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How to Drain Tofu

Sliced Tofu

Whether you’re into vegetarian cuisine or not, tofu is a wonderful building block for many different kinds of dishes. It’s like a blank slate you can flavor any way you see fit, with a myriad of textures to play with.

Now if you’re dealing with soft or silken tofu, it’s simply a matter of opening the package and using it. However, if your recipe calls for firm or extra firm tofu, then you’ll have to drain it first of the water it’s been soaking in. While the water is necessary to maintain the moisture of the tofu, it’s not necessary in your recipe.

Draining (also called pressing) tofu is not difficult. You simply need a deep dish or shallow bowl, some paper towels (or cloth ones), and the means to put a pressing weight on top of the tofu. This could be another bowl, plate, or even a cutting board with some kind of weight like cans of food or a book.

Your setup for draining tofuLet’s get started then. Also allow yourself thirty minutes of time.

  1. Open your package of tofu over your sink and pour out the water in the package.
  2. Set up your plate or bowl with some paper towels.
  3. Place the tofu on the towels and cover with another layer of towels.
  4. Lay your top pressing surface (cutting board or another plate) on top.
  5. Weigh down the top layer with cans, a book, or whatever will work for you.
  6. Wait fifteen minutes.
  7. Disassemble your setup and replace the towel layers with fresh dry ones.
  8. Reassemble the setup and wait another fifteen minutes.
  9. Take it all apart and you’re ready to use your tofu.

It’s that simple. Your tofu will still be moist, but not dripping wet, and thus you’ll get a nice sear if you choose to later fry or grill it.

Try it out with this wonderful stir-fry.

Tags: tofu, tips, draining, pressing

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