Air fryer tofu (popcorn nuggets)

Try cooking tofu in an air fryer. Coated in breadcrumbs flavoured with garlic and paprika, enjoy it as a snack with your favourite dip or to accompany a main meal

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:30 mins
    plus 30 mins-24 hrs pressing
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 44
  • fat 1g
  • saturates 0.3g
  • carbs 5g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 3g
  • salt 0.32g


  • 1 block extra-firm tofu
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 1½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 125ml milk
  • 75g panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tbsp bouillon powder


  1. Wrap the tofu in a clean tea towel, then put it on a large plate with a lip. Put a heavy item such as a frying pan on top and then add cans or jars to add weight. Leave for 30 mins. The tofu should shrink in size and release its liquid. Can be pressed for 24 hrs in advance.

  2. Cut the tofu into 3cm squares or rip into chunks. Put into a bowl and toss with 1 tbsp flour and 1 tsp paprika. Set aside. Combine the remaining flour, Dijon mustard and milk in a bowl. Whisk if it gets a little lumpy and set aside. Mix together the breadcrumbs, garlic granules, bouillon and ½ tsp paprika in another bowl, then tip onto a tray.

  3. Heat the air fryer to 190C. Dip each piece of tofu into the milk mixture, coat in the seasoned breadcrumbs, then put on a plate or tray. Continue until all the tofu is coated. Put a layer of tofu in the bottom of your air fryer basket (you may have to cook in batches) and cook for 12-15 mins, until cooked through and golden. Remove and set aside. Repeat for the remaining batches.

  4. Lower the heat to 160C. Return all of the cooked tofu popcorn to the air fryer and warm through for 2-3 mins, taking care not to burn the pieces. Serve as a snack with your favourite dipping sauce or as a side dish to your mains.

Suggested recipes from this collection...