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close up of crispy tofu

Beginner’s Guide to How to Cook Tofu: Baked, Air Fryer, or Sautè

  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 35
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Category: Main meal
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Learn how to make crispy tofu with 3 different easy methods: baked, airy fried, and sautéed! No cornstarch needed!


  • 1 16-ounce block extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup  cup (60 mL) soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • Cooking oil, as needed.


  1. Prep: First, make sure that the tofu is drained. Begin this process at least 30 minutes prior to baking the tofu. You’ll drain the package of tofu, then wrap the tofu tightly in paper towel. Place the tofu on a plate, followed by another heavy plate or a cookbook on top. Leave the tofu to be pressed for 30 minutes.
  2. Slice: Preheat the oven to 415F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the tofu in half lengthwise then into 1 inch cubes.
  3. Toss: In a bowl, toss the tofu with the soy sauce, rice vinegar, avocado oil, garlic powder, onion powder, optional ginger powder, and black pepper if desired.  Marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. Toss in the arrowroot starch: Spread the tofu onto the baking sheet, and toss in the arrowroot starch.
  5. Bake: Bake the tofu for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy, flipping the pieces of tofu about halfway through the cooking time. Remove from the oven once baked. For air-frying and sautéing, see blog post for instructions!
  6. Serve: Place the tofu into a serving bowl, or use in a recipe as desired. Serve warm. Enjoy!


Gluten free: Ensure that you’re using tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos for gluten free tofu.

Keywords: how to cook tofu, how to make crispy tofu, crispy tofu, how to cook tofu in an air fryer, how to bake tofu, how to prepare tofu