Have you tried tofu yet, and realized that you might like it better if it had more of a meat-like texture? Or perhaps you just want to add some tofu to your favorite dishes as an alternative to meat? Tofu can take on the flavor of the ingredients around it, so it’s perfect in stir-fries, soups, stews and casseroles; plus, it can be baked, grilled and broiled to give it a more substantial texture. Here are some tips on how to press tofu to get the perfect texture and consistency every time.

Preparing your pressing surface

To start, place a cutting board or other flat surface on your counter, and gather all of your ingredients and tools. You’ll need a container for pressing the tofu, a bowl for marinating it in sauce, an oven-safe dish for baking it in, and some parchment paper if you don’t have any cooking spray on hand. Next, cut your block of tofu into one-inch-thick slices so that they’re easier to handle when pressing them. Take out two pieces of parchment paper or two sheets of foil and lay them down next to each other so that you can easily transfer the finished product from one to the next. Place your first piece of tofu down onto one side, then pour about half a cup of sauce over top before spreading it across the top with a spoon. Sprinkle salt and pepper over top before flipping it over onto the second sheet.

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Preparing your ingredients

It may seem tricky at first, but once you get the hang of how to press tofu, pressing tofu is a fairly simple process. First and foremost, you’ll need a bit of time. The longer you press your tofu, the more liquid will be removed from it and the firmer it will become. The shorter your press time, the softer your tofu will be. If you’re in a hurry, aim for about 15 minutes for firm tofu. If you’re in no rush, leave it for an hour or two for extra-firm tofu. Next, line the bottom of your container with paper towels to soak up any excess water that might come out during the process.

Step-by-step process

#1 Place a block of firm tofu on a cutting board, with one flat side down.

#2 Put a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or pan on top of the tofu and balance it so that it stays in place. #3 Fill the skillet with water so that there is about an inch between the top of the water and the bottom of the pan. Turn on medium heat.