I’ll let out the cat of the bag right away – just use well-pressed tofu.
Have you tried to use a soaked sponge to get rid of water? Did it ever work, until you squeezed the sponge out first so that it could absorb more water? Yet many people do the same with tofu – using it like a soaked sponge. They take out tofu from the package, cut it up, toss it in and expect great results. Then they complain that tofu does not work well as it is tasteless. A cursory squeeze, or even marinating it, may not work well.
Tofu – curdled soy bean curd – is wonderful. It is a versatile protein substitute and acts like a sponge to absorb the flavor of whatever dish you use it in. This sponge comes pre-packaged with liquid. Why try and compete with that? Simply press the liquid out.
Here is a sure-fire way to get well-pressed tofu. Note that this is for firm or extra tofu and not the soft silken kind.
1. Slice your block of tofu (firm or extra/firm)
2. On a flat surface, such as a cookie pan or large plate, alternate folded paper towels and
slices of tofu. Then, add whatever heavy weights you can find on top. I use a large plate first and on top of that plate add a couple barbell weights. You can see my final set-up to the left.
3. Depending on tofu slice thickness, amount of paper towels used etc you may want to refresh with new paper towels. And the longer you press the better the end result. This can be done for a whole day when kept in the fridge, though a couple hours outside does a great job and what I typically do. But even half an hour, or cursory pressing, is better than nothing.
Then that’s it. The end product is tofu that will easily absorb the flavors of whatever dish you are making.