How to Press and Drain Tofu


Aside from its great health benefits, one of the best things about tofu is its ability to absorb marinades, sauces and flavors better than just about any other food. To maximize its absorbency and prepare tofu for most recipes, it has to be pressed and drained thoroughly. Follow these steps to press your tofu blocks without crushing or breaking them.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh tofu in water
  • Paper towels
  • Shallow dish
  • Small cutting board
  • One large canned good or other weight
  • Place a couple of layers of paper towels in the bottom of the shallow dish. Place the block of wet tofu on top, then cover with two more layers of paper towels.

  • Lay the small cutting board on top of the covered tofu and press gently for a few seconds. This will squeeze out the majority of the moisture.

  • Set the tofu aside for a moment, and throw away the damp paper towels. Rinse and dry the shallow dish.

  • Prepare the shallow dish with layers of paper towels and the tofu just as you did in Step One. This time, lay the small cutting board on top again and set the canned good or canned goods on top to weigh it down. If you don't have canned goods readily available, just about any small weight will do.

  • Wait for 15 to 20 minutes before removing the tofu and disposing of the paper towels. The tofu is now ready for marinating or use in recipes.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the tofu still looks too juicy after this process, simply repeat as necessary. Just be careful not to break or crumble the block.
  • Tofu should be refrigerated anytime you're not draining it, cooking with it or eating it. Once you drain the tofu block, you should use it immediately.
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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