What is the best way to dry tofu?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question ‘what is the best way to dry tofu?” with an in-depth analysis of what is the best way to dry tofu. Moreover, we will also discuss an alternate way to dry tofu.

What is the best way to dry tofu?

The best way to dry tofu is to press it to discharge water. It is worth mentioning that instead of firstly pressing the tofu to discharge water and then slice it, it’s easier to first slice the tofu, then spread it out flat on a cutting board or baking sheet lined with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, and afterward press it with more towels on top. 

The reason behind doing so is that the more the surface area of the tofu, the faster will be the water removal.

In case you don’t want to do any labor on your part and you have a tofu press, you can press a block of tofu by simply leaving it in the press for an hour. 

It is worth mentioning that softer forms of tofu are not well suited for pressing since they will quite easily fall apart under even moderate pressure. For recipes calling for pieces of tofu to hold their shape, always buy firm or extra-firm tofu. 

How long does it take to press tofu?

Ideally, you should press tofu for about 30-60 minutes and it will result in firmer, drier tofu.

Is it possible to consume raw tofu?

Tofu is simply soybean curd. Because the soy has been boiled and processed, it is generally regarded as safe to consume tofu straight from the package but it tastes better when cooked.

How can you dry tofu?

Tofu is high in water (as it comes packed in water). It is a good idea to drain part of this water, either using a tofu press or by manually pressing it.

How to dry tofu block by pressing?

  1. Fold a length of paper towels or a dishcloth in half or quarters to increase the absorbency.
  1. Place the folded towels on the cutting board, then place the block of tofu on the paper towels. 
  1. If the paper towels become too wet after absorbing the initial moisture, you may want to place the tofu on a second, fresh layer of paper towels.
  1. Place another layer of folded paper towels or a clean kitchen cloth on top of the block of tofu.
  1. Place the bowl or another cutting board on top of the top layer of paper towels.
  1. Place the weight into the bowl or onto the cutting board. Your weight should be heavy enough to press down evenly across the top of the tofu, but not so heavy to cause the tofu block to crumble. A large can of food is a perfect weight.
  1. Let the tofu sit for at least 30 minutes. The weight will gradually and effectively squeeze the moisture out of the block of tofu, where it will be absorbed by the paper towels.
  1. If the paper towels become fully saturated, you may need to replace them with fresh paper towels and continue pressing until the paper towels stop absorbing moisture. 
  1. You can now proceed to cut the tofu block into strips or cubes for use in your recipes. 

What to do after you have pressed tofu?

After pressing your tofu block for at least 30 minutes, you can cut it into strips or cubes and freeze it. Tofu’s texture will change after freezing, making it firmer and chewier, as well as more absorbent. Because the stips or cubes will keep their shape without falling apart, this can be highly useful in dishes where the tofu is grilled, roasted, or stir-fried.

You can read how to make crispy air-fried tofu here.

What if you don’t press the tofu?

Tofu that has not been pressed can still be cooked and eaten. However, it will not absorb flavor as well as other foods and will have a rough texture. Especially if you’re attempting to get it crispy.

How do you dry tofu in the absence of paper towels?

Instead of paper towels, you can use a muslin cloth, cheesecloth, or kitchen towels. You may also press tofu with the same paper towels.

Can you microwave tofu to dry it?

Another way to remove some of the water from the tofu, especially if you need to use it right away, is to microwave the tofu. Place it whole or sliced into the microwave for a minute or two. Place it on or wrap in a towel if you want. As it heats it will expel the liquid.


In this brief guide, we have answered the question “what is the best way to dry tofu?” with an in-depth analysis of what is the best way to dry tofu. Moreover, we have also discussed an alternate way to dry tofu.



Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.