Air Fryer Spicy Tofu is cubes of crispy tofu coated in a tasty sweet chili sauce. Serve over rice for the perfect meatless main course that’s packed with flavor, protein and nutrients! Best of all? This recipe is ready in just 25 minutes!

Do you ever go through kicks with your meals? For example, you try something, it turns out SO good, and then you start making it over and over again, on repeat.

That’s what happened with this spicy tofu. I was experimenting with my air fryer tofu recipe and wanted to create a new tasty sauce to pair with it. We ended up enjoying this dish for dinner and have been loving it ever since.

Aside from being super tasty, it’s satisfying, a great source of plant-based protein and easy to make. I also love that I can have a delicious dinner on the table in under 30 minutes with minimal mess or clean up. This spicy tofu is a total game changer!!

using chopsticks to grab a cube of spicy tofu

Ingredients needed:

This tofu recipe is made with simple ingredients and packed with flavor thanks to a simple sweet chili sauce! Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Tofu

  • Extra firm tofu. Be sure to use “extra firm”. This ensures that it will hold together in the air fryer and become crisp, instead of crumbly. 
  • Olive oil + soy sauce. Helps the cornstarch stick to the tofu. Olive oil adds richness and soy sauce adds flavor. 
  • Cornstarch. This is the trick to making the tofu extra crispy! 

For the Sweet Chili Sauce 

  • Sweet chili sauce. Adds a bit of sweetness and a bit of spice to the sauce – trust me, it’s delicious! 
  • Soy sauce. Adds great umami flavor to the sauce. 
  • Water. For thinning out the sauce, so it doesn’t turn into one big clump. 
  • Sesame oil. Gives the sauce a wonderful toasty, nutty flavor. 
  • Garlic powder + ground ginger. So much delicious flavor! Feel free to use grated garlic and grated ginger, if you have those on hand. 
  • Cornstarch. To thicken the sauce slightly, so it clings to the tofu. 
white bowl filled with tofu

How to Make Spicy Tofu

This is an easy, yet super flavorful tofu recipe that comes together in under 30 minutes. Simply follow the steps below and you’ll have a delicious dinner in no time at all! Scroll down to the recipe card for the full printable recipe.

  1. Prep the tofu. Press the tofu according to THESE detailed directions. Next, cut it into ½” cubes and place them in a large bowl. 
  2. Coat the tofu. Drizzle over the olive oil and soy sauce and toss gently to combine. Add the cornstarch and toss to combine. Spray your air fryer basket with olive oil spray and add the tofu in a single layer, making sure not to overcrowd the basket. 
  3. Air fry tofu. Cook the tofu at 400ºF for 10 minutes. Then, remove it from the air fryer and place it in a large bowl.

You can totally make this spicy tofu recipe without an air fryer! Simply follow THESE directions and then use the sweet chili sauce from this spicy tofu recipe. 

How to Make Sweet Chili Sauce

While the tofu is cooking, you can make the sweet chili sauce. 

  1. Cook sauce. Place all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Cool. Allow the sauce to cool for 5 minutes or until it is no longer steaming. This will help prevent the tofu from becoming soggy. 
  3. Combine sauce with tofu. Toss the sauce with the tofu until each piece is evenly coated. 
  4. Serve. Enjoy the spicy tofu paired with rice with your choice of garnishes.  

Tips for Spicy Tofu

This spicy tofu recipe really is a breeze to make, but here are some tips to make sure you serve up delicious crispy tofu every time!

  • This dish is best served immediately, as the crispy coating will start to soften on the tofu when it soaks up the sauce. 
  • Be sure to cut your tofu in similar-sized cubes, so they cook evenly. I recommend cutting them into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • This is the air fryer that I use and highly recommend!
  • Looking to lower calories or carbs? Try serving this spicy tofu recipe over cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice!
spicy tofu served with chopsticks in a small white bowl with white rice

Once you try this spicy tofu, you won’t want to eat tofu any other way! It’s SO good! There is a little extra work to press your tofu, but the end results are well worth it.

More Tofu Recipes to Tr

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Air Fryer Spicy Tofu served with rice in a small bowl

Air Fryer Spicy Tofu


  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Air Fryer Spicy Tofu is cubes of crispy tofu coated in a tasty sweet chili sauce. Serve over rice for the perfect meatless main course that’s packed with flavor, protein and nutrients!


Ingredients

Scale

For the Tofu 

  • 1 block extra firm tofu* 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • ½ cup cornstarch 

For the Sweet Chili Sauce 

  • ⅓ cup sweet chili sauce 
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons water 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil 
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger 
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch 

Instructions

For the Tofu 

  1. Press the tofu according to THESE detailed directions.
  2. Slice the tofu into ½” cubes and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle over the olive oil and soy sauce and toss gently to combine. 
  3. Add the cornstarch and toss to combine. Spray your air fryer basket well with olive oil spray and add the tofu in a single layer, making sure now to overcrowd the basket. 
  4. Cook the tofu at 400ºF for 10 minutes. Then, remove it from the air fryer and place it in a large bowl. 

For the Sauce 

  1. While the tofu air fries, place all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat. 
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Allow the sauce to cool for 5 minutes or until it is no longer steaming. This will help prevent the tofu from becoming soggy. 
  4. Toss the sauce with the tofu until each piece is evenly coated. 
  5. Serve over rice with your choice of garnishes. This tofu is best enjoyed on the day it is made, as it tends to become soggy when stored. 

Notes

*Extra firm tofu ensures that it will hold together in the air fryer and become crisp instead of crumbly.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: spicy tofu, air fryer tofu