I’ve lived in Asia for over a decade and now I’m back in the Western world. Of all the things, I miss how I can get a block of freshly pressed tofu (for less than US$1) from the supermarket just a couple minutes down the road.
I decided to venture out and try my hands at pressing tofu myself.
Instead of using a tofu press, I wrapped my bean curd in cheesecloth and, then, sat a few hardback books on top of it. With this method, it never had the texture or consistency of the firm tofu for a good stir fry. Even worse, the high water content in my DIY tofu (much like a soaked sponge) meant that they would only keep for a day in the fridge, max.
After studying guides on how to press tofu, I now know that pressing tofu comes down to 3 things:
- How much pressure do you put on the tofu?
- How long do you keep this pressure on the tofu for?
- Is this pressure distributed evenly across the tofu?
It was time to invest in a tofu press.
Types Of Tofu Press
Before we begin exploring tofu presses, you need to know that people use them for two reasons.
- To press store-bought tofu to make them firmer.
- To mold and press homemade tofu (from bean curds).
Tofu presses come in 2 types: plate style and box style.
The plate style tofu press is usually used for pressing store-bought tofu. For example, if a vegan breakfast scramble recipe calls for extra-firm tofu and you only have a block of store-bought firm tofu in the fridge, pop it under the tofu press. Tighten up the vice by adjusting the screws. After 30 minutes, the extra water will be pressed out. Out comes your extra-firm tofu.
To firm up your homemade tofu, you’ll need a box style tofu press.
If you want to make homemade tofu, you need to use the “box” feature of the tofu press as a mold.
Box style tofu press ensures your bean curd comes out a tidy, uniform, rectangular block. It minimizes any chance of homemade tofu crumbling off from the side before it firms up. (However, this isn’t an issue with a store-bought tofu.)
1. Tofu Xpress
Put your tofu or bean curds in the transparent container, lock the lid, keep it in the fridge over night. Finally, pour out the layer of water the next morning and your firm tofu is ready for breakfast.
What’s best is that it comes with a marinating dish. Balsamic vinegar or soy sauce make a perfect marinate for baked homemade firm tofu.
The Tofuture design is somewhat different from Tofu Xpress. Tofuture does not use a spring – it uses a hook and lock mechanism (3 levels) to adjust the height of the press. Also, instead of having to tip the box over for draining, Tofuture has its own drain layer.
It has 3 layers in total:
- Lid – presses down on the tofu.
- Tofu tub – the container that holds the tofu (has tiny holes at the bottom to drain water).
- Water tub – the container that holds the drained water.
3. Raw Rutes Ninja Tofu Press
My mom has a thing for stainless steel kitchen gadgets. The less plastic touching her food, the better it is.
The Ninja Tofu Press has a heavy duty press-block. That’s why it’s so versatile! You can remove moisture from shredded potatoes for your hash browns. Pack in veggies to make your vegan patties.
This tofu press is made in the U.S. and has the sleekest design of all tofu press models I’ve seen. However, it is a bit pricey.
Let us know at Snap Vegan Daily your experience with your tofu press!