Saturday, February 25, 2012

TofuXpress Review & Tofu Scramble, Tofu & Veg Chilli Satay Stir fry Noodles, Tofu Steak Sandwich & AgarAgar Delight)

I have a confession to make. I never used to press my tofu. After many failures at pressing tofu with chopping boards, books, plates etc. I had given up. #1 I'm impatient, #2 I was scared of them falling off (yes it did happen to me) #3 it always seemed to press the tofu unevenly and #4 it was messy! I just never pressed anything and dealt with the consequences (recipes having the wrong texture extra water/additional cooking time etc.) But I can tell you now, it's worth pressing tofu! I've been pressing my tofu this week and this difference is amazing. 

I've been using the tofuXpress- a product that I had seen reviewed on a couple of other blogs and thought- it can't make *that* much difference can it?.. it was time to try it for myself. So I summoned some self confidence and confidence in my little blog and contacted them asking if I could review it too. They were more than happy to oblige as long as I told you all that I asked them and that they ship world wide! So all you non-U.S readers we can get them too! Mine took 2 weeks to arrive safely and I was eager to try it out. Here are some photos of the box- don't worry mine's just a little dented because I told them I didn't need a perfect one- it's just the box.

As you can see you can also use it to marinade your tofu/vegetables (yes you can use it for things other than tofu too!)
And this is what it looks like...
The lid has a spring attached and the container has little hooks that you twist the lid under to press away. The top bit comes off for easy cleaning & the bottom bit that's translucent is the marinade lid- love that it fits neatly onto the bottom so I can't lose it! This is with the lid on but not under the hooks (aka no pressure)
Here's the lid going on twisting under the hooks
Lid on all fully.. obviously there's nothing in it yet but you get the idea.
Now to add the tofu! We had a huge block, next time I'd cut this down because it's much easier to use with a smaller block. Pre pressing
with the lid on
Post pressing overnight- can you see that tiny difference? A fair bit of water came out though. Our fresh tofu from the health food store is already pretty darn firm...not to mention creamy and delicious..
So the only question left was... what to make first?! Well we went with a classic that I had been told works best with pressed tofu- Tofu Scramble!

Curry Tofu Scramble with Herbed Mushrooms and Spinach
Makes 4 Serves
Scramble
6 tbsp nutritional yeast
t tbsp dijon mustard
1 large block of fresh firm tofu
2-3 tbsp curry powder (to taste)

1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup veggie stock

Vegetables
(Makes 1 serve)
1 cup cooked frozen spinach
1 cup chopped brown mushrooms
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 cup curly cut carrots
Scramble
  • Crumble tofu into pan
  • cook until tofu has shrunk significantly and is browning (depends on how big your block is, approximately 10 mins)
  • add curry powder, mustard and nutritional yeast
  • continue to cook until tofu returns to a brown (approximately another 5 mins)
  • enjoy! with veggies or vegan sausages or toast.
Vegetables
  • Thaw spinach
  • chop mushrooms, chives, oregano
  • add spinach and mushrooms to pan
  • add stock and tomato paste
  • cook until mushrooms are tender and have released their juices into the spinach and stock has reduced
  • add herbs and combine well
  • spiralise carrots to make curly carrots
  • enjoy! with tofu scramble or as a side.
Next on the agenda was trying it with the firm tofu from the supermarket- this block was a much better size (do yourself a favour and don't overfill it)
Firm tofu pressed overnight turned into

Tofu and Veg Chili Satay Stir fry Noodles!
a delicious combo that kicks noodle box out of the park. Who needs fried tofu when you have pressed tofu that can hold up to being stir fried? This mountain of yumminess was my husband's dinner- he used:
3 cups Fresh asian Noodles
1 cup julienne Carrot
1/2 cup Capsicum
1/2 block Firm Tofu (pressed)
1/4 cup Satay Sauce
1 tsp Chilli Mushroom Sauce
1 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tsp 'Chicken' stock power
1 clove Garlic
1 Fresh Red Chilli
  • Chop chilli, garlic, tofu, carrot and capsicum
  • Soak noodles in a bowl of hot water
  • Fry chilli, garlic, tofu until golden
  • add carrot
  • add noodles
  • add stock powder, soy sauce, satay sauce, chilli mushroom sauce
  • stir fry until combined well and carrots are almost tender
  • add capsicum
  • enjoy!
After that meal we had half the already pressed block left, I decided we should test out another texture of tofu by freezing it to make it chewier and more dense. After freezing it overnight and thawing it during the day we pressed it again to get rid of the excess moisture (no idea why but more comes out after freezing)
After we pressed it again it was so firm and dense that it could have made the perfect meat replacement. *note to self- next time we do curry use this method!* The other half decided that it was destined for a  steak sandwich. The whole pressing-freezing-thawing-pressing process made the tofu chewy and awesome. It was much easier to cut thin and held up to frying perfectly. We're going to have some pressed frozen tofu in the freezer at all times now!
Tofu Steak Sandwiches
Again these weren't mine but hubs used:
1/2 block Firm pressed/frozen/repressed Tofu
1 tbsp 'Beef' stock powder
1 tsp Braggs seasoning
1/2 tsp Pepper (fresh ground black)
1 tbsp Nuttelex
1/4 cup grated Cheezely Nacho Cheeze
1 cup Lettuce
1/2 cup Capsicum
4 slices Wholemeal Sourdough Bread
  • thinly slice tofu
  • fry tofu with stock powder, seasoning and pepper
  • assemble tofu and cheeze in bread
  • butter/nuttelex the outsides of the sandwiches
  • fry until golden
  • add salad
  • enjoy!
After we were done the press looked so lonely being empty after being well used for most of the week. I decided we needed a sweet treat and after my fun with agar agar I was curious to see if I could make a turkish delight substitute. Now I had the perfect means of making it! Yet another thumbs up for the tofu press. The marinating lid came in very handy for this one- I can't say how much I love that it fits into the base of the press because I would have lost it the the depths of my cupboards by now if it didn't.
It was easy to turn out of the press too
All I had to do was chop it up and dust it with powdered natvia (stevia sweetener)...recipe to come.
I'm going to try making a raw slice next and more jellies and terrines and raw loafs and savoury slices and I've got to try using it to get the water out of spinach and other veggies! Any other ideas for me?
So to end this rather long post- I love the tofuXpress and am now going to buy the other spring attachment so I can press silken tofu too! I think it will make my tofu pudding's
taste amazing. If you want to try it out for yourself you can find them here. They also have a recipe section on their website which has some more non-conventional recipe ideas using the press.

I hope you're all well, happy and enjoying your food!







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3 comments:

  1. They sent you a sample to review! That means you are a real live foodie blogger! :D Love it!

    You need to post your turkish delight recipe - I love that stuff. Have you ever had a BigTurk bar? Before you went vegan, I guess, since I'm pretty sure they are milk chocolate covered. Those things were my favorite growing up; but none of my friends liked them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have wondered about this press for a while. I am seriously considering buying this since we eat tofu at least once a week and like you, I never press as it is just too much of a pain.

    ReplyDelete
  3. LOVE this review/ideas, Claire - thanks for the link :)

    ReplyDelete

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