How to Press Tofu + Why You Should


First, let’s talk about tofu. Tofu derives from fresh soya milk, where it is curdled, pressed and compacted into a solid white block. It is a great source of essential amino acids, calcium, iron and many other micro-nutrients.


Tofu is an amazing food in terms of nutritional value and health benefits. It is thought to help with:

  • Heart Disease. This is because it is believed to help lower LDL cholesterol levels, which decreases the risk of atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.
  • Cancer. The predominant isoflavone in soy, guinsein, has antioxidant properties that may stop or inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
  • Menopause Symptoms. The isoflavone in soy products may decrease bone loss and increase bone mineral density, as well as reduce hot flushes in some women.


There is confusion about the risk of consuming too much soy. However, there is not enough evidence to confirm that a moderate consumption of soy increases cancer risk.  I recommend talking to your doctor if you have any questions that are specific to your situation.


Why do you need to press tofu?


When I first started adding this soy product to my meals, I had no idea what “pressing” was all about. Why do I need to press it? What does that do to it? Do I have to press it? Well, it turns out that tofu has a lot of water inside it. Pressing creates a firmer, denser block.


Once you try pressing this soy product and notice the difference in texture, you will never go back.


It is important to note that there are different types to tofu, which range from soft to extra-firm. The main difference between the various types is the amount of water within them.



How to Press Tofu


There are two common ways to press the soy product, the book stacking method and a tofu-press.


Book Stacking Method


The book stacking method is exactly how it sounds. This method is more economically friendly, in that you probably have all the materials you need lying around your house.


You will need:

  • A Cutting Board
  • 2 Kitchen Towels
  • Paper Towel
  • 1 Block of Tofu (Firm or Extra-Firm)
  • A Few Heavy Books



  1. Rinse the tofu with water and slice into 8-10 pieces and set aside.
  2. Place one kitchen towel on a flat surface and top with a few sheets of paper towel.
  3. Place the soy product in a single layer on top of the paper towel.
  4. Set the second kitchen towel on top of the tofu and the place the cutting board on top.
  5. Stack the heavy books on top of the cutting board and press for at least 30 minutes.


The Tofu Press


There are two options, a store-bought press or a DIY one.


The EZ Tofu Press is an example of a store bought press.


Things you will need for the DIY press:

  • 2 Cutting Boards
  • 2 Flexible Springs
  • 1 Block of Tofu (Firm or Extra-Firm)
  • 2 3×5/16″ Carriage Bolts
  • 2 5/16″ Threaded Knobs
  • Optional: 2 Pieces of Wood



  1. Use a pencil to mark a hole on each end of the cutting board, about 3 inches from the end (for both cutting boards).
  2. Use a 11/32″ drill bit on each one of the markings.
  3. Hammer the bolts through the holes on one of the cutting boards so that the square end of the bolt sinks into the cutting board.
  4. Put springs over the long ends of the bolts, and then slide the next cutting board on.
  5. Turn on the threaded knobs to the ends of the bolts.


Note:  Because I purchased cheaper cutting boards, they started to bend when I began to press the tofu.  I ended up putting wood on each end of the press to prevent the bending.

Have a question or concern? Leave a comment below, or contact me!




  • Sasha Duff June 2, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I’ve never heard of pressing tofu before. Sounds like a good idea. I like to use tofu, but sometimes the texture ruins the meal.

    • Whole & Homegrown June 8, 2017 at 6:41 am

      Yes – it is all about the type of tofu you use. I use extra-firm tofu as a substitute for bite-size chicken in some of my meals. I am still on the hunt for a great tofu recipe, I will let you know if I find one!


Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: