I tried air-frying tofu for National Vegetarian Week – and it was delicious

I tried air-frying tofu for National Vegetarian Week – and it was delicious

Ah, tofu. The staple of vegans and vegetarians everywhere, and one of the earliest and easiest ways of incorporating protein in a plant-based diet that didn’t involve just taking the meat out of whatever you’d ordered or crunching through a handful of nuts.

I inherited a Dreo 6-Quart Air Fryer this week, and after scrambling around my kitchen for something to test it with as my first recipe, I felt like the stars had aligned. This week (May 6-22) is National Vegetarian Awareness week in the UK, where I’m based; and what should I find in the barren, desolate wasteland that is my pantry? Two boxes containing different brands of tofu – one silky and soft, and one firmer and more spongy.

I was a vegetarian for five years back in the 2010s (followed by three years of pescetarianism) before I packed it in on account of some health issues, so I have a huge appreciation for those who commit to the lifestyle. 

While vegetarianism gained popularity during the 20th century, it predates the modern era by at least a couple of millenia. As early as the 6th century BC, early Jain and Buddhist sources practiced non-violence towards animals, as did the Ancient Greeks in the teachings of Pythagoras – although recent findings suggest that as far back as 4,000 years ago, Ancient Egyptians may have practiced vegetarianism for religious reasons.

Tofu, meanwhile, dates back to the Chinese Han dynasty around 2,000 years ago, with its rise in popularity largely being attributed to its high-protein nature coinciding with the spread of Buddhism. 

In my days of meatlessness, meat alternatives weren’t as ubiquitous as they are now, and often came with a pretty significant price tag, so me and tofu became intimately acquainted pretty quickly. 

However, it’s not always the easiest food to deal with. One of my favorite things to do with tofu is to crisp it up and toss it into a rice or noodle dish such as ramen, but you can often find yourself with clumpy, cornflour-coated chunks of uncooked tofu if you’re not giving it your full attention while it’s in the pan – and I’m not known for my patience or attentiveness. 

So, while my Dreo doesn’t rank as one of Epblogs best air fryers, the idea of frying tofu in it filled me with excitement. After researching tips and tricks for air frying tofu online, here’s what I found when I gave it a try…

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