I like tofu. I know a lot of people aren’t so into this protein source, but I enjoy it on occasion, especially when prepared in a flavorful way. The issue I have with tofu is that it can be a pain to prep. While you don’t have to worry about any foodborne illnesses or cross-contamination like you do with other meats like poultry, tofu comes packed in water and if you don’t drain it well you end up with a water-logged, mushy dish. I have tried numerous strategies to drain tofu and to date the best way I have found to do so is to slice the tofu lengthwise and lay the slices on layers of paper towel with more paper towel layered on top. I then put another plate or cutting board over the top layer of paper towel to squeeze out the excess liquid. This method works, but it’s time-consuming and wastes a lot of paper towels – not exactly the most environmentally friendly process.
But now I found a new way to drain my tofu!
A few weeks ago, I saw one of my fellow dietitians, Janel Funk over at Eat Well with Janel, tweet about a tofu press she uses when she makes her tofu dishes (which she does a lot!). I tweeted in response that I need to get something like that and Ben from EZ Tofu Press saw my post and offered to send me a tofu press. I was very excited to try it out.
It’s an interesting contraption. Basically it’s two white press plates made of high density polyethylene (which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use with food), bolts, and knobs that hold the plates together. To use the press, you put the whole brick of tofu between the two plates. You then tighten the knobs simultaneously or alternately so the tofu brick is pressed evenly. It is best to stand the EZ Tofu Press on its side over a plate so that the water can drain out. The people at EZ Tofu Press said that pressing can take 5 to 15 minutes depending on how fast tension is applied and to quickly dry tofu, tighten knobs every 2-4 minutes while preparing meal.
So how did the EZ Tofu Press work? Overall, I’d say it was a success – it certainly was less work and more eco-friendly than my paper towel method, but I found that the brick started to fall apart a little and that the inside of the tofu still had quite a bit of moisture when I cut it into chunks to cook. I have to experiment with the press a little more and figure out the best way to use it, but I will definitely be giving it another shot.
Here’s the final dish I made with my pressed tofu – Peanutty Noodles with Tofu, Kale, and Red Peppers (modified from this Self Magazine recipe):
Enter to Win Your Own EZ Tofu Press!
Giveaway begins: Thursday November 29, 2012 at 3:00 PM ET
Giveaway ends: Friday November 30, 2012 at 5:00 PM ET
Tell me in the comments area “What’s your favorite tofu recipe?”
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Disclaimer: EZ Tofu Press provided me with product for this review, has sponsored the prize offered, and is responsible for shipping it.