Tofu falling apart

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

karmann

Assistant Cook
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
11
Location
NY
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!
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 

Attachments

  • Screen Shot 2022-01-23 at 10.56.50 AM.jpg
    Screen Shot 2022-01-23 at 10.56.50 AM.jpg
    50.5 KB · Views: 63
Ha- love it! BTW that pile on the right looks better than how mine came out ;)
 
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.

 
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.
 
Store-bought tofu can sometimes be left on display greatly, causing its shape to collapse. I often buy tofu at the store and have encountered this problem several times. So I decided to buy https://www.amazon.com.au/TofuBud-Tofu-Press-Presser-Drainer/dp/B086Q4TRG8 to turn stored tofu into a solid state. Moreover, thanks to this device, I can add any spices I want. I am very tired of the taste of store-bought tofu, so I have decided what the taste will be.
 
I use a lot of tofu, medium, firm & extra firm. I've never had it fall apart. I don't get silken tofu, though, maybe that's the difference.
The tofu here is made locally, maybe it's the brand.
 
I use a lot of tofu, medium, firm & extra firm. I've never had it fall apart. I don't get silken tofu, though, maybe that's the difference.
The tofu here is made locally, maybe it's the brand.


Silken tofu is like a very soft curd, like cheese....but with lots of moisture still in it. I use it to make a tofu creme, in a 1 wide mouth jar, put 14 oz silken tofu, lemon juice, garlic, then use a hand blender to make the cream sauce.



I use it for spreading on bread, which we bake until the top is dry starting to brown, the inside of the creme is soft against the bread, so it's like a cream cheese on toast. We also use it on tacos, or swirled into soup.



It doesn't 'cut'....and hold any shape. The best I could do is spoon it.
 
Silken Tofu kinda almost melts in your mouth when you eat it. I spoon it too. Its the most likely to fall apart and least likely to hold its shape when using.

Brands could make the difference too, as I ve tried many different brands of the firm tofu, and some are more crumbly than others .
 
Store-bought tofu can sometimes be left on display greatly, causing its shape to collapse. I often buy tofu at the store and have encountered this problem several times. So I decided to buy https://www.amazon.com.au/TofuBud-Tofu-Press-Presser-Drainer/dp/B086Q4TRG8 to turn stored tofu into a solid state. Moreover, thanks to this device, I can add any spices I want. I am very tired of the taste of store-bought tofu, so I have decided what the taste will be.
Yeah, really. Easy to use and to clean. Excess water is removed from the tofu. Does not fit a family sized block of Tofu so you need to buy two smaller blocks. Container doubles as storage for unused portions of tofu. Happy with this purchase.
 
I use a lot of tofu - coincidentally, made Mapo Tofu last night. I have never had tofu collapse and fall apart. But, I do handle it carefully because I like the nice little cubes or strips, if I'm making hot & sour soup.

One trick I learned from Kenji is to microwave the little cubes for a couple of minutes, then carefully scoop the cubes into the pan for cooking. It firms up the tofu and removes some of the water.

Tofu keeps a long time, and I keep leftover tofu in the fridge, covered in water. It doesn't fall apart for me.
 
At my store, you can buy tofu in the veg dept, dairy dept, and deli. There must be different types and not labeled for specific uses.
 
Yes, it is best to refrigerate extra firm tofu before cutting. This will help it hold its shape better. Also, instead of cutting it into cubes, you could try slicing it into strips or cubes. This will help it hold its shape better when baking. If it's still falling apart, you can press it between two plates lined with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel to remove some of the excess moisture. You can also buy pre-pressed tofu, which is firmer and easier to work with. Silken tofu is usually softer, so it wouldn't be as good for baking.
 
Back
Top Bottom