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How to Make Crispy Tofu in the Air-Fryer, Oven, or On the Stovetop

Learning how to make crispy tofu is easy with a sustainable chef's top tips. Use these steps to make a mouth-watering batch.

Written by
Stephanie Osmanski

If you've tried cooking tofu, you probably already know how difficult it can be to get it perfectly crispy. Because it's typically packaged in water and is loaded with moisture, there are some important steps you need to take in order to get that delicious tofu crunch.

Luckily, Gia Stanley, the sustainable chef behind Sustainably Gia, is a total pro and is sharing all her secrets on how to make crispy tofu.

"If you've ever struggled with getting your tofu crispy and firm, I feel you and I’m here to help,” she wrote. "In just three steps, you'll have tasty, crispy tofu to add to salads, veggie bowls, or to dip in your favorite sauce."

Contrary to popular belief, tofu isn't destined to be wet, boring, and soggy. It's actually something you can transform into a wide range of mouth-watering plant-based dishes, from sesame "chicken" to buffalo wings. Here's how to make crispy tofu you'll want to eat all the time.

How to Make Crispy Tofu

What You’ll Need:

Avocado oil
Clean kitchen cloth


1. Remove any excess moisture from the tofu. Do this by wrapping the tofu in a clean kitchen cloth. Then, stack a couple pots or pans on top. This will help press the water out. The more moisture you get out of the tofu, the crispier it will be. (Just don't squish it in the process!)

2. Cut your tofu into bite-sized cubes.

3. In a hot pan, sear the tofu in 1 to 2 tablespoons of avocado oil for a few minutes. You’ll want a few sides of the tofu to look golden brown.

4. After searing, transfer the tofu to a baking sheet, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 350°F.

5. Dunk the crispy tofu in your favorite sauce, add it to a salad, or mix it into a veggie bowl. The options are endless.

Have an air-fryer? Learning how to make crispy tofu is even easier! After Step 2, put your tofu in the air fryer. Set the air fryer to 400°F and cook for 10 minutes, or until it's perfectly crispy. You can also give it a nice shake halfway through.

How to Store Crispy Tofu

Now that you know how to make crispy tofu, how do you store it? If you don't finish it all in one sitting, you can certainly save it for later.

Cooked tofu will last 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator. The key is putting it in an airtight container without the sauce. (If you store it with the sauce, you can say goodbye to the crispiness you just worked so hard to achieve.) Instead, store any sauce separately and slather it immediately before eating.

Once you're ready to munch on those leftovers, try lightly pan-frying, air-frying, or baking the tofu in the oven as opposed to microwaving it. This will help maintain that satisfying crunch. Cooked tofu can also be stored in the freezer for longer periods of time.

Of course, no matter how you cook, eat, or store it, tofu makes an excellent protein-packed meat substitute for anyone interested in plant-based eating.