How to Press Tofu

As I focus more on eating light, and on the cheap, I find that I’m eating more and more tofu. 700g of Traditional-style tofu is about $1.50, which works out to 25 cents per serving. In my next few posts, I will try to focus on ways to eat tofu. The shish kebabs in last week’s post were pressed Firm tofu, but I find that Traditional, or Medium tofu is the one I prefer for most applications. It can be blended into dips, mashed into tofu salad, scrambled, baked, and fried.

Package of tofu

My tofu of choice

The key to tasty tofu is pressing it for at least 30 minutes (an hour or more is best) beforehand. The expels extra water, giving it a chewier texture, less like the rubbery, squishy cubes that most people associate with tofu. Pressing also allows the tofu to better absorb seasonings and marinades.

If you don’t have an hour to spend pressing, even 10 minutes while you’re cutting up the other ingredients for your meal will improve the flavour and texture of your tofu.

To press:

1. Cut tofu into slices of your desired thickness. If I am going to stir-fry it as cubes, I slice it as thick as the cubes will be, but leave it as a rectangle for structural integrity while pressing. For tofu that will be crumbled, I slice it less than 1 cm thick, as this allows me to get the water out faster.

2. Lay slices on a clean, dry towel or cloth. Paper towel gets wet too fast. if you have enough cloth, two layers is even better.

Weighted and pressing.

Weighted and pressing.

3. Fold the cloth over top so that the tofu is completely enveloped.

4. If you’re concerned about mess, set wrapped slices on a tray or plate.

5. Place a cutting board or plate on top of the tofu, and place a can or other weight on top.

6. Let sit at least 30 minutes for thin slices or at least 60 minutes for thick slices.

Pressed tofu ready for making a sandwich!

Pressed tofu ready for making a sandwich!

5 thoughts on “How to Press Tofu

    • Yes pressing is important. If you are a frequent tofu eater, a press, like the EZ Tofu Press is worth the investment. You will find that a good press allows better flavor absorption and texture.

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