Although freshly made tofu is common in Asia, in the United States it’s typically sold in refrigerated water-packed blocks. The commonly available styles (silken, soft, firm, and extra-firm) differ mainly in how thoroughly the curds have been drained and pressed, which removes moisture and firms up the structure.
Because tofu has no bones or fat (like meat) and also has a high water content, it cooks quickly. But all that water also means it falls apart easily. In some applications, this is a benefit. But for other situations, you want it to keep it shape. Here's our technique for that.