Air Fried Tofu Cubes tossed in a Chinese Style Sauce

Air fried tofu with rice and greens

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? 😊

You’re probably wondering what on earth I’m talking about, right? Well I had this pack of tofu sitting in my fridge and the use by date was creeping up on me, day by day. Yes, you know it, finally the day comes when you just have to use it or bin it! In my case, this pretty much always results in me using it (I hate wasting anything!), but often the final dish is a little mediocre – and that’s being kind!

I need to plan better, but not with this blinder of a dish that just came to me while I was staring at the tofu on its expiry morning!

But isn’t tofu bland?

So the tofu was there clearly, but I also knew that Mr S is not a fan…he thinks tofu is on the bland side. I see where he is coming from but come on, all it needs is a few spices and its flavour is elevated to that of certain types of fish!

So then Mr S says the texture is just not exciting. Hmm…well with this dish, prepare to retract that statement baby, because this dish is textured up to the nines PLUS the flavour meter is OFF – THE – SCALE!!

Cubes of air fried tofu in a chinese style sauce

What about the texture and isn’t it a Processed Food?

I get it, tofu is not the first protein choice for many people – but why is that? It could just be because a lot of us don’t know how to treat it properly. Yes, when it comes out of that packet, it’s wet, it’s bland, it’s processed. Let’s deal with these in turn…

  1. Tofu comes in packets – it’s sealed to avoid bacteria contaminating it, so when it’s opened, it needs to be eaten within a day or two. It is packed with water, to prevent it from drying out and losing its texture. But when prepping it you need to eliminate this excess water by PRESSING it. There are gadgets for this on Amazon, but I just put it on a kitchen towel, on a chopping board and then put another board on top. Then I place a heavy pan on top to add some extra weight so that more water can be pressed out. Leave for 30 minutes, and you’re good to go!
  2. It’s bland – well ok let’s see, if you don’t season chicken or anything really, then it’s bland. You need to add some flavour in the shape of herbs and spices to most dishes and tofu is no exception. So do it, get that salt out and the rest of your spices, and get busy! 😊
  3. It is processed – yes, technically I suppose you could say tofu is processed. I mean it’s not whole soybeans, is it? That said, it’s also not a food that’s been processed to within an inch of its life. Essentially it’s just soybeans and a coagulating agent – two things, that’s it. Hardly what we would call processed in this day and age, right? It’s not ultra processed, it’s just not the raw product.
Raw tofu

Want to read more about it?

For more about tofu I would recommend this guide by One Green Planet. It explains tofu to those who might not think it’s for them. Believe it or not, the writer actually started out hating it!

So back to my dish. I guarantee it’s not bland! It has oodles of texture, because of that super crispy coating. But it also has a fabulous flavour because of the kicking sauce. I serve it with rice and some gorgeous stir fried greens but obviously it goes great with noodles too or just on its own! Oh and I forgot to mention, it’s vegan too! Woo hoo! 👌🏼

Stir fried broccoli, asparagus and courgettes with sesame seeds

Tips for my Air Fryer Tofu

Just a few quick tips:

I put the flour mix ingredients in a bag and then add the tofu cubes to it before gently shaking. This coats the cubes without breaking them – try it, but obviously the bowl method is a fine alternative.

I also use garlic and onion powder but have used grated garlic before with no issues. If you can’t find onion powder, you could use blitzed fried onions or just leave them out.

Finally, if you like a bit of spice, then by all means add some chilli powder – whether I do or not depends on if the kids are eating too!

Check it out and let me know what you think. Can’t wait to see your smiles! If you do like it and want to try another tofu dish, why not check out my Vegetarian Red Thai Curry with Tofu – it’s another taste sensation!

Cubes of air fried tofu in a chinese style sauce

Air Fired Tofu in a Chinese Style Sauce

Air fried is the new thing – for me at least. This tofu really benefits from it, just check out that crispiness!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Mains
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 block tofu – medium firm or firm
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika or cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil or sesame oil
  • ½ tsp five spice powder
  • 1 inch piece ginger – grated
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • squeeze of lime

Instructions
 

  • First press the tofu using a tofu press or between two chopping boards. Leave for at least 30 minutes
  • Cut the tofu into 3cms cubes and set aside
  • In a large bowl or bag, mix together the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and five spice.
  • Add the tofu cubes to the bowl/bag and gently toss ensuring the tofu pieces are evenly covered.
    tofu cubes being tossed in flour mix
  • Air fry at 180C for 8 minutes. Shake the cubes around and then continue to air fry for a further 8 minutes.
    Air fried tofu cubes
  • Meanwhile, put the ingredients for the sauce (except the lime) into a pan and stir on a medium heat. When ready, add the lime and stir again.
  • Once the tofu is ready, arrange on a plate and pour the sauce over the top. Serve immediately.
    Cubes of air fried tofu in a chinese style sauce
Keyword Air fried chicken, Air fried tofu, Chinese style tofu, tofu, Tofu cubes
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