Preparing tofu is a bit like playing the piano, anyone can do it, but like many things in life it takes a little practice and perseverance to really master the art.
Like many new to preparing it, I used to cube a block of tofu, fresh from the packet, and then stir-fry it with a few selected veggies, however I found it never used to taste as good as the tofu I’d eaten in restaurants.
Through a little research I learned that to get good tofu, you need dry tofu – and by pressing the water out, it not only makes a much better texture, it also allows more room in the tofu for the flavour to bind through the marination process.
I used to wrap blocks of tofu in kitchen paper towel, whilst balancing something heavy on it, sometimes I’d use a heavy pan on top to try and press the water out. Despite being closer to what I was looking for, it still wasn’t quite perfect, there also seemed to be a lot of leftover waste. Then I discovered the wonderful world of the tofu press!
So what exactly is a Tofu Press, I hear you ask?
In layman’s terms, a tofu press is a device that removes the excess water from tofu, leaving you with a much denser block, along with a great texture too.
By taking out the water, you’re then able to replace it with added flavours, via your various marinades. A bonus is that bone-dry tofu is much safer to fry in oil, as there is no water in it to create any of the splattering you may have experienced when frying it moist before. Not only that, it gets crispier too. When your tofu is dry, you can really achieve that golden crunchy crust on your tofu cubes, yum yum!
Tofu comes in many textures and consistencies, some are better suited to pressing than others. I press tofu that I would use in a stir-fry or a salad.
For the best results I use the firm and extra-firm varieties, as they are much better at holding their shape throughout the pressing process. I avoid pressing soft tofu, as it results in a unappetising paste once pressed.
Adam and Susan from Tofuture have been vegetarians for over 20 years and have made it their mission is to transform Tofu from the tasteless, spongy, last choice vegetarian option into a delicious, healthy and ethical addition to our diets.
Their recipes, new ideas, and their brand new Tofu Press will add a riot of alternative options to your menu. The only problem will be choosing which to try first! To see some of their exciting new recipes head now to www.tofuture.com/recipes
Adam told the Gazette
“We wanted to create something that could press tofu simply and effectively, and preferably without saturating any more of my cookery books in tofu-water.”
“It’s no secret that tofu is often overlooked as a food option. It’s healthy, ethical and environmentally-friendly, but often people have either never tried it or have been too scarred by the horror of the tofu option at the local takeaway; over-sized lumps of unpressed, spongy, tasteless tofu. However, it shouldn’t be that way…tofu prepared properly, marinated in great flavours, and cooked well is the opposite: versatile, delicious and healthy – and not just for vegetarians.
So with much research, design, trial and error, we have created what we believe is the perfect kitchen tool for pressing your tofu quickly and cleanly – a tofu press.
Plus we have put together this website that we plan to keep choc full of amazing new tofu recipes, ideas and mouth-watering flavour combinations that will help you get the most out of your tofu.”
So whether you are vegetarian, vegan, or even a meat-eater looking for healthier alternatives, join the tofu revolution!
For more information on the Tofutre Tofu Press , or some new recipe ideas to spice up your life visit their website at www.tofuture.com
5 Tofu facts for you…
• Tofu, also known as bean curd has a low calorie count and relatively large amounts of protein.
• It is high in iron, and it can have a high calcium or magnesium content, depending on the manufacturing pricess.
• Tofu-making was first recorded during the Chinese Han dynasty some 2,000 years ago.
• Tofu has very little flavor or smell of its own. Consequently, tofu can be prepared either in savory or sweet dishes, acting as a bland background for presenting the flavors of the other ingredients used. As a method of flavoring it is often marinated in soy sauce, chilis, sesame oil, etc.
• In Asian cooking, tofu is eaten in a myriad of ways, including raw, stewed, stir-fried, in soup, cooked in sauce, or stuffed with fillings. The idea of using tofu as a meat substitute is not common in East Asia.