How to Press Tofu
Learn how to press tofu in order to create flavorful, healthful dishes with these handy step-by-step directions, plus lots of tips for using tofu in recipes.
Have you ever wondered if you should be pressing your tofu before cooking with it? You may find it helpful for many recipes. In fact, you might have seen recipes calling for “pressed tofu” and wondered what that was all about. Tofu, a wholesome nutrient-rich food with a long history of use in Asia, comes packed in a pool of liquid (learn how tofu is made on my field trip to a tofu producer here). So, why press the liquid off? When tofu is pressed of this extra liquid, it acts like a sponge, absorbing whatever flavors it’s immersed in, which can dictate its taste, as well as texture in dishes. By removing this liquid, you allow tofu to absorb the spices, marinades, and flavors of the ingredients it’s paired with. I particularly love it in stir-fries, curries, baked tofu, and roasted dishes. Also, it crumbles better for recipes like scrambles or fillings.
One easy way to press tofu is to simply wrap it in several sheets of paper towels, sandwich it in between two plates, and then anchor it down with something heavy (like a book) for 15 minutes or so. Sometimes it’s easy to consider pressing tofu to be a bothersome task. Fortunately, with the increased interest in tofu, tofu presses are now available, which makes pressing tofu a bit easier. I have a couple of different types of tofu presses at home, such as this TofuXpress and EZ Tofu Press. They work fairly similarly—you just put the tofu in the device, apply pressure through the device’s crank, let it sit for several minutes to let the liquid drain off, and remove the tofu. Check out my step-by-step guide for pressing tofu below.
Step-by-Step Guide for Pressing Tofu Using a Tofu Press:
In this instructional blog, I’m using a TofuXpress, but you can try another type of tofu press for similar results.
Bonus tip: I like to do this while I’m getting all of the other ingredients ready for a dish, such as a stir-fry or curry. By the time I’ve sautéed the onions and chopped my veggies, the tofu is ready to go.
Check out some of my favorite recipes featuring tofu:
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