Plant-based 101: How to Press Tofu

Watch how to make it here 

The key to crispy tofu lies in the stage before cooking: pressing tofu until no water is remaining. Here is a tofu press method with the equipment you already have in your kitchen!

When I first started cooking tofu, I didn’t understand the importance of pressing it beforehand. For a while, I would watch in confusion as the tofu would either stick to the pan or it would never turn golden and crispy.

One day, after Googling this issue, I finally learned what went wrong and how to make things right. At first, it took time to get used to. The hardest part was remembering to press it beforehand. Once I got the hang of it, it became almost natural. In this post, I want to show you an easy way to press tofu.

A few notes:

  1. Firm or extra firm tofu is the only type of tofu that can be pressed. Silken or soft tofu will break easily.
  2. Fresh tofu is always stored in water to keep it hydrated and prevent it from spoiling. If using only half the block, make sure to submerge the other half in water and store it in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  3. Check out my other tofu recipes
    1. Lemongrass Tofu
    2. Sweet and Spicy Tofu
    3. Vietnamese-inspired Baked Tofu in Tomato Sauce
    4. Buffalo Tofu Sandwich


Plant-Based 101: How To Press Tofu

Prep Time

20 min

cooking time

10 min



total time

30 min



1 block of firm or extra firm tofu
1 large plate or chopping board
1 kitchen towel
1 paper napkin
1 heavy pan or book

Cooking Instructions

Step 1
Double fold the towel into the length of the tofu and place on a plate.
Step 2
Double fold the towel into the length of the tofu and place on a plate.
Step 3
Completely wrap the tofu with the paper napkin and place on top of the towel.
Step 4
Stack a heavy pan on top of the tofu and allow it to press for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Step 5
The tofu is ready when there is no more liquid remaining. Cut the tofu into your preferred shape and cook as desired.

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Hi, I'm Tiff!

Tiff Loves Tofu is a blog all about simple and delicious plant-based recipes, largely influenced by my culture and life experiences. I hope to show people that cooking wholesome, vibrant plant-based meals is not only easy but it is loads of fun. So, let’s get cooking!

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