View Full Version : How to texturize your tofu in one minute!

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Aug 2nd, 2008, 09:42 PM
Cooking with tofu can sometimes be a pain because it has such a high water content that in can take forever to sauté it to a good texture, and can actually make the other ingredients you're cooking with soggy too.

Texturizing your tofu is basically squeezing out a lot of the water before cooking with it so that you don't have to cook the water out to get a great texture.

It's simple, you need a cutting board, some paper towels and clean hands. Take "firm" style tofu and cut it into about three equal sized blocks. Now simply take each piece in both hands and, over your sink, squeeze the tofu until water comes running out of your hands. Do this with all three blocks and then put the tofu back on the cutting board.

Using a few paper towels, cover the tofu and press it against the cutting board until the towels are soaked.

Your tofu is now a 'chunkier' texture and will cook way faster.

Throw some onions and taco seasoning in a little simmering olive oil and your ready for some "tofu ground" that will rock!

Couch Vegan Guitar Straps

Mr Flibble
Aug 2nd, 2008, 11:15 PM
errr, without wanting to sound ungreatful: isn't that what everyone does?

(the squeezing water out before cooking, not the adding onions or cutting into 3 pieces)

Aug 2nd, 2008, 11:28 PM
ive actually known quite a few vegans or vegetarians that ive had to "share" this "secret" with...

Aug 3rd, 2008, 01:02 AM
y'mean they didn't drain the tofu properly?

yum, squish.

Aug 3rd, 2008, 01:44 AM

they kept wondering why their tofu dishes were tastless and watery...:rolleyes:

Aug 3rd, 2008, 01:45 AM
well duh.

gotta press that tofu!

Aug 3rd, 2008, 02:29 AM
in response to the post below, this is different from draining.

It's weird, i've know some people who've eaten tofu for years without knowing this as simple as it is. What i've noticed of all the tofu pressing methods you'll read about in books like "putting two cutting boards together with a weight on top" or whatever, that simply cutting the block into three pieces and using your clean hands separates tons of water from the tofu in hardly any time whatsoever.

I gotcha though, if you already press your tofu then cool!

Ruby Rose
Aug 3rd, 2008, 07:33 AM
There's got to be a market for a proper tofu press, hasn't there - something that looks like a flower press or whatever? Can't one of you bright sparks hurry up and do that for me?

Mr Flibble
Aug 3rd, 2008, 09:02 AM
I've just used my hands for firm tofu for years, I thought everyone did? I don't cut mine first, just do it whole. You need to be careful and you get better at it in time, but it's dead easy anyway. I've too read in books about boards, but I always assumed that that's for silken tofu.

Ruby Rose
Aug 3rd, 2008, 09:08 AM
Ditto. I squeeze firm tofu (and like you, thought everyone did), and I drain silken tofu - that's what I want a tofu press for, please.

Aug 3rd, 2008, 11:49 AM
I'm a "use heavy object to press out water" person, although I squeeze if I haven't got time. I sometimes put it on a plate then put another plate on top, drain what comes out after a few seconds and then leave it for 10 mins or so to get more liquid out.

If it gets the same results by just squeezing I guess I'll try that next time :)

Mr Flibble
Aug 3rd, 2008, 12:19 PM
I squeeze mine under runnign water to start with, so the old water goes out, new water soaks in, goes out, more clean in etc, then turn off the water after 20 seconds and squeeze for another 20. Using plates seems like a very complicated way to create more washing up :)

Aug 3rd, 2008, 12:30 PM
plate weight and wait is naff..i'm all for the chop 'm' squeeze method. then cook it up with a stack of other stuff. woop.

Aug 3rd, 2008, 08:07 PM
I stamp on mine, wearing walking boots.
Nah I dont realy. Chopping board underneath, one on top and jump with your hands on top one!

Aug 3rd, 2008, 08:29 PM
the best texture i have evr got for tofu is freezing it!
try it ;)

Aug 3rd, 2008, 08:39 PM
^^ I've tried that, didn't seem to make much difference. Are you supposed to squeeze out the water before freezing or not?

Aug 3rd, 2008, 08:40 PM
^^ I've tried that, didn't seem to make much difference. Are you supposed to squeeze out the water before freezing or not?

i ddint, i just threw it in as it was. ive only done it with the cauldron tofu (when it was 2 for 1 in morrisons).

Aug 3rd, 2008, 08:47 PM
I did it with Cauldron tofu too. Maybe I should have cooked it from frozen. I let it defrost first then squeezed the water out as usual. It tasted pretty much the same :confused:

Aug 3rd, 2008, 08:55 PM
I only just realised that tofu should be squeezed recently:o Corum has to do it as it's hard to squeeze tofu properly with semi-functioning thumb joints - bring on the tofu press.
We also tried freezing tofu (Cauldron) so we could buy in bulk but it went all funny - looked like swiss cheese and didn't taste right. A bit like soya milk goes when you put it in really hot coffee.

Mr Flibble
Aug 3rd, 2008, 09:44 PM
You're not meant to squeeze before freezing - it's the water expanding as it turns to ice that changes the texture and makes it go spongy.

I used to freeze mine year ago when I didn't really know how to get the texture I wanted through cooking. I can now eat tofu raw (I had a whole block of smoked last week from the fridge), but I like the texture when it's been fried properly (crisp on the outside, steamed on the inside).

Aug 3rd, 2008, 09:56 PM
So what do you do when you take the tofu out of the freezer. Do you let it thaw then squeeze or cut it up and cook it from frozen?

Aug 3rd, 2008, 10:02 PM
Freezing tofu is a good way to go too- it is actually a traditional Japanese preparation method- and there are dishes in Japanese cuisine that include both frozen and non frozen prepared tofu because they are so different in taste and texture.

The easiest way to do it is to just cut one slice of the plastic covering the common packaged tofu and drain all the water out of that slice without exposing the tofu. Then just throw it in the freezer as it is- it takes about 30 seconds this way.

Freezing tofu changes the color and texture of tofu from white and soft to more yellow and spongy, similar to scrambled egg or chicken in color or texture. I like to use it as a burrito filling like this, and it's also really good in sandwiches because it's way less apt to slide around like regular tofu might.

Mr Flibble
Aug 4th, 2008, 09:26 AM
Admittedly it's a while ago since I had chicken, but I don't remember it being spongey! I wouldn't say that the texture of frozen/thawed tofu is like any meat I've come across.

Did the japanese traditionally have freezers or was it only on the winter menu?

Aug 4th, 2008, 06:45 PM
I think it was only the "arctic japanese", a colony that lived just south of the north pole in the late 1690's. Later, this method was reintroduced to the japanese mainstream during the advent of the ice box in the 1920's.

actually i read that in a paperback book in the early 90's, i think it was entitled "tofu", that was all about traditional, or at least japanese-specific tofu preparation methods, but i long ago lent it away....

anyone ever read that book?

Aug 4th, 2008, 09:03 PM
So what do you do when you take the tofu out of the freezer. Do you let it thaw then squeeze or cut it up and cook it from frozen?

good luck hacking away at a frozen block of tofu maisie!
thaw then squeeze ;)

(i just take mine out the freezer and leave it for half the day or overnight in the packet sealed then open drain and chop and squeeze.)