6 Ways to Dehydrate Tofu at Home

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Quick Answer: How to Dehydrate Tofu at Home

The best ways to dehydrate tofu are – using a homemade press or using a tofu press. You can also dehydrate using saltwater, refrigerating, or microwaving it. You can proceed with the most common method i.e, the tofu press or homemade press if you wish to dry tofu conveniently.

In this article, I will be outlining the best methods to dry tofu from the comforts of your home. You’ll be requiring your everyday kitchen appliances for the same.

I’ve not only poured my personal experience with drying tofu, but have also incorporated hours of research on what food bloggers and experts have to say on drying tofu at home.

There are many ways to dry tofu and I’ve got you covered with the four simplest methods.

Since each of these methods are unique in their own way, let’s kick things off with the most common method referred to for drying tofu at home.

The Importance of Drying your Tofu

It is crucial to get rid of moisture and excess water from your tofu before you consume it or store it.

If you dry your tofu, you will be able to concentrate all its natural flavor.

Drying tofu will also compact it and this would provide you with a firm texture.

Dried tofu has concentrated umami and won’t dilute your sauce when you cook it.

Sugar and salt tend to draw excess water from tofu and this will hamper your cooking process and the aftertaste as well.

How to Dehydrate Tofu Using a Homemade Press?

How to Dehydrate Tofu Using a Homemade Press?

Active Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Using a Press to dehydrate tofu is one of the most common methods referred to. Depending upon the time you have, you can either slice the tofu or use the whole slab. Sliced tofu takes less time to dry but it’s suggested to give it all the time it needs to dry for better results with no moisture left.

Materials

  • Kitchen Towels
  • Plates with smooth surface
  • Approx 1kg weight

Tools

  • No Special Tool needed

Instructions

  1. Cover with kitchen towels – Take the tofu slab out of the packaging and drain the extra water.

    Pat-dry the tofu surface with a kitchen towel. Don’t put a lot of pressure as the surface would be softened at this point.
  2. Layer the plate with paper towels – Before placing the tofu on the plate, layer the plate with 5 to 6 paper towels.

    Wrap the tofu block entirely with the towel and press the tofu to let the paper towel absorb the water. Try to choose a flat surfaced plate.
  3. Add another plate - After covering the tofu with towels, add a second plate on top of the tofu slab.
  4. Place your weight - Place your 1kg weight on the top of the second plate so that the tofu gets compressed under the two.

    This would remove the excess water from the tofu, which would be absorbed by the paper towel.
  5. Drain the excess water – Every 30 minutes, drain the water and use more towels. You can replace the towels if needed until no more water comes out.

    Repeat the process a few times until your tofu is completely dried.

Using a Tofu Press

Time Taken: 20 minutes

Optimum temperature – room temperature

What You Need:

  • Firm tofu
  • A ninja tofu press
  • A plastic container

Instead of placing weight on your tofu by yourself and stacking objects on top to compress it, you can use a tofu press like the Ninja tofu press.

A tofu press equips its own 4 pound weight and compresses the tofu perfectly, ensuring that all the water is drained out from it.

Take your Tofu Out

Take your knife and remove your tofu slab from its packaging and place it on your chopping board.

Make sure you discard the excess water from the package accordingly.

Place the Plastic Container

Take your Ninja tofu press and place it in a plastic container. A tofu press normally has holes at the bottom.

This is from where water drains out which is why it is important to keep a plastic container under it to accumulate all the excess water from the tofu.

Compress the Tofu

Place your entire firm tofu slab inside the tofu press and let it compress with the 4 pound weight on top.

If you are in a hurry, you can compress it for 15 minutes and use it accordingly.

However, the best time to compress tofu is for 30 minutes if you are willing to drain out every ounce of water from your tofu.

Compressing it for 20 minutes works well too.

Tofu Using Salt Water

Time Taken: About 30 minutes to 1 hour

What You Need:

  • Fresh tofu
  • A cooking pot
  • Salt
  • Boiling Water
  • Bowl
  • Paper towels

If you are looking for a way to dry tofu immediately, simply boil it in water with salt. This is the fastest way there is for drying tofu at home.

The salt water tightens the tofu and as a result, all the excess moisture and water drains out of the tofu, leaving it ready to cook or store.

Boil a Pot of Water

Firstly, put a pot over the stove, add about 2 cups of water to it and bring it to a boil. After the water starts to boil, add 2 tbsp. of salt to it.

The salt is added after the water is boiled as it requires more time for the salted water to boil compared to normal water.

Slice the Tofu

Take the tofu out and drain the extra water. After that, place the tofu over a chopping board and slice it in bite size chunks.

You can choose to cut it into cubes or strips according to requirement.

Pour the Water Over the Tofu

Place the tofu into a bowl and then start pouring the boiled salt water over it.
Try to make sure all the chunks get drenched with salt water. It’s okay if the tofu is not submerged completely.

You can refer to how Pat does this here –

Drain the Water

After the completion of 15 minutes, drain the water into a sink and place the tofu over paper towels. Pat-dry the tofu using the paper towels.

Make sure your tofu is completely dry with no moisture before you proceed with cooking or storing it in an airtight container.

Microwave your Tofu

Time Taken: About 15 to 20 minutes

What You Need:

  • A microwave
  • A microwave-friendly bowl
  • Paper towels

This is one of the easiest ways to dehydrate tofu at home as it consumes only a couple of minutes.

You can use your microwave if you need dried tofu instantly as well.

However, you will have to cook your tofu right after drying it because you cannot store it once it’s dried using a microwave.

Take your Tofu Out

Take your knife and remove your tofu slab from its packaging and place it on your chopping board.

Make sure you discard the excess water from the package accordingly.

Place the Tofu

Keep the entire tofu slab in a microwave-friendly bowl. Do not cover the bowl.

Covering the bowl will lead to moisture making the tofu soggy rather than drying it.

Place the Bowl in the Microwave

On a high power setting of the microwave, place the bowl inside and turn it on for 2 minutes.

Do not dry the tofu for more than 2 minutes because it will give your tofu a bad texture.

Let the Tofu Cool

Set your tofu aside to cool down for a few minutes. Take your tofu carefully out of the microwave because it will be very hot.

Wrap it With a Paper Towel

Use paper towels to wrap the tofu for absorbing any extra moisture that is left.

Refrigerating Tofu

Time Taken: About 12 to 14 hours

What You Need:

  • A container of tofu
  • Refrigerator
  • Paper Towel
  • Air tight container

Using this technique for dehydrating tofu doesn’t require a lot of effort nor a lot of resources.

Refrigerating your tofu is another simple way to dry tofu at home with ease and minimum equipment.

Freeze the Tofu

Place tofu directly into the freezer after purchasing it. Let it freeze overnight for about 6 to 7 hours.

Do not open the tofu packaging before keeping it in the freezer.

If opened, it could result in the tofu getting freezer burned. Your tofu will have a bread-type texture after it has frozen overnight.

Refrigerate the Tofu

You tofu must have become like a solid cold brick, therefore, keep it in the fridge at nominal temperature for 5 to 6 hours till ice crystals form over the tofu.

Defrost the Tofu

Place the tofu under running water and defrost it. Using a sharp knife, open the package and drain all the excessive water.

Pat-dry the Tofu

Use a paper towel and pat-dry the tofu. The paper towel will absorb all the extra water left on the surface of the tofu, making it completely dry.

Since the tofu is completely dehydrated, it is ready to be used for cooking or storing for 2 to 3 days accordingly.

Drying Tofu in Your Kitchen

Time Taken: Several hours

Optimum temperature – Room temperature

What You Need:

  • Fresh Tofu
  • Chopping board
  • A knife

If you don’t wish to use any electrical appliances or equipment, you can simply dry your tofu in your kitchen by itself.

This is the most simplest and lengthiest method there is for drying tofu at home.

Take your Tofu Out

Take your knife and remove your tofu slab from its packaging and place it on your chopping board.

Make sure you discard the excess water from the package accordingly.

Chop your Tofu

Using a sharp knife, slice your tofu into bite size pieces. First, slide the knife across the slab from the between, slicing it into half.

Then, start chopping the tofu into small cubes. Make sure these cubes aren’t that small.

Arrange the Tofu

Place your tofu on the chopping board nicely while making sure that there is sufficient space between the cubes.

This is important because these cubes will start leaking out excess water and it’s crucial to have them spaced properly.

Dry the Tofu

Let your tofu cubes sit for several hours until all of the excess water drains out of them.

The Right Way to Store Dehydrated Tofu

Tofu needs to be dried before you proceed to cook it or store it.

We need to get rid of its excessive moisture and water accordingly which is why it’s crucial to only proceed with storing tofu once it has completely dried.

The best way for you to store dried tofu is by placing it in an airtight container or a plastic bag.

Dried tofu is stored in the freezer, therefore, place your airtight containers or plastic bags in the freezer.

You will only be able to store dried tofu for up to 2 to 3 days before it starts getting spoiled.

Our Take on Which Method is the Best

You can proceed with the most common method i.e, the tofu press or homemade press if you wish to dry tofu conveniently.

Both of these methods are quite easy to follow.

If you want to proceed with a method that involves minimum effort, you can simply let your tofu dry in the kitchen or the refrigerator.

These are quite lengthy methods but are very easy to follow.

If you wish to dry tofu instantly, you can refer to the salt water method or use a microwave for the same.

You can even use a tofu press since it will only consume 20 minutes.

Each of these three methods consume 20 to 30 minutes only or provide you with instantly dried tofu.

FAQs

Which is the fastest method to dehydrate tofu?

Using a microwave or a tofu press is the fastest way to dehydrate tofu as they only consume about 15 to 20 minutes. You will get completely dried tofu with a nice texture using each of these methods.

Why do I need to dry tofu?

Dehydrating tofu increases its storage time and also allows the tofu to soak much of the sauce while cooking, making it more flavorsome. It also helps to improve the soggy texture of the tofu.

Can I boil tofu in salt water to dry it?

If you are looking for a way to dry tofu immediately, simply boil it in water with salt. This is the fastest way there is for drying tofu at home.

The salt water tightens the tofu and as a result, all the excess moisture and water drains out of the tofu, leaving it ready to cook or store.

Is there any simple way to dry tofu at home?

Yes, there is. You can simply cut your tofu into bite size cubes and let it rest on your kitchen platform for a few hours. This way, the water will drain out. You can even refrigerate your tofu to dry it.

Bottom line

We have gone through six different ways to dehydrate tofu for various purposes.

Hopefully, this guide helped you learn ways to dehydrate tofu from the comforts of your home with ease.

If you find this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family; please leave any queries in the comments section below!

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About Betty Ellis

Betty is a food researcher who spends most of her time analyzing the nutritional aspects of various foods. She also researches methods to enhance taste, as well as how to store certain types of foods. She enjoys cooking for herself and her three dogs even though she doesn't have a lot of free time outside work.

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