Welcome to another episode of OMG Air Fryers Are So Fun! I’m super late to the party; would you believe I held off on getting one all through quarantine?! I have been putting it through its paces the last few months though. And these Avocado read more
This has really been my summer of Air Fryer experimentation. I know I’m late to the party but I’m making up for lost time, and I was especially thrilled with this Air Fryer Tofu. Perfectly golden and crispy, and glazed with a delectably sweet and spicy sauce, this is a winner! And so easy to make too, so let’s get into it.
Making Air Fryer Tofu
I use firm tofu for this and I first remove excess moisture by pressing it in paper towels. I’m generally not a lover of extra firm tofu since it’s missing the pillowiness (is that even a word) and creamy flavor that I crave. But in this instance, firm tofu works better because there’s less moisture to interfere with the frying process. Plus it’s more sturdy and less likely to break apart when you flip over the pieces during the air-frying process.
Then I make a simple marinade with pantry staples that do double duty as a dipping sauce.
Then pour over the tofu, making sure the tofu pieces are coated with the sauce, and let them marinade an hour or two, or even overnight.
When I’m ready to cook the tofu, I reserve the marinade and then add some cornstarch to the tofu to help it really crisp up.
When the tofu is done, it will be golden brown and crispy. Since air fryers, like ovens, can vary in power, you will need to keep an eye on your tofu. If you see that the tofu is getting too dark, lower the heat.
While it’s in the air fryer, I quickly turn the reserved marinade into a syrupy dipping sauce. Cook the sauce for a couple of minutes until it is hot and bubbling. It’s pretty thick already so you will not need to reduce it.
I like to garnish with sesame seeds and some scallions.
This Air Fryer Tofu makes an excellent starter, or a fun protein packed snack. Make a double batch and use leftovers for grain bowls or a quick veggie stir fry. If you haven’t yet gotten into Air Frying, I give oven instructions in the notes. Make it this week and let me know what you think! And don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen; we love seeing your creations!
- 1 block firm tofu (about 14 ounces)
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 3 Tablespoons ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons mirin
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- Oil spray
- Scallions, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (I used a mix of white and black)
- Drain and wrap the tofu in a couple layers of paper towels. Gently press to eliminate excess water.
- Remove the paper towel and cut the tofu into bite size cubes, about 1 to 1 ½ inch squares.
- In a bowl, mix the sugar, ketchup, mirin, soy sauce, gochujang, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.
- Gently transfer the tofu cubes to a storage bag (or container) and add the sauce.
- Seal the bag, squeezing out the air, and gently move the marinade and tofu around, until all the cubes are coated evenly.
- Marinate for an hour or two (or overnight).
- Take the tofu out of the bag and gently place the cubes on a plate. Do not discard the marinade.
- Sprinkle the cornstarch over the tofu generously, flip the tofu, and sprinkle again to coat the other side.
- Spray the air fryer with a cooking spray and add the tofu cubes to the air fryer, leaving a little space between each piece. Spray the tofu with the oil spray.
- Set the air fryer to 400ºF and air fry for 9 to 11 minutes.
- Open the air fryer and gently flip the tofu a few times every 3 minutes or so, so they don’t stick to the bottom and also brown evenly. The tofu is ready when it’s golden brown.
- While the tofu is frying, pour the marinade into a small saucepan.
- Heat the sauce over medium high heat for a couple of minutes until hot and syrupy.
- Pour into a small sauce dish.
- Transfer the tofu to a plate and top with chopped scallions and sesame seeds. Serve Air Fryer Tofu immediately with the sauce on the side.
*You can also bake this tofu in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400. Put down a piece of parchment paper (which is less sticky than aluminum foil.) Spray your parchment paper with oil. Lay your prepared tofu on the paper and spray again with oil. Bake the tofu for 15-20 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through.
Keywords: tofu, vegan, air fryer, korean, gochujang, snacks, crispy
Sometimes you just need a crispy, crunchy snack. Instead of reaching for some overly processed, sodium laden bag of chips, try making a batch of these Burdock Chips. The crunch you crave, with the added bonus of all the nutrition benefits of burdock root. Full of prebiotic fiber and antioxidants and other anti-cancer properties, burdock root has been used for centuries to treat blood sugar issues. But you won’t think about that when you are grabbing another handful of these delightfully crispy chips. Making chips is a great way to introduce a veggie you may not have tried before, so let’s get into it.
Turning Burdock into Chips
Burdock is a long and skinny root vegetable, with a skin that’s similar to ginger’s. It’s best to scrape it off rather than using a peeler. I use the back of a knife, which is just sharp enough to take the skin off quickly. It’s important to have the vinegar water bath ready since the burdock root will start to oxidize and brown immediately. Soaking the root in a vinegar-water bath will help to keep it from discoloring.
Trim off the ends of the woody burdock, scrape the skin off with your knife (you can also use a vegetable scrub or the rough side of a clean sponge), and cut the burdock into 4 inch logs. Then immediately place the burdock into the vinegar water. Keep it in the vinegar water as much as possible while you are cutting it into slices, until you are ready to cook it.
You can cut the burdock using a couple of different methods. I used a knife and first sliced a thin sliver off of the log to stabilize the burdock root and to keep it from rolling around on the cutting board. Then it’s just a matter of slicing the burdock root as thinly as possibly. It’s important to try and keep the slices uniform so that they fry evenly. You do not want some chips to burn before the others are done frying.
If you prefer to use a peeler to get the thin strips, do not cut the burdock into logs. Instead, scrape off the skin 4 inches at a time and then hold the burdock over the bowl of water and peel long strips into the vinegar water.
Frying the Burdock Chips
These fry quickly, and in only one inch of oil. So it’s a great recipe to get more comfortable with frying. Also, the burdock flavors the frying oil and gives it a warm nutty flavor. Don’t throw out the oil! Use it for all of your cooking throughout the week. The mild flavor won’t clash with any other flavors.
When you first add the burdock root, the oil will bubble like crazy. But as the chips continue to fry, more of the the water from the burdock root will cook out and evaporate and there will be less bubbling. Keep frying until there are very few bubbles, which is a sign that the chips will be crispy. When the burdock chips are nicely browned and crisped, I remove them to a paper towel lined plate and salt them. I like a good, flakey salt for this.
Repeat this with the rest of the burdock root until you have a lovely pile of crunchy chips. There’s no shame in just devouring these on the couch. But, they also make an excellent side/topping. Try them with:
When you enjoy these burdock chips, take a moment to let me know what you think. Rate and comment on the recipe below, and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 8 ounces burdock root
- 2 Tablespoons vinegar (any kind is fine)
- 2 cups water
- Oil for deep frying
- Salt (any coarse salt will do-I used Maldon sea salt)
- Combine the vinegar and water in a bowl and set aside.
- Use either a clean vegetable scrub or the back of your knife and scrub/scrape the skin from the burdock root.
- Cut the burdock root into 4” pieces and place the burdock root into the vinegar water.
- Using your knife, slice a thin sliver off the burdock root to keep it from rolling around on the cutting board. Then, slice the burdock root lengthwise into thin ribbons, about 1/16” thick.
- Place the ribbons into the vinegar water and continue slicing, putting the ribbons back into the water as quickly as possible.
- Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium heat to about 325 degrees.
- Drain the burdock root and pat dry with some paper towels.
- Dip one ribbon of burdock root into the oil to test the heat. It should sizzle immediately. Carefully lower one large handful of burdock root into the oil.
- Use a pair of chopsticks or tongs to swish the burdock, separating the pieces.
- Fry for 2-3 minutes until the burdock chips are crispy and lightly browned. When you first add the burdock root, the oil will furiously bubble. As the chips fry, the water from the burdock will leach out and evaporate. The chips will start to dry out and the oil will bubble less and less. By the time the chips are fully fried and crisp, there will be very little bubbling.
- Use a strainer or spider and scoop the chips onto a paper towel lined plate or bowl and sprinkle with salt while hot.
- Continue frying, draining, and salting until all of the burdock has been fried.
- Serve the burdock chips immediately.
*You can also use a peeler to slice the burdock root. First scrape the skin off in 4-5 inch section. Then hold the burdock root over the bowl of vinegar water and use the peeler to slice the burdock root lengthwise into thin ribbons. Have the ribbons drop into the vinegar water immediately to keep them from discoloring. Drain and blot the burdock root with paper towels right before frying.
Keywords: burdock, gobo chips, burdock root, snacks