I first heard about this amazeballs invention over at Colorado Vegan where she put on her science-y apron and tested out tofu pressing methods. Until her post I had no idea a contraption like this existed.
I guess the secret to cooking good tofu (at least the way I like it) is to getting as much of the liquid drained from the tofu as possible. If you haven’t enjoyed tofu at home but love it at restaurants, I suggest trying this out.
My method up until a week ago was to take two of my sporadically used cutting boards, a ton of paper towels, and my 10lb hand weights and go at it. I would cut the tofu into about 5-6 slices, fold over many sheets of paper towel, place the tofu between 2 pillows of paper towel, top with a 2nd cutting board and both 10lb weights. Then proceed to wait hours. This always did an okay job but I didn’t know it could be easier and more efficient. Which leads to happiness and a better tasting dinner.
Using the Tofu Xpress, you place the drained block of tofu in the square base and place the ‘lid’ on, which is a piece of hard plastic and a very strong spring. As you place the lid on, you push down and turn diagonal. Once it’s flat you twist it back to the 9 and 3 position so it will be ‘locked’ under by the grooves provided. Placing all of the pressure provided by the spring to start extracting the water from your soon to be delicious dinner.
You can feasibly leave the tofu to be pressed for 3-4 hours but so far I’ve only made it 1 hour before moving onto a marinade.
This press is meant to work with firm and extra firm varieties of tofu. If you tried putting silken tofu in here, you would be mere steps away from tofu soup or tofu pudding.
I took pictures the 2nd time around using the Tofu Xpress and happened to use a sprouted variety of tofu that is a bit more oblong then the standard rectangle that comes in the white plastic container. No bother, a few cuts of the tofu with a different arrangement and it still fit nice enough.
This is after only 5 minutes of pressing.
And this is after 25 minutes, I drained it here and proceeded to press another 40 minutes. I don’t think you would ever need to place a plate under it for risk of overflow but it couldn’t hurt either.
Once your tofu is pressed proceed with your recipe. I think my favorite way to eat it so far is to add a little bit of olive oil or coconut oil to a skillet and brown the tofu 5-8 on each side. Then adding it to our meal.
I think if I had had this tool in my arsenal 12 years ago when I went vegetarian it would have been life changing. I didn’t know anything about cooking with tofu back then and the 2 tofu cookbooks I did have didn’t give tips on prepping it.
I’m curious to see if we’ll eat tofu more than once a month or every couple months now. Jeremy really dug it too, so that’s always a good sign. I kept exclaiming that it was just like restaurant quality, which then he would reply “better than restaurant”.
I’m not sure if this gadget can be found in a standard kitchen supply store, I imagine some health food stores may carry it, and as with many things that can’t be found at Fred Meyer or the Farmer’s Market I added this to our Amazon cart. I was disappointed it wasn’t offered under Amazon Prime to qualify us for free shipping BUT the company did ship quickly via priority mail and we received it within a couple of days.
In summation, I’m very happy with this purchase! Thanks Colorado Vegan for the heads up
Do you have a tofu story from your kitchen? How do you prep and cook it? A tip I learned recently was that when it is baked in the oven, it should be on parchment paper instead of tinfoil like I was doing. It absorbs a metallic taste with the tinfoil.