How to Press Tofu

Difficulty level: Easy

Firm and extra firm tofu are packed in water for freshness, but when you use tofu, you want to get as much liquid out as possible so that your marinade or sauce can be absorbed instead. The best way to do this is by pressing the tofu. All you need is a clean, dry, and preferably white kitchen towel, and something fairly large and heavy, such as a cookbook or a large plate with cans on top of it.

  1. If using frozen tofu, let thaw completely (overnight).
  2. Drain the tofu.
  3. Cut into slices or cubes or whatever shape is required for your recipe. (You can press the whole block if you prefer, but it takes longer and can be a bit precarious once you put the weight on top.)
  4. Spread the towel on the counter and arrange the tofu pieces so that they are in a single layer, close together but not touching.
  5. Fold over the towel so that the pieces are evenly covered. If your towel is thin, you might want to put another one on top to protect the book.
  6. Place book on top and let sit for at least an hour.
  7. Unwrap the tofu and proceed with your recipe.

Quick crumbled tofu

If your recipe calls for crumbled tofu, you can just wrap the whole block in a towel and press out the water by hand. Don’t squeeze too hard, though, or you’ll end up picking little bits of crumbled tofu out of the towel for ages.

Tofu recipes