How to Make Oil-Free Crispy Tofu with an Air Frye

There’s a dim sum spot in LA that we’ve made a topic in years prior to the Rona. For family get-togethers, they’ve got great food and delicious options for vegans and non-vegans like one of our favorites, there is a crispy tofu appetizer I’d really been craving at this past year and not being able to drive there and dine in I decided I wanted to make my own homemade oil-free copycat recipe.

So for this one, we’re pulling out the air fryer again and getting to work. And for those of you not yet converted to the wonders of the air fryer our cover and oven baked option as well. Also, if you are new here or you have been hanging out in the background, check me out. Subscribe. If you like this video and you want to see more, I release new recipes every week. We’d love to have you stick around and appreciate the support.


  • 1-16oz block more firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp raw or toasted sesame grains
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    Optional Garnish
  • clean green onion
  • Thai fresh chiles or Serrano pepper
  • sriracha

So here are all the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. I’ll also leave everything in the description box below along with a link to the blog post with a printable recipe card.


To get the right texture for this recipe, you are going to need to press your tofu for 30 minutes before making it. So while this recipe is easy to make, it’s one that you can’t really just work together. You want to make sure that you get an extra firm block of tofu so that it doesn’t fall apart while it’s being pressed. And use a tofu press or the more creative and precarious method of weighing it down with whatever you can find in your kitchen.

For a zero-waste option. Use a couple of reusable napkins rather than paper towels to absorb some of the moisture and press for 30 minutes draining some of the liquid at the halfway point. You can get it by pressing your tofu for only 15 minutes but your tofu is going to be more delicate and may break apart a bit when you’re frying it and tossing it. Also if you’re using a teetering method like me, keep an eye on it to make sure that doesn’t shift and fall while you’re pressing it.

During this pressing time. Near the end. If you are using an oven, you can preheat it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a lined or silicone baking sheet on a baking tray. Once you’ve got your tofu pressed and drained, cut it into bite-sized pieces that are about a half-inch to an inch wide. If you’re not sure exactly how to cut it, you can just watch my method here and follow along cutting the block in half.

And then three cuts lengthwise and four cuts with lice. Throw the cubes into a mixing bowl with all of your other ingredients. Sesame seeds, cornstarch, garlic powder, pepper, salt, and soy sauce, and then toss them to cook them evenly. For the air fryer pour the tofu into the basket and cook it at 390 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring after the first 10 minutes and then every five minutes or so that until the pieces are golden brown. If you’re using the oven bake for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing it to the halfway point.

Taste Test

Remove all your pieces and we’re ready to serve them up with sliced green onion and Serato for a taste test.
This tofu is crispy and crunchy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside and full of flavor. It’s great by itself but pairs perfectly with my fried rice recipe that is coming out next week. To make it even closer to the inspirational dish, I’ve also sliced up some Serrano or Thai green chili and thrown it into the airfare in the last couple of minutes. While the tofu is cooking to make this dish spicy and even more flavorful.


For how it stacks up against an alternative, you can check out the full nutritional label on the blog that links up the chronometer. This recipe though is the same as on my others when comparing it to a non-vegan or vegan processed option. Without specialty items or animal products, it will cost you less to make with plant-based ingredients, they’ll have more fiber and without oil or butter, you get to eat more of it for the same number of calories.

So that’s all for today, folks. If you try it out, let me know in the comments. You can also subscribe to my blog for recipes right to your inbox and connect with me on social media for day-to-day content. And if there’s another recipe that you have been looking for craving or want me to make, let me know that in the comments.

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