December 16, 2023
Tofu Bits like Bacon Bits. I love the idea of something tiny and crunchy in my salad and fried rice, but I don't eat meat. I began to wonder if I could get that same texture and mouth feel from tofu without deep frying. I did it! This recipe is simple, versatile, and totally worth making. My guess is that you'll make it once and again in the same week.
The key is to start with firm or extra firm tofu and to slice it extra small. I slice and dice it down to 1/2-inch cubes. There's no need to press and remove extra water, again as long as it is firm/extra firm. Another tip is to separate the pieces before cooking. Sometimes pieces are not completely cut through. This can result in the tofu clumping during cooking and not crisping up on all sides. While you don't want to overcrowd the Air Fryer basket, don't worry if the pieces touch a bit. When you shake the basket during cooking they will pull apart (as long as they are cut through) and crisp up nicely for you. I only season the tofu with salt, as I prefer a bland taste profile so I can save the seasoning for my dish. Feel free to add any seasoning you would like from garlic salt to an Indian chaat masala.
Once cooked and cooled, I keep the tofu in a glass jar in my fridge and dole them out into my fried rice, on my salads, in soups, over ramen, and even just pop them into my mouth as a quick snack. They have been a huge hit in my house even with my Aussie, Oliver. He is oddly into these tofu bits! But, then again, he's a dog very much motivated by his food. Aren't we all?
Air Fryer: Tofu Bits
1 16 oz. container firm or extra-firm tofu
1. Remove the tofu from the container. There is no need to press, but be sure to drain away any excess water. On a large cutting board, slice the tofu into 1/2-inch wide slices - about 8. Then, slice each piece down into 1/2-inch cubes. Work carefully so they are all generally the same size. This help cook them more evenly.
2. Spray the tofu lightly with the oil and sprinkle lightly with the salt. Add any other spices you want to use in this step.
3. Spray the Air Fryer basket lightly with oil. If the basket is removable, spray it over the sink so that that the excess oil does not collect in the very bottom of your Air Fryer.
4. Working in batches, carefully place the tofu in the basket in a single layer. It's helpful to use a pastry scraper or large chef's knife to more easily scrape up the tofu and transfer it to the basket.
5. Cook at 390 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Remove the basket, give it a shake, and then cook for another 5 minutes. The total cook time is 15 minutes. Pour the tofu into a bowl to cool and enjoy.
Stay tuned for my delicious Fried Rice with Tofu Bits recipe!
Here's my salad this week with tofu bits and fenugreek sprouts. I hope this inspires you to ramp it up in your kitchen especially in the holiday season.
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