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How to Press Tofu

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The Authentic Pad Thai recipe found in Fine Cooking #111 calls for pressed tofu, which is firm enough that it doesn’t break up during stir-frying, as regular unpressed tofu would. But as we discovered when testing this recipe, pressed tofu can be hard to come by, even in seemingly wellstocked Asian markets.

If you can’t find pressed tofu, you can press regular extra-firm tofu at home. It won’t be as firm as the commercially pressed variety, but it will still hold up better in the wok.

To press tofu, drain it, cut it in half horizontally, and blot it dry. Line a plate with a folded lint-free dishtowel or several layers of paper towels and set the tofu on the toweling. Cover the tofu with a small cutting board and put several cans of food or other weight on top. Refrigerate for 24 hours, changing the towels as they become saturated.

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