Food Guide

Why is my tofu breaking? Expert tips to prevent tofu from crumbling

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of Cookindocs.com. With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for Cookindocs.com is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about...

What To Know

  • I usually press it between two cutting boards with a heavy pot on top of it for at least 15 minutes, but I was in a rush and only did it for about 5 minutes.
  • It’s important to let the tofu rest for at least 10 minutes after pressing, to allow the liquid to redistribute and the tofu to firm up.
  • Wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel or paper towel and place a heavy object on top to press the water out.

Tofu is a very delicate food that can easily break apart into pieces. This is especially common when you are cooking with tofu and handling it too much. But there are several reasons that your tofu might break, and it’s important to know what they are so you can avoid them in the future. Here are some reasons why your tofu might be breaking apart.

1. You didn’t press the water out of it enough

I didn’t press the water out of it enough. I usually press it between two cutting boards with a heavy pot on top of it for at least 15 minutes, but I was in a rush and only did it for about 5 minutes. This is why my tofu broke apart so easily.

2. You didn’t let it rest long enough

If you’re finding that your tofu is crumbling and breaking apart when you try to cook it, there are a few possible reasons. One possible explanation is that you didn’t let the tofu rest long enough after pressing it. Pressing the tofu helps to remove excess liquid and firm up the block, making it easier to cook without breaking. It’s important to let the tofu rest for at least 10 minutes after pressing, to allow the liquid to redistribute and the tofu to firm up. Another possible reason for your crumbling tofu could be that you’re not handling it gently enough. Tofu is quite fragile and can easily break if it’s handled too roughly. Be sure to use gentle, even pressure when manipulating the tofu and it should stay in one piece.

3. You didn’t cook it long enough

If you’re having trouble with your tofu breaking apart, you may not be cooking it long enough. Tofu is made from ground soy beans that are pressed into a block. The longer you cook it, the more it will break apart. Make sure to cook your tofu thoroughly before adding it to your dish. If you’re not sure how long to cook it, try adding a few extra minutes and check on it periodically. You don’t want to overcook it, but you also don’t want to undercook it.

4. You didn’t use enough oil

The problem is likely due to the technique of cooking the tofu. The best way to cook tofu is to drain it first and pat it dry with a paper towel. This will remove some of the moisture. Then, you can either marinate the tofu or simply season it with salt and pepper. Once it is seasoned, you can cook it in a hot skillet with some oil until it is golden brown on both sides. If you don’t use enough oil, the tofu will stick to the pan and break apart.

5. You didn’t drain it well enough

The key to getting firm tofu right is to press the water out, and here are two methods you can try:

1. Wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel or paper towel and place a heavy object on top to press the water out. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
2. For a more efficient method, you can buy a tofu press online. Simply place the tofu in the press and let it do its magic. The press will drain the water out and you’ll be left with perfect, firm tofu every time.

The Bottom Line

Want to make the perfect tofu? Make sure you press the water out, let it rest and cook it long enough. It’s as easy as that.

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Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of Cookindocs.com. With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for Cookindocs.com is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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