- Cut Tofu into Cubes: Cut the tofu into small evenly-sized cubes.
- Remove Excess Water: Place the tofu cubes on a paper-towel lined plate and cover with more paper towels to press out as much water as possible (don’t skip this step, it’s essential)!
- Season Tofu Cubes: Once tofu is pressed, toss the tofu cubes together with the sesame oil, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Let it marinate for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 375F.
- Place Tofu Cubes in Air Fryer Basket: Place the tofu cubes in one single layer in your air fryer basket so the cubes don’t touch each other. (Do not overcrowd your air fryer basket as the tofu needs the space for the hot air crisp it up on all sides. Depending on the size of your air fryer basket, you may need to do this in 2 batches.)
- Cook Tofu Nuggets: For tofu that’s lightly golden outside but still soft inside, cook for 10 to 12 minutes and toss halfway through. For crispy air fryer tofu nuggets, cook for 14 to 15 minutes and toss halfway through (this will result in a slightly chewier inside).
Tofu: I recommend using extra-firm tofu in this air fryer tofu nuggets recipe so that the tofu pieces keep their shape (softer tofu may disintegrate while cooking).
Why Press Tofu: Pressing tofu helps to remove some of the moisture and makes it easier to cook with, as too much moisture may result in a bland mushy texture. In particular, where you want tofu to keep its shape while cooking, pressing the tofu before cooking helps the tofu absorb more of the marinate later on, and to crisp up better on the outside.
Do Not Overcrowd The Air Fryer Basket: Make sure you leave space between each tofu cube so they are not touching. This will ensure that they cook evenly on all sides, and that they crisp well and turn a nice golden brown on every side. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the tofu in 2 different batches, but it’s totally worth the effort.
Seasonings: This air fryer tofu nuggets recipe is meant to be a very basic and simple tofu, so the seasonings used are simple: sesame oil, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. The idea is that you can later add sauces over (such as Teriyaki sauce) or for dipping in sauces like gluten-free soy sauce or tamari, or homemade sriracha. If you prefer to eat the tofu directly without any additional sauces (such as in a salad or in a poke bowl), you can try marinating it in gluten-free soy sauce (tamari), garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and ginger powder for at least 15 minutes or even overnight. Cooking method is the same.
To Accompany: I like serving the air fryer tofu nuggets with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, spring onions, and a side of gluten-free soy sauce (tamari). However, feel free to serve it with chopped cilantro and sriracha chili sauce if you prefer.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Air Fryer
- Cuisine: Asian
Keywords: air fryer tofu nuggets