve sautéed a spicy chilli pepper with sliced garlic and thin ginger sticks. It’s the perfect foil to the silky tofu bites, and really take this recipe to the next level!
Crispy tofu bites
These air fryer tofu bites are such a lovely mouthful, the perfect mix of crispy and tender. They benefit so much from both the coating and being cooked in an air fryer.
I found that extra firm tofu works the best for this recipe. Take the time to get the moisture out before cooking or it will be impossible to get the right texture.
The tofu bites are coated with cornstarch, Chinese 5 spice mix, garlic powder and salt. Cut the tofu into bite-sized cubes and toss it in the spice mixture to coat them evenly.
Place them in the air fryer and cover evenly with cooking spray, tossing to make sure that all sides are covered. Make sure they are in one layer so they cook evenly. I also tossed the tofu bites halfway through cooking. It’ll take about 10 minutes, or until they are crispy on the outside and soft inside.
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can still make these in the oven. Cook at a slightly higher temperature – 220C/425F – for about 12 minutes.
A garnish isn’t essential for these crispy tofu bites, but they do make a tasty snack into something special. I’ve chosen a garnish that matches the Asian flavour in the tofu bites while bringing a bit of heat.
I’ve made it by frying thinly sliced red chillies with equally thin pieces of garlic and fresh ginger cut into thin matchsticks. It can be made while the air fryer tofu bites are cooking and only takes a small amount of time on the frying pan.
The one thing to avoid here is burning the garnish. Keep a close eye on it while cooking and remove it as soon as it looks done.
Take it out of the oil by a slotted spoon if you have one and place it on a paper towel. This allows the oil to drain away so just the crispy garnish is left.
For a bit of freshness I’ve added a green (spring) onion as well, plus sesame seeds if I feel like it. Sprinkle all of the garnish over the tofu bites when they are plated. Tastes good, and looks good too!
More vegan recipes
- 300g extra firm tofu
- 1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice mix
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- cooking spray
- 1 red chilli
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic, large
- 1 inch ginger root, cut into thin matchsticks
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, optional
- Wrap a block of extra firm tofu into 2 sheets of paper towel, place on a plate and weigh it down with something heavy like a cast iron pan to drain the water. Let it drain for 30-40 minutes.
- In a shallow bowl combine the cornstarch, Chinese 5 spice mix, garlic powder and salt. Cut the pressed tofu into bite-sized cubes and toss in the spice mixture.
- Arrange in an air fryer in a single layer, then spray with a cooking spray, toss and spray again to ensure the tofu cubes are evenly coated. Air fry at 200C/400F for 10 minutes until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Open your air fryer and toss once again half way through the cooking.
- While the tofu is in the air fryer, prepare the topping. Slice the red chilli and garlic, cut the ginger into thin matchsticks. Heat the oil in a small frying pan or a sauce pan, then fry the aromatic mix until slightly crispy but not burned. Watch carefully. Once see the red chilli starting to lose moisture and curl, take off the heat. Remove the garlic, chilli and ginger from oil with a slotted spoon, shake off the excess oil and place on paper towel lined plate to soak up the rest of the oil. (Reserve the flavoured oil for making stir fries.)
- Top the air fryer crispy tofu with the mixture of chilli, garlic and ginger. Then sprinkle with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
To cook in an oven, use a slightly higher temperature - 220C/425F - and cook for 12 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 286Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 789mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 17g