This Air Fryer Pickle Brined Tofu is crispy, savory and super fast & easy to make! Great to snack on, toss over a salad or even as an easy vegan burger swap!
I'm obsessed with my air fryer and I'm obsessed with this pickle brined tofu. Are you an air fryer lover? I would imagine so if your here! If not, please, let this be more motivation for you to commit to the air fryer life. 🤩
The Air Fryer is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. I was one of those people who said I'd never get one because it's "just another appliance" and it's "too big for the counter top." Well, it was just over two years ago, that I got a second hand one to borrow and just try out.... and I never returned it. (sorry Mom!) 😂
So, here we are. Deep in the air fryer world and super happy to be here. Especially 'cause this easy, delicious Pickle Brined Tofu lives here. It's so simple and versatile, any pickle lover will be completely infatuated.
Packing the flavor into this Quick Pickle Brined Tofu
Tofu is the perfect canvas to soak up any flavor of your choice and pickle juice is the perfect flavor punch to jam in there. It's salty, savory and a really great way to use up the left over juice of your favorite pickles once they're all gone. So save those juices!
You can throw it together pretty fast. But for the best result you're gonna want to do a little (very simple) prep work.
Step One- Press your extra firm tofu. If you have a tofu press, use that. I (somewhat embarrassingly) do not. What I do to press my tofu, is to simply wrap it in a clean kitchen towel and grab a few of my cookbooks and place on top. Let it press for at least 15 minutes, or longer if you aren't in a rush. Pressing the tofu removes the water (obviously), which gives the tofu the ability to soak up even more pickle-y flavor.
Step Two- Marinate your tofu. After your tofu is pressed, slice it however you'd like. Thicker "patties" for burgers are great, or simply slice into ½ inch rectangles as pictured. Then cover your tofu with pickle juice to marinate. Try to completely cover the tofu in the juices. If unable to cover it, just give it a quick toss once in a while so that all the tofu gets marinated.
Tofu should marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes, but can marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours. The longer, the more pickle flavor you'll pack in there. This is great to prep the night before if you want a really pickle-y flavored tofu!
Air Fryer Crispy Pickle Brined Tofu
While your tofu is marinating you can prep your simple breading. Toss panko bread crumbs and ALL the spices (think garlic, onion & dill) into a small blender and process to a coarse flour.
Quickly blending the breading incorporates all the spices really well while also getting the best texture for a slightly crispy and delicious coating that's perfect for the air fryer.
Grab those tofu slices, let drip dry and then lightly press both sides into the breading and add to the air fryer! You can give them a light coating of oil spray to help them brown, but I personally don't feel it's very necessary.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! It's so versatile I can't wait to try it every different way I can think of... burgers, dipping sticks, cubes, salads... it's too exciting. Please leave a comment below if you give it a try and let me know how it goes!!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating below! Take a picture and tag me on Instagram @samcookskindness !
Looking for some more fast Air Fryer recipes??
Air Fryer Crispy Pickle-Brined Tofu
- 1 block extra firm tofu 14 oz drained and pressed
- ½ cup pickle juice of choice
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs I use the whole wheat variety
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- oil spray optional to help crisp and brown breading
- Marinate Tofu- Slice pressed tofu into shape of choice (¾ inch thick slices work well for sandwiches). Add sliced tofu to a container and cover in pickle juice. Let marinade for at least 30 minutes. Note- if you do not have enough pickle juice to cover the tofu, just gently toss or mix up juice occasionally so all tofu gets marinated.
- Prepare breading- In a small bullet style blender (or similar), quickly blend together all breading ingredients except oil spray. Mixture should look like a coarse flour.
- Dredge the Tofu- Put breading ingredients into a shallow plate or bowl. Remove tofu from marinade and allow to briefly drip dry, one piece at a time. Dip each piece in breading on both sides and place directly into air fryer in one layer. Do not overlap the tofu. You may need to do this in batches, depending on size of air fryer.
- Cook Tofu- Air fry tofu at 400° for 8 minutes, carefully flip and cook another 8 minutes until crispy and golden. If needed continue in batches until all tofu is cooked.
- Enjoy as you please, like on a bun or sandwich, salad or just as a snack or main dish!
After working at a Chinese food restaurant I really fell in love with tofu and this recipe really helps me bring that same love to my picky girlfriend who loves pickles! Any new recipe that helps more people see how versatile and delicious tofu can be is a good one as far as I'm concerned, especially one so simple yet SO filling.
Thank you, Rose, for such great feedback! I love that this helped your girlfriend enjoy tofu as much as you!!