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Air Fryer Turmeric Tofu

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Crispy and flavorful, this Air Fryer Turmeric Tofu is an immune system-boosting dish that’s easy to make as a weeknight dinner or quick lunch!

All you need is some extra firm tofu and a blend of savory spices to make it.

air fryer turmeric tofu on a white plate with white rice and broccoli

Why you will love this air fryer turmeric tofu recipe

Served over a bed of white rice with tender-crisp broccoli, this puts other tofu recipes to shame! A blend of warm spices coats every piece of crispy tofu.

I love making this when I want something healthy and filling that’s light on prep work and cleanup. It’s so easy to make and only takes 20 minutes from start to finish!

cubed tofu, spices, and olive oil in small ingredient bowls

Ingredients you will need

Extra-firm tofu: This will hold up better when coating with the spice blend, and results in a hearty finished product with a nice amount of bite to it.

Spices: I recommend a blend of turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, cumin, salt, and black pepper.

Olive oil: You could also use avocado oil or another neutral oil of your choosing, but olive oil is one I always have on hand guaranteed!

steps for how to make turmeric tofu

How to make air fryer tofu

  1. Press the tofu. Remove the tofu from its package and use a heavy plate or tofu press to squeeze out all of the moisture. Let it press for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Slice tofu. Once properly pressed, cut the block of tofu into 4 thinner blocks, then cut the tofu slices into 2-inch cubes.
  3. Make the seasoning. In a mixing bowl, combine the olive oil with the turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  4. Season the tofu. Add the cubed tofu to the large bowl and carefully toss it in the seasoning mixture until all pieces are well and evenly coated.
  5. Air fry the tofu. Arrange the tofu in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry for 10 minutes, stirring or shaking halfway through.
  6. Assemble bowls and enjoy! I like to serve my turmeric tofu over top of some fluffy rice with broccoli, soy sauce, and a sesame seed garnish. You could also add some sliced green onions or a dash of hot sauce.

Do you have to press tofu before air frying?

Pressing tofu is crucial for the best results! If there’s too much moisture in the tofu, it will end up soggy.

Pressing the tofu will ensure it gets nice and firm with a crisp outside. And you don’t have to have any special equipment to press plain tofu.

How to press tofu

Basically, you’ll want to place the block of tofu on a paper towel-lined plate, cover with another paper towel, and place something heavy on top.

This could be a plate, a large skillet, or whatever you have handy. Press down to get things started, then let gravity do the rest! You may need to add additional items like canned food to ensure there’s enough weight.

Or, if you’re a big fan of tofu and make it often, you could use a tofu press. This handy tool perfectly fits a block of tofu, and many of them have latches or bands that apply constant pressure for easy and reliable tofu pressing.

turmeric tofu in an air fryer basket with chopsticks and broccoli on the side

Why isn’t my tofu crispy?

This could be a result of not pressing out enough of the moisture, or not allowing the air fryer to preheat.

You’ll want it to be hot so the tofu starts frying the second you add it in; this will prevent sogginess and ensure a nice firm inside with a crispy exterior.

Is tofu better pan fried or air fried?

In my experience, air frying tofu is the way to go! The circulation of heat in an air fryer is better for even and thorough cooking.

Plus, it’s hands-off compared to pan frying, which requires constant attention and flipping to prevent burning and ensure you get that golden crust on all sides of your tofu cubes.

How to store tofu

Allow any leftover tofu to cool, then transfer to an airtight container or plastic bag and store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

If you’re not planning to eat it in this time frame you can keep it in the freezer for a month or so, but air fryer turmeric tofu is really better enjoyed right after cooking.

a metal spatula serving air fried tofu

How to reheat tofu

Heat up your air fryer between 375 and 400 degrees F to get that nice crispy exterior back.

Add the tofu and cook for a couple of minutes, until it’s heated through and the outsides are nice and crisp again.

WANT TO TRY THIS AIR FRYER TURMERIC TOFU RECIPE?

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air fryer turmeric tofu close up on a plate
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5 from 2 votes

Air Fryer Turmeric Tofu

Flavorful and healthy, this Air Fryer Turmeric Tofu is an immune system-boosting dish that's easy to make as a weeknight dinner or quick lunch!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer tofu, turmeric tofu
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 420kcal

Ingredients

  • 24 ounce extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

For serving

  • white rice
  • steamed broccoli
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce

Instructions

  • Remove the tofu from the packaging and place it on a plate covered with two paper towels or a clean dish towel. Add another plate on the top and gently press down to extract any extra moisture from the tofu.
    It's best to let it sit for about 30 minutes if you can to make sure all the liquid gets released, switching out the towels as necessary. You can also use a tofu press to speed up the process!
  • Once the moisture has been expelled from the tofu, slice it lengthwise into four flat pieces, then cut each piece into a 2 inch cubes.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF.
  • Mix together olive oil, turmeric powder, garlic powder, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, ground black pepper and kosher salt in a small bowl. Place the tofu cubes in a medium sized mixing bowl and carefully toss them in the seasoned oil mixture, making sure that each cube is well-coated.
  • Place the tofu cubes in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown, tossing halfway through. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 597mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 440mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is approximate and was calculated using a recipe nutrition label generator.

Tried this recipe?I’d love to see your dish, mention @jzeats or tag #jzeats!

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Oh yum! Definitely perfect for a weeknight dinner. That texture sounds absolutely amazing with the help of the air fryer.

  2. 5 stars
    Loved the turmeric on this tofu recipe. It was such a great idea and made a delicious lunch. It was perfect over rice, thanks Jordan!

5 from 2 votes

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