How to Press Tofu


Removing the extra water from tofu allows it to soak up other flavors more easily and gives it a denser, "meatier" texture. This is achieved by essentially squeezing the water out like you would with a sponge, but it needs to be done very slowly so that the tofu doesn't break or crumble.

To press tofu, you will need the following:

  • A plate or baking sheet with a ridged edge
  • A large pot
  • A couple cans or heavy bottle of oil
  • 20-40 minutes

Set the tofu on the baking sheet and put the pot on top. Stack the cans inside the pot. Wait. Flip. Wait again.

How long to wait depends on how firm your tofu already is and how firm you want it to end up. The tofu I normally buy is pretty firm to begin with, so I only press it for 10-15 minutes on each side, usually while I'm prepping the rest of my ingredients.


You want to drain off the extra water from time to time. I usually do it about twice. Then it's ready to marinate, bake, fry or whatever else you plan on doing with it! 

Click here to see recipes that use tofu.