Marinated tofu is great, but getting tofu to in fact take up marinades is trickier than it appears to be. If you want the taste to get all the way within, you have to get warmth concerned someway, irrespective of whether that’s in the sort of a dip in boiling salty h2o, or by pan-frying, baking, or my new favorite pre-marinade approach: Air-frying.
Chilly, raw tofu rejects marinades since of its high h2o content material and very low porosity. It will ultimately suck up a marinade, but generally on the surface, and only following a prolonged, very long time (assume a few of days). Par-cooking it speeds up the system by driving out some of that drinking water, leaving additional area for seasonings. For proof, look no more than the Superiority Burger crispy fried tofu sandwich, which employs an first pan-fry to pressure the tofu cutlets to take in a marinade made from pickle brine, warm sauce, and Dijon mustard. I’ve used this approach to terrific effect for decades, but I have to say, air frying is each less difficult and improved: It’s hands-off, super effective, and definitely lets you play all around with the texture.
There’s no single perfect way to air fry your tofu the specific technique you use is dependent on what kind of textural knowledge you’re after. Craving a thing super slim and crispy, virtually bacon-like? Slice agency tofu into 1/4-inch slim slabs, toss with a lot of oil, and air-fry at 450F for 3-5 minutes a aspect. Or, for a thing on the reverse conclude of the texture spectrum, dice smooth (or even silken) tofu, skip the oil, and air-fry at 350F for 20-30 minutes until eventually organization and totally dry on the surface. It will flip out nearly like paneer or queso fresco in texture, ready to take in lemon juice and salt for the best vegan saag paneer.
Those are just two of quite a few instructions you can go with your air-fried tofu. Finally, as long as you’re intentional about your system, you can use this method to prep any kind of tofu, slice into any dimension, and get just the end result you want. Just try to remember: For a crispy area, oil the tofu and use higher heat for a drier floor with no true crunch, skip the oil and lower the warmth for a thing in among, participate in all-around with the amount of money of oil and the temperature until you get particularly what you want. Even if you really do not nail it on the to start with go, you are even now assured to get a firmer, sturdier piece of tofu that is all set to take up whatsoever flavorings you like.
The ultimate step in this prep course of action is, of program, the marinade. No subject which recipe you choose, for the absolute best absorption, I strongly suggest heating the marinade up to a simmer and pouring it in excess of your tofu the second it will come out of the air fryer. (Very hot tofu moreover sizzling marinade equals most absorption in minimal time.) Then, let it neat to area temperature, include, and refrigerate. Whether or not you’re pan-frying it, throwing it on the grill, or dredging it for a whole-on deep-fry, you’re in for the most flavorful tofu of your lifestyle.