This Five Spice Tofu is a great topping for congee or rice bowls, a flavourful filling for bao or sandwiches, or just for snacking on. It’s super easy and quick to make in an air fryer. Bake it in the oven if you don’t have an air fryer; it just takes a bit longer and the texture’s a bit different.
This Crunchy Five Spice Tofu is:
- crunchy (duh!),
- flavourful with a mix of sweet, tangy and savory,
- a great source of protein, and
- super quick to make!
TATER TOT NACHOS! // WHAT I ATE VEGAN #79 + MY NEW AIR FRYER (video)
Watch me make Crunchy Five Spice Tofu at 0:41.
The trick to this recipe is squeezing the excess water out of your extra firm tofu before mixing it with marinade. Tofu is like a sponge, filled with tiny pockets that are filled with water. Put the tofu in a clean kitchen towel (choose a lint-free one) and squeeze it. The water will be forced out of the tofu, leaving those pockets with room to absorb the flavours in the marinade.
Then, transfer the tofu to your prepared air fryer and cook for 20 minutes. Depending on how large or small your tofu crumbles are, you will have super crunchy crumbs or hefty chunks that are crispy around the edges and tender on the inside.
Got a bunch of Chinese Five Spice Powder? Use it in these recipes:
Printable recipe for Air Fryer Crunchy Five Spice Tofu
- 1 12oz (350g) block extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Drain the tofu. Wrap it up in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze it to remove excess water. This will cause the tofu to crumble into chunks too. Add the tofu to the marinade and mix gently until all the marinade is absorbed. Drizzle the oil over the tofu and mix gently.
- Prepare your air fryer basket with some oil so that the tofu doesn't stick. Transfer the tofu to your air fryer basket and cook at 400°F (205°) for 20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway.
- You can bake this in the oven if you don't have an air fryer. Bake for 20 minutes at first, check on the tofu and bake for longer until it's as crispy as you desire.