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Just getting started cooking with tofu? You might want to consider getting a tofu press, which helps to remove excess water from your tofu blocks.😛 In this post, I’m gonna be reviewing the TofuXpress which is a tofu press to help you remove excess water from your tofu blocks. Read on below and or watch the video review!
The TofuXpress Tofu Press
Have you ever considered getting a tofu press?
Regardless, it’s not anything that fancy.
Out of the box, all that the tofu press comes with is
- the device you see above
- a manual
Breaking it down, there’s a spring and the flat lid which you would use to press against the block.
This spring is removable and is supposed to be used for firm blocks of tofu.
There’s also an optional second spring that you can get for this product which is supposed to be used for softer blocks.
So you may notice, if you have one of these, that this spring is a little bit too firm for soft tofu.
In my experience, I’ve noticed is that some brands of tofu can’t hold up to the power of this spring.
This means it might crack your soft tofu blocks which may or may not matter to you.
Also, because there’s no drainage holes in the tofu press, you’re actually gonna have to occasionally dump out the excess water that comes out.
Last, sometimes I’ve noticed if the tofu block is not cut evenly (like it’s a little bit slanted) you might have to adjust it and push down on one side a little bit.
But as soon as you put the lid on, right away you’ll see the excess water start to come out!
Read on for the details or watch the video to see the demo and experiment!
Three reasons to remove the excess water from your tofu blocks
- it’s gonna to help to improve the flavor.
- it’s gonna help to improve the texture.
- it’s gonna prevent diluting your seasoning (savory or sweet)
Can you think of any I missed?
So if you like a very soft, custardy texture, you might not want to press it too long because it’s gonna squeeze everything together and it will make it more dense.
But, if you’re using any kind of a sauce like you’re doing a saute on the stove like mapo tofu, for example, or you’re doing a cold tofu dish like hiyayakko (a Japanese cold tofu dish).
The sauces that are used to season the tofu, like the mapo tofu, and the hiyayakko are very salty.
So all that salt is gonna draw out excess water from the tofu and it’s gonna dilute your sauce.
You might not notice that on the day that you cook the dish or the day that you prepare it, but the next day, for sure, the excess water from your tofu will be drawn out.
This is why you might’ve noticed a pool of liquid if you’ve had a leftover tofu dish from the previous day.
Tips for using the tofu press
You can use the tofu press for any type of cooking or cuisine.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be for Japanese cuisine or Japanese tofu dishes.
If you’re gonna be using it for some sort of an American tofu dish, a fusion dish or any other type of dish that calls for tofu, you should always remove your excess water to improve the overall tofu eating experience.
So if you’ve never done that before, maybe give it a try.
Let me know what you guys think.
Most people will notice a difference.
Before I got this, I actually used to use weights (messy) and the passive way which is just letting it sit on your counter and not doing anything.
I also used to use the stove and the microwave which are two other ways that you can remove excess water from tofu.
You don’t have to be using a tofu press to get out the extra water from tofu.
Other methods also have their respective pros and cons.
And for this press, I’ll get to those down below.
For the most part, I press anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes usually is about how long I do the pressing.
Obviously the longer that you leave this press, the more water’s gonna come out but at some point it’s gonna be pretty compact and not too much water’s gonna come out.
I’ve seen the tofu block probably get reduced to about two thirds the original size by the time it’s done pressing for a full 24 hours, and then that’ll be a pretty dense tofu block.
So I don’t really do that often.
But if a dense block of tofu is what you’re going for, definitely give that a try.
So wanna know the pros and cons of the Tofu Xpress?
Tofu Xpress Pros and Cons
- It’s easy to use, easy to clean -all parts are dishwasher safe
- It can be used for 14 ounce and 19 ounce blocks
- it’s made of clear plastic So you can actually see the tofu, which is pretty cool. Along with all the water getting squished out
- The footprint of this is not too big, so it doesn’t take up too much space. It’s probably about one and a half times the size of the tofu container. Sometimes I just put this in the fridge overnight and then the next morning I will drain off the excess water
- I’d say that it seems very well built. I’m a little concerned that it’s plastic, so I don’t know how long it’s gonna last or if it’s gonna crack over time ’cause I found that in my experience that usually hard plastics crack
- The spring it comes with is firm so you can’t always use it for soft tofu. Depending on the brand, it might crack a little bit
- There’s no drainage holes. Though I guess you could drill some 🙂
A few tips on storing your tofu.
- So after you’re done pressing it, you don’t necessarily need to use it right away. I’ve actually let it sit in the refrigerator for a day after pressing it. I wouldn’t really go more than a day after that because you’ll notice it’ll develop a slimy texture.
- You wanna use it at least within a day after pressing it. You don’t wanna ever freeze your tofu unleash you’re doing it on purpose.
- So I know that there’s some recipes that have called for frozen tofu. If you do freeze your tofu and you never done it before, try it, it’s gonna change the texture. You may or may not like it. It gets very squishy, that’s why I don’t recommend freezing your tofu, especially for Japanese recipes, I never freeze it.
You know what frozen tofu reminds me of? Koyadoufu. Koyadoufu is a dehydrated freeze-dried tofu. Koyasan is a mountain in Japan, a little bit north east of Osaka. They’re famous for shojin ryouri which is Buddhist vegetarian cuisine and one of the things that they are known for is koyadoufu. If you’ve never had it before, I would definitely try to seek it out especially if you’re in Japan or visiting Koyasan, you might be able to try it while you’re there.
Last thoughts on the tofu press
I’m very happy with it. This was actually my first tofu press and it works well. If you cook with tofu regularly, you might find it to be very useful in the kitchen. Definitely better than putting weights and making a mess on your counter with water everywhere.
Have you ever used a tofu press before?
If not, would you consider getting this one after hearing my review and my thoughts, my experiences?
Let me know in the comments below. Would love to hear your thoughts.
If you have other ideas for removing excess water from your tofu, we’d love to hear them.
Watch this video TOFU XPRESS | Tofu Press Review and Experiment
😛if you’re not too into the Tofu Xpress tofu press, you may want to check out the Ninja tofu press or alternatively, 5 ways to drain your tofu and make your tofu dishes taste better which goes into a few other methods for removing excess water
what do you guys think? have you used a tofu presses or techniques to drain tofu yet? lmk in the comments!