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Tofu 101

pressing tofuI. Pressing Tofu
This process serves two purposes: By removing water, it enhances tofu’s flavor-sponging ability while also making it less prone to breakage during cooking.

Cut a block of tofu into desired pieces. (See notes II and III.) Then stack two absorbent tea towels, each folded in half, on a cookie sheet or other flat tray. Lie a paper towel on top of the tea towels, then arrange the tofu pieces on the paper towel. Cover tofu with a second paper towel, two additional folded tea towels, then a second cookie sheet or tray. Place something heavy (a pair of hardcover cookbooks works nicely) on top of the top cookie sheet. Let tofu sit for an hour. Excess water will be absorbed into the towels, leaving tofu ready to use.

II. Cutting Tofu Triangles
The tofu shapes that result from this cutting method are sturdy and convenient, with plenty of flavor-soaking surface area exposed. They are ideal for recipes that call for chicken breasts.

Cut a one-pound block of tofu in half crosswise (See diagram, 1), then cut each half into triangles as shown (2). Cut each triangle into three smaller triangles, each approximately ½-inch thick (3).
tofu triangles

III. Cutting Tofu Fingers
This shape exposes lots of surface for breadcrumbs to stick too – and it’s long enough to make a great dipper.

Cut a one-pound block of tofu in half lengthwise (See diagram below, 1). Then cut each resulting slab into seven equal rectangles, each about ½-inch wide (2).
tofu fingers