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Old 01-23-2022, 08:43 AM   #1
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Tofu falling apart

Hi, I am new to cooking tofu. I bought the extra firm tofu and wanted to cut it into nice neat cubes to bake, but it was anything but firm when I opened the package and it fell apart into a rather wet mess... I was able to cube some of it but a lot of mush got wasted. Should I have refrigerated it first? My supermarket does sell refrigerated tofu also, but it's labelled 'silken' so I thought that would be soft and I want firm. TIA!

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Old 01-23-2022, 09:30 AM   #2
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Ive had issues with different brands.
I find some brands better ( and firmer ) than others even if both labeled ' extra firm'
Pressing it to try and squeeze the extra liquid out of it may help.
Its amazing how much water each block contains .

What used to do is wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel, then use something heavy ( like a pot, or a small cutting board with cans on it to press the tofu ( about 1/2 hour or so)

I now use the " tofu buddy" I think its called.
Made specifically to press tofu ( basically a box with perforations to let the draining water out and the pressure created by a huge spring). I works very well, and easier than piling things up. Also a more even press.

Another thing , depending on what you are doing with the tofu is you can freeze it then defrost itt. That will change the texture completely , giving it more of a chewy texture ( and a lot of the water drains out once defrosted.

Refrrigeration may firm it up a bit, but more likely a brand thing.
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Old 01-23-2022, 10:24 AM   #3
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Thanks! Actually, even though I was very careful, it was getting it out of the package that caused the most mess. Didn't come out all in one nice block. I'll try again. I'd actually prefer a bit of a chewy texture, so I may try freezing it first.
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Old 01-23-2022, 11:02 AM   #4
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This actually reminded me of a story.
My son ( 25 years old) was back from College and wanted to help me in he kitchen, I was making a tofu dish ( basically cut the tofu in 1/2 inch slabs, marinate it, put it on a panini press ( non stick). and it makes a nice, chewy on the outside and soft on the inside piece of tofu.

I said sure, help me slice up the tofu. I gave him a block, and I took a block.

Mine is on the left, his on the right. He was immediately banned from the kitchen, and now he is in China, hopefully learning how to cut tofu the right way.

The fact that he insists that he was trying is what concerns me. It was like a tofu massacre.
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Old 01-23-2022, 11:28 AM   #5
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Ha- love it! BTW that pile on the right looks better than how mine came out ;)
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Old 01-23-2022, 03:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karmann View Post
Ha- love it! BTW that pile on the right looks better than how mine came out ;)
I can send my son over to help you out a bit
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Old 01-23-2022, 04:53 PM   #7
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I almost always use that method of freezing, then thawing, which seems to keep it together, when cooking. It also helps the absorption of the tofu - it gets sort of a honeycomb texture. I can't remember the brands - just that I get the extra firm, when available.

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Old 01-23-2022, 06:51 PM   #8
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The firm tofu goes right into the freezer when it gets home from the grocer. Then the next day, thawed out in package in warm water in the sink. Then opened and drained and put in a plastic bag, back into the freezer. The next day, take it out and thaw it, drain off water. Then I press with paper towels just a little, then I marinade slice/cube and bake.
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