Air Fryer Salt and Pepper Tofu

I LOVE salt and pepper dishes from pork chop, shrimp, frog legs, squid, you name it! The one thing I haven’t tried was tofu so I knew I had to make it at home.

I wanted to keep it light and healthier so I air fried the tofu instead of deep frying it and it turned out so good! The usual way of making this dish is to deep fry the protein first, then stir fry it with the rest of the ingredients. I think the air fried tofu turned out fantastic and best of all, it’s guilt-free!

Air Fryer Salt and Pepper Tofu

Servings 4 people
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins


  • 16 oz firm tofu
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 1 long green pepper sliced
  • 1 thai chili pepper sliced
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Remove the tofu from the packaging and drain well. Wrap the tofu a paper towel or kitchen towel and set a heavy pan (such as a cast iron) on top. This will help remove excess water from the tofu. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  • While waiting for the tofu, heat a pan over medium low heat. Toast the ground black pepper for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Remove and set aside.
  • Next, toast the salt for 5 minutes or until it turns into a yellow-ish hue. Remove and mix with the toasted black pepper. Toasting the pepper and salt will accentuate the flavors.
  • In the same pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium low heat. Toss in the minced garlic and cook until light brown. Strain and set aside.
  • Take the tofu and cut it into small cubes. Season with 1/2 tsp of the toasted salt and pepper mixture and 1 tbsp of oil. Toss to make sure the tofu is fully coated. Add the cornstarch and toss again, making sure all the tofu cubes are coated.
  • Pre-heat the air fryer at 400F / 205C. Transfer the tofu onto the basket or tray. Make sure each tofu cube has enough space around – they should not be touching! Air fry for 12 minutes and flip half way through.
  • Heat the leftover oil from the garlic over medium heat. Add the scallion, long green pepper, and thai chili pepper. Cook for about 1 minute.
  • Toss in the air fried tofu, toasted garlic and season with the toasted salt and pepper mixture.
  • Stir fry and mix everything together. Serve and enjoy!
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Cantonese, Chinese

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