Ah, tofu. You are a versatile wonder food loved by vegetarians and vegans for your ability to soak up flavor. You can be scrambled, grilled, baked, fried, made into ricotta, and even added to desserts. So why are you so damn full of water? It’s really annoying because that water is very hard to get out. I’ve have had numerous blocks of you break under the weight of the various methods I’ve used to employ to try and press all the water out of you. And no matter what I put on top, it never seems to get enough water out. But then I found this:
Now I have no problem getting you nice and compact 🙂
I am surprised by how many cookbooks still suggest this old-school way of pressing tofu. I think just about every veg and vegan cookbook I have says to stack something heavy in a pan on top of the tofu. My problem was finding something heavy enough to actually put pressure on the tofu and if I did it inevitably drained unevenly and would start to fall apart. One night Robert and I drove all around town looking for something that would work better. When we asked one of the girls at Whole Foods if they had a tofu press she looked dumbfounded then said “No, but I wish we did. That’s a great idea.”
Enter the internet. A quick Google search revealed that tofu presses do indeed exist. One model was just two pieces of plastic that you put the tofu between and screw together like a vise. You still had to put a plate underneath to catch the water. We decided to order the TofuXpress because the bowl you press the tofu in doubles as a marinating bowl and has a lid. You put a block of tofu in the bowl and press a plate with a thick tension spring down on top and it locks in place. This puts constant tension on the tofu so a lot of water comes out. It presses the block into about 1/3 its original size. See?
It’s really quite amazing. I also love marinating tofu in there because once it gets pressed you can slice it up, put it back in the bowl and it still fits perfectly and the marinade will cover it all. You can also use it to press water out of veggies, like thawed frozen spinach or eggplant.
The TofuXpress in 39.99 plus shipping and trust me it is worth every penny. It is such a space saver and it’s easy to clean. You can find them at tofuxpress.com. They also now sell a lighter tension spring that works with silken tofu. I hope that if there is anyone out there who didn’t know about the existence of tofu presses that I have enlightened you and made some of your kitchen work a little less stressful 🙂