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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A NIFTY NEW GADGET FOR PRESSING TOFU!

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The "Tofu Xpress"

I've just been given the opportunity to test out a great new gadget for the vegetarian and vegan kitchen-- a nifty tofu press called the "Tofu Xpress". It was invented by a clever Pennsylvania woman and is the result of 5 years of testing. Here's how it works (pictures taken by me in my kitchen!):

I pressed a 1 lb. block of commercial medium-firm tofu. You put the spring-activated top over the tofu and snap in place:





Place the whole thing in your refrigerator for 30-60 minutes:


Look at the water that was pressed out of it in the next picture. I weighed it after pressing and almost half it's original weight (16 oz.) in water was pressed out! It weighed 8.6 oz. after pressing for an hour.



After pressing, I sliced it into 8 slices and placed it back in the Tofu Xpress (drained and washed), with a marinade (2 parts light soy sauce and 1 part maple syrup with a little sesame oil), covered it with the flat lid and let it marinate in the refrigereator for a few hours:





Then I browned the slices in a nonstick skillet over high heat with the marinade poured over it:


I turned the slices over and cooked them (watching carefully) until all of the marinade was soaked up and the slices were appetizingly glazed:



The tofu was delicious! It had a different texture and mouth feel than commercial extra-firm tofu, I found. It was firm all right, but smoother and not as dry-- it's hard to explain!  It makes the BEST scrambled tofu-- see my version of Julie Hasson's great tofu scramble using pressed medium-firm tofu.

I am sold on this press! It would be especially useful if you make your own tofu. You can then press your finished tofu to the firmness you desire without balancing weights on top! You can also use this press for squeezing the liquid out of cooked or thawed, frozen greens, shredded cabbage, eggplant slices, etc..

Also, some folks can only find the softer, medium-firm tofu, or that's the only kind they can get that's organic. Now, they can make it as firm as they like! Furthermore, bulk medium-firm tofu is often far less expensive (and not over-packaged) than commercial pressed tofu, so that, even when you figure it by the pressed weight, you save money.

You can order it via this page, and there is an introductory discount. (BTW, I am not getting a commission for sales on this product-- I just think it's a great gadget!)

All the best,

17 comments:

Yellowgoat said...

there's such a thing for pressing tofu! wow.

Try freeze the tofu, then defrost it naturally, squeeze out the extra water, great for a stew type of food. My family use it for hot pot mostly...

Andrea said...

That looks just like a Japanese pickle press! Mine is round, and I've been using it for at least twenty years to make quick pickles and pressed tofu! It's great. I have a post about it buried somewhere in my blog.

aimee said...

Thanks for the review, Bryanna! I've seen this gadget but wasn't sure of its usefulness. Great to get a review from a trusted source! I can never get my tofu pressed as much as I like. I'll definitely check this out!

Dori said...

About seven years ago I had a friend who did detailed woodcrafts. I asked him to make me a cedar tofu press using the specs listed used in a book I found at the library. I used it once and still have it for the nostalgia. I like this press and the fact that the dish doubles as a marinating bowl... a tool with more than one use!

Anonymous said...

Bryanna,

Can I ask about this recipe and your breast of tofu? I wonder why it's so important to press the tofu if you are just going to marinate it again?

I made your breast of tofu, pressing the tofu carefully to get the water out, and then followed your instructions, and my tofu came out soggy -- does yours? And this recipe -- the tofu doesn't get soggy (or stay soggy) when you marinate?

Thanks.

Veganoh

veggievixen said...

that's awesome! i rarely ever press tofu but i think i would do it more often if i had this nifty gadget. i love kitchen gadgets.

swellvegan said...

That's amazing! I dont' normally go for gadget-y things, but I might spring for that...

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Anonymous, you must not be pressing the tofu enough. I have been using extra-firm tofu and it is the consistency of chicken breast. But I have seen other extra-firm tofus that are not as firm. I have left my breast of tofu in the marinade for a week or more and it does not get soggy.

vegetarianzoe said...

Yes, this press seem really awesome.

Clotilde M. said...

Tofu is so versatile! Your dishes look so flavorful. Thanks for sharing.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Another cool gadget to add to my wish list. Puts my aluminum wrapped brick to same. hahaha

KathyD said...

Thanks for reveiwing this.I read about this in some VRG materials and was unsure about it.

Bryanna,I'm taking the opportunity to tell you that I so appreciate your cookbooks and your enthusiasm for great healthful food, cooking, and sharing your knowledge with your readers to make healthful vegan food accessible and enjoyable. I found your cookbooks about 3 years ago (I'm 39) and only wish I had found them sooner! May God bless you.

Vegan Epicurean said...

Bryanna,

Thanks for reviewing this tofu press. I love gadgets and have bought too many that weren't useful in the end.

I bought the SoyQuick soymilk maker you recommended. Which, by the way, we love. Your recommendation carries a lot of weight at my house.

Thank you so much for all the trailblazing you have done in vegan cooking. My husband and I would have had great difficulty staying vegan were it not for you. "Nonna's Italian Kitchen" was one of my first vegan cookbooks and is still one I turn to when I need inspiration.

Alicia

Spice Island Vegan said...

Wow, I will be buying this Bryanna. What a great idea. It can be use to make loaf of rice too and to press spinach.

Love it!

Debbie

Anonymous said...

What happens to the water as or after it is pressed out? I am a bit confused about that...

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

The water just rises to the top as the press goes down, and you pour it off.

Anonymous said...

We just purchased a new tofu press from TofuPresser.com. It is different from the tofu x press you mentioned above, but it does not require any assembly and completely presses tofu in 15 minutes….and it costs less. Take a look.