You can make crispy tofu without a cauldron of bubbling oil. Turns out, an air fryer does a stellar job of cooking up cubes of marinated tofu into perfectly browned and crispy bites. Toss them into stir fries, noodle dishes and salads, or eat them as a protein-packed snack with a simple dipping sauce such as the one here.
Dipping Sauce (Optional)
Special equipment: a 3.5-quart air fryer
Drain the tofu and wrap in a clean kitchen towel (see Cook’s Note). Place it on a plate or in a baking dish and top it with a skillet. Add canned goods to the skillet to serve as weights and let press for 15 minutes to remove excess water. Cut the tofu into ¾- to 1-inch cubes.
Whisk the soy sauce, sesame or vegetable oil, vinegar, honey and a large pinch of salt together in a medium bowl. Remove ½ teaspoon to a small bowl for the dipping sauce if making. Add the tofu cubes to the remaining mixture and toss gently until the tofu has absorbed all the marinade. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Preheat a 3.5-quart air fryer to 375ºF. Arrange the tofu cubes in a single layer in the air-fryer basket. Cook, shaking the basket a few times for even cooking, until the tofu is deep golden brown and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve the crispy tofu with the dipping sauce or as desired.
Add the mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon water, a pinch of salt and most of the scallion to the reserved marinade and mix together. Sprinkle with remaining scallion and drizzle with chili oil.
Cook’s Note: Pressing the tofu will remove excess water and make the tofu crispier but you can skip this step.