Tofu pressed sufficiently will be firm and moist. It’s crucial to press the tofu to remove enough water to hold its shape during cooking. Most tofu dishes do not require pressing; however, pressing is the best way to remove excess moisture when sautéing and frying tofu or if you want extra crispy tofu. Also, tofu that is firm or extra-firm needs extra pressing before being used in different recipes. Today I will discuss how to press tofu at home quickly.
Commercial tofu is prepared by coagulating soybean milk into curds and pressing the mixture into blocks at a grocery shop. Thanks to its high protein content and low-calorie count, tofu is a mainstay of Asian cuisine and vegan and other healthy eating cooking techniques. The commercial manufacturing procedure retains a significant amount of moisture in the solid tofu.
Methods to Press Tofu at Home
The Traditional Method
- tofu (firm or extra firm),
- sheet pan
- kitchen linen
- cooling rack
When you get all the required materials, just follow this method:
- Firstly, drain the tofu block from its packaging, and this method works well with firm and extra firm tofu. Within your sheet pan, place a heavily bonded cooling rack. Place the tofu block on the shelf to allow excess draining liquid to drain and gather in the bottom of the sheet pan throughout the pressing process, without the tofu sitting in it. You can also slice the tofu block crosswise into many pieces, depending on how you make your tofu.
- Place clean kitchen linen right on the tofu block, folded several layers thick to absorb moisture. Put a second sheet pan precisely on top of the first, aligning the sides with the bottom sheet pan to ensure evenly positioned. If you do not have one more, you can use a large chopping board instead of a second sheet pan, and it will provide you a level, stable surface to press on.
- Put a heavy-weighted object on the top sheet pan like a large bowl full of onion or anything available. To ensure uniform pressing, evenly distribute the weight throughout the surface. Now press the tofu for at least 25-30 minutes and up to an hour. Make sure to replace the kitchen linen with a new dry one midway through, as it will become saturated rapidly
- The tofu block will be significantly thinner after pressing as a result of removing excess moisture. You will note that there is a lot of water in the sheet pan underneath. Remove the liquid and proceed with the tofu preparation as suggested in your recipe.
After pressing the tofu, slice it into strips or cubes and freeze it. The texture of tofu changes when it is frozen and becomes firm. Because the strips or cubes will not fall apart when grilled, roasted, or stir-fried. It can be beneficial in recipes when you want a grill, baked, or stir-fried tofu.
Method With Tofu Press
You can press tofu with tofu press. Just follow this method:
- Remove the wrapper off a container of the firm or extra-firm tofu. Remove the package and drain any liquid that is showing.
- Place the tofu in the tofu press’s container. Ensure to secure the metal coil.
- Rotate the top crank to lock into the two holes on either side of the tofu press, then place the top of the lid over the tofu within the tofu press. The liquid will begin to gather on the surface.
- Settle the tofu in the Tofu press for 10 – 15 minutes so that the liquid will drain out and gather.
- Pour the liquid out. Remove the lid and crank from the top of the tofu press.
Pressed tofu can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days if you’re planning or short on time.
You may want to read: What is Tanghulu Fruit? How to Make Tanghulu
Benefits of Using Tofu Press
Although pressing tofu without a press is perfectly acceptable, but there are a few distinct advantages to use a tofu press:
- If you wish to press tofu overnight or for a more extended period, place the tofu press in the fridge.
- There’s no need to balance anything on top of a tofu block, and it can fall over at any time.
- It takes less time and works faster.
- You can easily adjust the pressure with screws.
Pressing Tofu – Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some FAQs about tofu pressing and their answers;
Is it better to press tofu?
Many tofu dishes do not require pressing; however, pressing is the best way to remove excess moisture when sautéing or shallow frying tofu. Pressing tofu also results in firmer tofu that keeps its shape better throughout cooking and ensures that your seasonings are not compromised.
Can you press tofu for too long?
Tofu can press overnight or well ahead of time. It’s one of the best ways to go because you won’t have to wait while the water drains.
Do you press tofu after marinating?
Because firm and extra-firm tofu relied on to preserve their shape when marinated, they produce the most outstanding results. Tofu should be pressed and drained before soaking for at least 30 minutes in any marinade before cooking.
What happens if you do not press tofu?
One can still cook and consume tofu that hasn’t been pressed, but it won’t absorb as much flavor and have as wonderful a texture, especially if you attempt to make it crispy.
Why is tofu terrible for you?
Tofu includes anti-nutrients. Some of them are Trypsin inhibitors and phytates. Trypsin inhibitors are chemicals that prevent Trypsin, a protein-digesting enzyme, from working usually. Phytates can prevent minerals like calcium, zinc, and iron from being absorbed.
How often should you eat tofu?
According to a dietician, you can eat Tofu 2-3 times a week.
Is Tofu inflammatory?
Tofu is high in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytochemicals, making it an excellent anti-inflammatory food. In addition to fiber, tofu is a rich source of plant protein.