The Best Chinese Recipes to Cook in the Air Fryer

Do you catch yourself dreaming about foods from your favorite local (or not so local) Chinese restaurant? What if you could make some of those delicious dishes right from home?

“But that involves deep frying stuff and it’s a big ‘ol messy process!” you’re thinking. Screw the deep fryer! (Not literally. Don’t do that.)

If you’ve got an air fryer, you’ve got an easier AND healthier way to make your favorite Chinese dishes at home! Whether your favorite main course is sesame chicken or Chinese eggplant, we’re giving you a list of the best Chinese air fryer recipes. So break out your brown rice, green onions and sesame oil and get ready to whip up an easy dinner tonight!


Chinese Spring Rolls

by Wei of Red House Spice

Air Fryer Spring Rolls

Photo: Red House Spice

Golden, crispy spring rolls filled with a juicy mix of veggies and meats (whether you love cooked chicken, pork, or beef), minus the oily guilt. Sound too good to be true? Well, Wei’s got you covered! This easy recipe is the best way to make spring rolls without the pre-cooking hassle. AND she’s got tips for you on how to keep those rolls more crispy than greasy. These are literally the best alternative to Chinese restaurant spring rolls. Check out the recipe here.


Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

by Christie of Christie At Home

Air Fryer BBQ Pork

Photo: Christie At Home

Mmmm… Char Siu. That sweet, sticky, slightly charred slice of heaven. Christie takes this Chinese classic and flips it on its head by using the air fryer to achieve the perfect balance of juicy and tender. And at the end of your cook time, you’ll have decadent pork with a perfect char. Serve this with fluffy white rice and your fave veggies to impress the whole family! Check out the recipe right here.


Crispy Garlic Tofu in 20 Minutes

by Tiffy of Tiffy Cooks

Crispy air fryer tofu

Photo: Tiffy Cooks

If you think tofu is boring, Tiffy’s about to change your mind. We’re talking crispy edges, tender insides, and a spicy garlic sauce that may make you lick the damn plate clean. And the best part? It only takes 20 minutes to make this plant-based meal. Say goodbye to deep-frying and hello to this crispy delight (smothered in a savory sauce that… did we mention? You can put on almost anything!) right over here.


Sesame Chicken

by Robin of All Ways Delicious

Air fryer sesame chicken

Photo: All Ways Delicious

You’re going to love this air fryer chicken recipe! Imagine biting into perfectly crispy chicken pieces dripping in a gingery and savory sesame sauce, all topped off with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. All this from just a couple of humble boneless chicken thighs and some basic ingredients. Ready for this mouth-watering air fryer sesame chicken recipe? Find it here.


Chinese Eggplant

by Chihyu of I Heart Umami

Air fryer Chinese eggplant

Photo: I Heart Umami

We’re wrapping up this list by air frying Chihyu’s Chinese eggplant. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and coated in a sweet and tangy garlic sauce. It’s a side dish that is guaranteed to steal the show. Looking for the star of the dinner table? Click here for the recipe.


Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to get that crispy texture with air fryer Chinese recipes?
Avoid overcrowding your air fryer basket. Cook everything a single layer and use a light spritz of cooking spray for the best results. For some extra crunch, a dusting of potato starch works wonders on foods like chicken or tofu before air frying.

Can I cook from frozen in the air fryer?
Absolutely! Got some frozen Chinese dishes like dumplings or egg rolls? You may need to adjust cooking times slightly longer than fresh or thawed foods, but with an air fryer, there’s no real need to defrost! Just place them in the air fryer basket and prepare to enjoy.

What’s the ideal cooking time and temperature for air frying Chinese cuisine?
It can vary depending on the dish and your type of air fryer, but typically, a medium-high heat setting (around 350-400 degrees F) works well for most recipes. Always refer to your specific recipe card!

How do I make my air fryer Chinese dishes flavorful?
Don’t skimp on the aromatic spices and seasonings! Fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and five-spice powder are some key ingredients when you want that authentic Chinese flavor. Also, a tangy sauce or marinade will elevate almost any dish.

Is air frying a healthier alternative to deep frying?
Yes, air frying is a MUCH healthier option compared to deep frying. It requires a lot less oil, which reduces your overall calorie and fat intake without sacrificing flavor.

Can I use parchment paper in my air fryer when cooking Chinese recipes?
Yes. Parchment paper can handle air fryer heats up to 428°F. It’s great for making cleanup easier and to prevent sticking, especially when you’re cooking with sticky or saucy dishes. Just be sure not to place it in there alone (like during preheating). Add parchment paper at the same time as your ingredients for the most even cooking.


I Don’t Know About You, But I’m Hungry Now! 

We hope you enjoyed this short list of the best Chinese air fryer recipes. It’s kind of amazing what this little machine can achieve, and now with these recipes, you may never need to order Chinese takeout again! (Just kidding. Support your local Chinese restaurants.)

Which of these recipes is your favorite? Is there a recipe that we didn’t include on this list that you think should be on it? Is there a Chinese dish that you wish there was an air fryer recipe for? Either way, we’d love to hear about it!

​Enjoy your air frying adventures, and until next time, stay cookin’!

Cosori Air Fryer Giveaway

Are you interested in having your own Air Fryer and cook some of the best Chinese Recipes listed? Enter to win this amazing Cosori Air Fryer now.



  1. Yummm! Chinese Spring Rolls! Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. Mmmmm pancakes, bacon, sausages all at the same time!

  3. Thanks for the opportunity to win such a great prize!

  4. Would love to win!


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Jaden Rae
Hi! I'm Jaden!
Welcome To Steamy Kitchen

I'm Jaden Rae, a TV chef, cookbook author, recipe developer, and the creative force behind Steamy Kitchen, a 19-year food blog focused on Asian cuisine and mindful living. Steamy Kitchen has been featured on The List, the Today Show,, Martha Stewart Living Radio & more.

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