Saturday, September 29, 2012

How to Press Tofu

Why Press Tofu? 

I’m pretty funny about food texture, so I was hesitant to try tofu.  So far I have made barbecued tofu and fried tofu, and haven’t minded the texture at all.  Firm or extra firm tofu is used for most meat substitute uses of tofu.  I think the pressing also helps with having a firmer, more meat-like texture. 

Pressing Your Tofu

Most recipes for frying, baking or “barbecuing” tofu specify to press the tofu first.  It’s really easy but can be intimidating when you first read it.  Hopefully it’s pretty clear here, especially with the photos. 

1- Place a dish towel or hand towel on your clean counter.  In pressing the tofu, liquid will gradually ooze out, so you’ll want to have a towel down. 

2- Cover a cutting board with plastic wrap, waxed paper, or butcher paper.  Put the cutting board on top of your towel. 


3- Open tofu package.  Drain and discard the liquid.  Move tofu to cutting board.  If you are using a one pound block of tofu, you will want to cut the tofu block in half.  Then slice each half into three horizontal pieces.  If you have 12 ounce blocks of tofu, you will not need to cut it in half first. 


4- Spread the six tofu slices on the cutting board.  Cover the tofu with another sheet of plastic wrap or paper. 

5- Place a cookie sheet or baking pan on top of the tofu. 

6- Put heavy items on top of the cookie sheet or baking pan, making sure that pressure is applied evenly to the tofu slices.  I used small oven dishes for weight. 


7- You may need to add another layer of weight to the tofu.  Use another cookie sheet or baking pan, and additional weight.  I used plastic containers with water for my second layer. 

8- Leave the tofu with pressure applied for 45 to 60 minutes. 



Ways to Cook Pressed Tofu

Here are a few ways to cook your pressed tofu. 

1.  Southern Fried Tofu:  Coat in rice flour, dip in milk, then coat in mixture of nutritional yeast and spices.  Fry in olive oil in a hot skillet. 

2.  Barbecued Tofu:  Marinate tofu in a favorite BBQ sauce.  Place tofu on a baking pan, top with a little BBQ sauce, and cook under broiler until sauce is bubbly. 

3.  Wrap tofu slices in nori sheets.  Dip in tempura batter.  Fry, drain, and serve with tarter sauce on a bun, like a fish sandwich. 

4.  Sear one-inch tofu pieces in oil in a hot skillet.  Toss with sautéed vegetables and serve over rice, like Chinese food. 



  1. I use my EZ Tofu Press to get the water out, it takes 10-15 minutes and your done!

  2. Good to know benzel. And thanks for being my first blog comment. Where did you get your press, and what is the name brand?

  3. Name brand is "EZ Tofu Press" see link below:

  4. Thanks benzel. Looks like you can press the whole block without having to slice it. The price of the tofu press is reasonable too.