There are so many amazing ways to prepare tofu, but one of my favorite methods is frying it. And while you could toss your tofu in some oil and create a delicious dish, using your air fryer is a quicker and less messy way of cooking this delicious treat. This simple recipe for crispy air fryer tofu nuggets is an easy way to prepare a flavorful tofu dish for dinner tonight.
The air fryer does make meals quick and easy on busy weeknights! These Easy Air Fryer Eggplant Fries make a delicious side dish. Another great thing about the air fryer is how easy it is to make healthy snacks like Simple Air Fryer Granola or Kale Chips.
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What Do I Need to make Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets?
The ingredients list for this quick and easy vegetarian dish is short and sweet. To prepare your own tofu nuggets, you’ll need:
- Firm tofu
- Curry powder
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Salt and pepper
- Canola oil
In addition to the ingredients you need to prepare your tofu nuggets, you’ll also want to make a delicious Dijon mustard sauce for dipping. To make this dipping sauce, you’ll need:
- Dijon mustard
How Do I Make Air Fried Tofu Nuggets?
After gathering up all your ingredients, this vegetarian recipe is simple to make. Just prepare the tofu, cook it in the air fryer, and whip up a simple sauce for serving. Follow these three steps for making your fried tofu:
Step One: Prepare the Tofu
Use your hands or a knife to rip or cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces. Place the pieces in a large bowl and season them with curry, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir to combine the ingredients until the tofu is coated with seasoning.
Step Two: Air Fry the Tofu Nuggets
Toss the nuggets in the oil and place them in the air fryer basket. Set the air fryer to cook at 360 degrees for 10 minutes. After five minutes of cooking, remove the basket and toss the nuggets, then return the basket to the air fryer to continue cooking.
Step Three: Prepare the Dipping Sauce
Whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and tabasco sauce in a small bowl. Serve the air fryer tofu with the dipping sauce.
Air Fryer Nugget Recipe Ideas
You’ll love how easy this delicious recipe is to make thanks to the quick cook time you get when you use your air fryer. Try these simple recipe ideas to adjust the dish to your tastes:
- Make it vegan. As it stands, the air fryer tofu recipe is already vegan. There is no need to adjust the ingredients in the tofu itself, but you will need to make some changes to the dip if you’re looking for a vegan snack. Simply swap out the mayonnaise for vegan mayonnaise to create a delicious dip for your tofu.
- Leave out the oil. You can reduce the amount of fat in your fried tofu recipe by replacing the oil with nonstick cooking spray. The oil does help the tofu become brown and crispy, so the replacement will change the texture and flavor of the dish. But the replacement also significantly reduces the amount of fat in your fried tofu.
- Add cornstarch for crispiness. The air fryer helps the tofu become crispy as it cooks, but there’s no reason you couldn’t make the nuggets even crispier. Add one tablespoon of cornstarch to the bowl with the seasoning and toss the tofu nuggets to coat. The thin layer of cornstarch will provide the tofu bites with a crispy exterior.
How to Make Tofu Nuggets in the Oven
While using your air fryer to make your tofu nuggets is a quick and easy preparation method, you can also cook these delicious treats in the oven.
To make your tofu nuggets in the oven, prepare the tofu as listed in the recipe. After seasoning the tofu and tossing the pieces in oil, spread the nuggets in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Can You Freeze Air Fried Tofu?
Freezing air fried tofu is a great way to store your leftovers. In fact, freezing your tofu actually improves its texture. The freezing process turns tofu from crumbly to spongey, allowing it to more easily soak up flavor and sauce.
To freeze your tofu nuggets, allow them to cool completely then spread them in an even layer on top of a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the pieces are frozen solid, then transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag for storage. You can reheat your tofu pieces in the air fryer for around five minutes, bake it in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes, or reheat the tofu in a skillet with a small amount of oil.
How to Press Tofu
Buying extra firm tofu in a vacuum pack is a great way to speed up the preparation process, but if you don’t have extra firm tofu, you’ll need to press it first. You could use a tofu press to help you press a brick of tofu or follow these simple steps to press your tofu without the need for a press:
- Remove the tofu from the water pack and cut it into bite-sized cubes.
- Place the cut cubes in a flat surface lined with paper towels or a clean, lint-free towel.
- Place more paper towels on top of the tofu and put a baking sheet on top.
- Put a heavy object on top of the baking sheet and allow the tofu to rest for around 15 minutes.
- Air Fryer
For Tofu Nuggets:
- 14 ounces 1 package of firm tofu
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp canola oil
For Dijon Mustard Sauce:
- ¼ cup of mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 to 4 drops of tabasco more if you like it spicy
- With your hands tear the tofu into bite-size pieces.
- Place the tofu in a large bowl and add the curry powder, chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste mix to combine everything.
- Add oil and place the tofu bites in the air fryer basket.
- Set the fryer to 360 degrees for 10 minutes, shake the basket after 5 minutes of cooking.
- Remove from air fryer and cool for 5 minutes.
- Serve with a Dijon mustard sauce if desired.