The Tempeh Air Fryer Recipe: A Delicious And Healthy Culinary Adventure

tempeh air fryer recipe

Do you love the flavor and texture of tempeh, but find yourself looking for a new and exciting way to prepare it? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into the wonderful world of tempeh and explore the art of cooking it in an air fryer. Get ready to be amazed by the delectable results and the health benefits this cooking method offers!

Understanding Tempeh: The Science Behind It

Tempeh, a traditional Indonesian soy product, is made by fermenting cooked soybeans with a special mold called Rhizopus oligosporus. This fermentation process binds the soybeans together, forming a firm and dense cake-like structure. This unique cooking ingredient offers a rich nutty flavor and a hearty texture that makes it a favorite among vegetarians and meat lovers alike.

Apart from its delicious taste, tempeh is incredibly nutritious. It is an excellent source of plant-based protein, containing all the essential amino acids our bodies need for optimal health. Tempeh is also loaded with fiber, making it a great choice for digestive health and weight management. Additionally, it is rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and calcium, which are vital for overall well-being.

Selecting the Perfect Tempeh

When it comes to selecting tempeh for your air fryer recipe, there are a few key points to consider. Look for fresh tempeh that is firm, white, and free of any off odors. Check for the presence of a thin black or gray coating, which is a normal part of the fermentation process. Ideally, choose organic tempeh to ensure it is free from genetically modified soybeans and potential pesticide residues.

If you’re new to tempeh, start with a plain variety to fully appreciate its natural flavors and textures. However, seasoned tempeh is also available, which can add an extra punch of flavor to your air fryer creations. Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore the wide range of tempeh options available!

Cleaning and Preparing Your Air Fryer


Before diving into the cooking process, it’s crucial to have a clean and well-maintained air fryer. Regularly clean the basket and tray of your air fryer with warm soapy water to remove any residual oils or food particles. Ensure thorough drying before use to prevent any unwanted splattering or smoking during cooking.

Preparing the Tempeh for Air Frying: Marinating and Seasoning


To fully enhance the flavors of tempeh and ensure a delightful culinary experience, consider marinating or seasoning it before air frying. Marinating tempeh not only infuses it with added flavors but also helps tenderize it, making it more succulent.

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Choose your marinade based on your personal preferences. A classic marinade could include a combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic, and ginger. For a tangy twist, you could opt for a blend of lemon juice, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard. Let the tempeh absorb the marinade for at least 30 minutes or overnight for more intense flavors.

If you prefer a simpler approach, sprinkle your tempeh with various spices such as paprika, cumin, and smoked chili powder. Alternatively, a light dusting of salt and pepper can help to accentuate its natural flavors. Feel free to explore different seasoning combinations to truly make the dish your own!

Tips for Air Frying Tempeh to Perfection

close up view of air fried tempeh

Air frying tempeh is a quick and easy process that allows you to achieve a crispy exterior while maintaining a tender and moist interior. Follow these tips to ensure your tempeh turns out amazing every time:

  1. Preheat your air fryer: This step is essential to ensure even cooking and optimal results.
  2. Cut tempeh into desired shapes: Whether you prefer strips, cubes, or triangles, ensure your tempeh pieces are of even size to ensure consistent cooking.
  3. Lightly coat tempeh with oil: A thin coat of oil will help promote browning and add extra crispiness to your tempeh.
  4. Arrange tempeh in a single layer: Overcrowding the air fryer basket will result in uneven cooking and less crispy tempeh. Give each piece ample room to breathe!
  5. Flip tempeh midway through cooking: To achieve a golden brown exterior on all sides, flip the tempeh halfway through the cooking process.

Checking for Doneness and Achieving the Perfect Tempeh Texture

close up view of air fried tempeh

To ensure your tempeh is cooked to perfection, follow these guidelines for checking doneness:

  1. Color: Cooked tempeh should have a rich golden brown color on the outside.
  2. Texture: The tempeh should be firm and crispy on the outside while remaining tender and moist on the inside.
  3. Internal temperature: Use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the tempeh. It should read around 160°F (71°C) for optimal food safety.

Tempeh Air Fryer Recipe: Soy-Infused Delight

Now that you’re well-versed in the art of air frying tempeh, it’s time to explore a delicious recipe that will truly showcase the potential of this fantastic ingredient. Prepare yourself for a mouthwatering soy-infused delight with this easy-to-follow recipe!


  • 1 block of fresh tempeh
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (low-sodium if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
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  1. Cut the tempeh block into desired shapes like strips or cubes.
  2. In a shallow dish, whisk together soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil, minced garlic, and grated ginger to create the marinade.
  3. Place the tempeh pieces in the marinade, ensuring each piece is fully coated with the flavorful mixture. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes or longer for enhanced flavors.
  4. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
  5. Lightly brush or spray the air fryer basket with oil to prevent sticking.
  6. Arrange the marinated tempeh pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded.
  7. Place the basket in the preheated air fryer and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Carefully flip the tempeh pieces using tongs or a spatula, then continue cooking for another 8-10 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  9. Once done, remove the tempeh from the air fryer and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Exploring Tempeh Air Fryer Variations

Now that you have mastered the basic technique of air frying tempeh, feel free to experiment and unleash your culinary creativity! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Spicy Sweet Tempeh: Add a kick to your tempeh by incorporating chili powder, cayenne pepper, or sriracha sauce into the marinade.
  2. Asian-inspired Tempeh: Experiment with a combination of soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, and rice vinegar for an umami-packed marinade.
  3. Herbed Tempeh: Incorporate fresh or dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano into the marinade to lend a delightful burst of flavor.
  4. Sweet and Tangy Tempeh: Combine pineapple juice, honey, lime juice, and a touch of soy sauce for a tropical twist.
  5. Crispy Tempeh Nuggets: Cut the tempeh into bite-sized nuggets, lightly coat them with breadcrumbs or crushed nacho chips, and air fry until crispy. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.


Congratulations! You are now armed with the knowledge of tempeh and the art of air frying it to perfection. The versatility, nutrition, and irresistible texture make tempeh a fantastic ingredient for a wide range of culinary adventures. Try our soy-infused tempeh recipe or explore your own tasty creations using the tips and variations mentioned above. Embrace the tempeh revolution and revolutionize your air frying experience with this healthy and delicious option!

Remember, the possibilities are endless, and the joy of cooking lies in experimenting and creating unique dishes. So, gather your ingredients, fire up your air fryer, and let your culinary journey begin! Enjoy every crunchy, flavorful bite of tempeh goodness, and share your newfound obsession with family and friends. Happy cooking!

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  • FAQS On Tempeh Air Fryer Recipe

    What Is Tempeh?

    Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian soy-based food made from fermented soybeans that have been bound together into a firm cake. It is a rich source of plant-based protein and is a popular alternative to meat.

    What Is An Air Fryer?

    An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that uses hot air to cook food. It circulates the air around the food at high speed, creating a crispy texture similar to deep-frying, but using little to no oil.

    Can You Make Tempeh In An Air Fryer?

    Yes, tempeh can be cooked in an air fryer. It is a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods and can result in a crispy and delicious result.

    Why Should I Try Using An Air Fryer For My Tempeh Recipes?

    Using an air fryer can help reduce the amount of oil and fat used in cooking, making it a healthier option. It also cooks food faster and can result in a crispy texture without the need for deep frying.

    Are There Any Tips For Getting The Best Results When Cooking Tempeh In An Air Fryer?

    To get the best results, it is recommended to slice the tempeh into thin strips, brush with a small amount of oil, and cook at a high temperature (around 375°F) for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Adding seasoning or marinade can also enhance the flavor.

    Can I Use Frozen Tempeh In An Air Fryer?

    While it is possible to use frozen tempeh in an air fryer, it is recommended to thaw it first. This allows for better seasoning and more even cooking.

    What Are Some Recipe Ideas For Tempeh In An Air Fryer?

    Some recipe ideas include tempeh stir fry, tempeh tacos, tempeh kebabs, or even cheesy tempeh sticks. The options are endless and can be customized to your taste preferences.