How to Press Tofu without a Tofu Press
Tofu can be a little scary the first time you attempt to prepare it. First of all, it isn't the most attractive foods. Even worse, if you nibble a tiny bit of tofu straight from the package, you'll find that it has nearly no flavor whatsoever and that the texture isn't all that enjoyable. When it comes down to it, it's basically an unimpressive sponge waiting to be brought to life—and the potential is great! In just a short amount of time and with the help of a few household items, you'll learn how to make tofu crispy, tasty and ultra-appetizing.
How to Prep Tofu
At the grocery store, you'll probably notice a couple of different types of tofu in the refrigerated health foods section. The most common packaging is a square, plastic-bottomed carton covered by a removable plastic film. The tofu, either in block form or small cubes, is submerged in water to keep it from drying out and spoiling. You might also find vacuum-sealed packages of tofu—either standard or sprouted tofu. Sprouted tofu has a little bit more of a nutritional punch but may cost a dollar or two more. We'll be talking you through the prep work necessary for the block tofu that comes submerged. If you fail to follow the basic instructions for draining tofu, you'll have plenty of trouble achieving a golden brown finish, and it won't be soaking up any flavor if it's full of water. Even worse, put a piece of soggy tofu into hot oil, and it will be spewing and splattering all over the place. Water and oil simply do not mix. Soon enough, you'll see just how easy it is to create yummy, flavorful tofu.
The instructions below are for pressing the water from a solid block, not the cubed tofu. If you have purchased the pre-cubed kind, head straight down to our Tips section.
Tips and Tricks for Handling Tofu
What is the Simplest Way to Press Tofu?
If you're a sucker for cool kitchen gadgets, you might fall in love with this simple yet impressive tool. A tofu press takes the fuss out of pressing tofu, and most are small in both size and cost. Our favorite tofu press on the market is the EZ Tofu Press, which you can order online right this minute. No more stacking cans and dishes, and it will even cut down on the total time required for pressing tofu.