How to Press Tofu

Pressing tofu is a common task for a herbivore, and in our article today, we will be sharing how to press tofu and WHY! 

Here at Plant You we want to make your life easy by making plant-based meals that are healthy but also simple to make. When transitioning to a plant-based diet, you will find tons of recipes that include tofu and to enjoy delicious tasting tofu, we must know how to press it! 

Tofu is an excellent source of plant-based protein that comes from the soybean plant! Tofu also contains all nine essential amino acids, calcium and iron. 

To start, we recommend purchasing organic non-GMO tofu because the mass majority of soy-beans are genetically modified, which include high toxin levels of harmful chemicals. For example, pesticides and fertilizers. Avoid this by buying organic non-GMO tofu, luckily, this type of tofu is very popular, making it affordable. 

Why Do We Press Our Tofu

Commonly we get questions or comments like…

“Why does my tofu taste bad?” or “When I cook tofu, it never turns out or tastes like how restaurants make it.” 

In a tofu recipe, you must be pressing your tofu! This method will help your tofu taste delicious in every recipe. It may take some practice to get just right, but it’s essential! Pressing your tofu will remove any access water and allow it to keep the shape and soak up marinades in recipes. 

The Differences Between Tofu…

Firm or Extra Firm

Tofu that is of the firm variety absorbs flavors from spices and marinades well. It also holds up when pan-fried or crumbled. If you are decided to go with extra firm it is excellent for its slicing, dicing and cutting abilities with little to no crumble. This is excellent when making recipes that you desire a “meaty” texture for. 


This tofu is considerably softer that firm tofu but still can hold its shape reasonably well. It is best when used in soups, sauces, dips or as a cheese substitute. 


Soft tofu is comparable to silken. This type of tofu will fall apart quite easily. Do not press soft tofu unless recipe indicates. Commonly soft tofu is used as a thickener. 


Tofu that is labelled silken produces a large amount of water and doesn’t need to be pressed for recipes. Commonly needed in smooth, creamy style dishes and desserts. We’ve used it in salad dressings, puddings and pasta sauce. 

How to Press Tofu

In true Plant You fashion, we always make it easy, and when it comes to pressing tofu, we do just that with using items we already have at home! 

Follow this DIY method below…

  1. Put tofu on cutting board or plate
  2. Place another clean cutting board or plate on top of tofu 
  3. Place a heavy object like canned food, a book, cast iron pan or jug of water on top of the plate resting on the tofu. 
  4. Press tofu for at least 15 minutes. Most articles will tell you the longer, the better, but test out how dry and firm your tofu is after 15 minutes to decide if you would like to keep pressing.  

Another option would be to buy a tofu press! 

This household item is perfect for a plant-based kitchen but is definitely not required to make mouthwatering tofu. If you are cooking up tofu dishes, often we suggest opting for this fantastic plant-based kitchen gadget. We’ve found a reasonably priced one below on Amazon! 

Do you need to press extra-firm tofu? 

The answer is YES! If you are looking for your tofu to hold its shape it will need to be pressed. If you are looking for a crumbly style of tofu for your recipe that you can bypass this step, but the tofu still may not pick up the flavour from spices as much as you would like. This is one of the reasons people have difficulty making tofu absorb flavor and taste great everytime. This is also why tofu may be described as bland or tasteless which is not the case at all when pressed and marinaded correctly. 

Which brand of tofu should I buy?

We suggest buying non-GMO organic tofu and opting for the variety that makes sense for the recipe you are making. But we do recommend a few of our favourite brands! 

Our favourite brands of tofu…

What happens if you don’t press tofu? 

Tofu that isn’t pressed except for silken or soft won’t pick up flavours as nicely. Due to the water content in tofu, it needs to be released to be able to be absorbed flavour from your spices and marinades. 

Plant You Tofu Marinades 

Are you looking for a tofu marinade to try out? We’ve got plenty!

Tofu Recipes We Love! 

Check out our article on High Protein Plant-Based Foods if you are looking to explore the world of plant-based protein sources.

Are you looking for tofu based recipes that are bursting with flavour? 

We recommend that you join the Plant Ahead Program to ensure you are never in low supply of plant-based healthy recipes to try and enjoy! When you join the program you will receive access to over 70 plant-based, oil free and refined sugar free meal plans that have every meal time covered. You will also receive a new plan each week! All of our meal plans can be yours for $7.99!

Become a member of the Plant Ahead Program today

Note: This page includes amazon affiliate links! 

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