How to prepare tofu the Japanese way

For Fab Bean Curd Say Sayonara to some of that water

Tofu contains a whole load of h2o. It even comes packed in it. Time to set that water free and replace it with some serious umami. Here we show you the classic way to prepare tofu using the simplest of methods.

Without fine water, great TOFU cannot exist.

Indeed, without water, tofu can't exist. But once you've got that lovely bean curd into your kitchen, you need to liberate it by freeing off some, or maybe all, of the water. In simple terms, that just means pouring it off. But if you are planning to fry, deep-fry, or just like a firmer consistency, you'll need some simple tools. And gravity.

Fortunately, the latter is pretty difficult to avoid, and the 'tools' involved are this high-tech: two pieces of wood and something heavy. A rock is good. How to drain tofu

As you'll see from the above, you need to set the wood (we used two small wooden chopping boards) at an angle besides the kitchen sink. Don't make it too steep or you risk watching your precious tofu slide majestically down the drain (we have, alas, been guilty of this).  Place the tofu on the board. Place the other board on top, and weight it down with something suitably heavy - but not so heavy as to crush the tofu out of shape. Then all you have to do is wait. Around 30 minutes should do the trick.

If you liked this, check out some of our vegan tofu recipes, and our article What Is Tofu? If you are in Tokyo why not drop by our favorite 100 year-old tofu shop, Sugitora, or try one of the Tofu Meister cooking courses with a local tofu master chef at Tsukiji Cooking