Pressing Matters

Like many vegetarians and vegans, tofu and I have a very close relationship, one that’s been going strong for as long as I can remember. Even when I subsisted on a diet of ramen and hot dogs as a child, I would eat big platefuls of szechuan tofu at Chinese restaurants with gusto, unaware that my choice was actually relatively healthy. A stir-fry staple and base for countless desserts, there is always at least one brick of soybean curd around the house, if not closer to ten or eleven.

Thanks to increasing mainstream acceptance  of tofu as an actual edible food substance, there’s a plethora of recipes using it now, and it would seem as every possible avenue has been explored, tofu baked, fried, and sauteed; stuffed, encrusted, and marinated; pureed, mashed, and otherwise annihilated into particles so tiny that not even the most discerning toddler’s palate could pick them out. But there is still one sticking point that prevents all approaches to this beany delight from being successful- All that water stored up in each brick tends to come out at all the wrong times, preventing that perfect sear on the sides, or blocking a marinade from the center of even the smallest cubes. One could easily press tofu between paper towels and two plates, as my family has for generations (or at least, that’s how my mom always taught me,) but for those who love gadgets and added convenience, I have found just the thing: The TofuXpress.

Before anyone gets up in arms over what a miserable uni-tasker this compact tool is, just you look here- It’s great for more than just tofu. Think pressed salads, drained frozen spinach, and anything else that needs a bit of weight to set up properly. Of course, designed primarily for the purpose of squishing the water out of tofu, this is what it absolutely excels at. After just an hour in the press, my brick of extra-firm tofu was nearly half the size as when it came out of the package. Giving it another hour just to see the effects, it reduced even further to about a third of its original height.

Side by side comparison of an unpressed block of tofu (left) and one that’s been in the TofuXpress for 2+ hours (right.)

Now that’s much flatter than I could ever dream of getting one of these things with just two plates. Compacted, the texture is unlike any other tofu readily available, dense, chewy, and nearly creamy in the center. Perfect for imitating feta, it just needs a quick marinade- which can neatly be poured right into the TofuXpress and then sealed with the included lid- and you have a truly unique salad topper. This is one fun kitchen accessory that I know will get endless use around here. And pssst, it may be the perfect holiday gift to get for the vegan cook that has everything, in case you were at a loss for ideas.

Speaking of holiday gifts, I actually have a second TofuXpress that the manufacturers were so generous to send me, and I’d like to give it to you. Yes, you! Just tell me what would be the first thing you’d want to use your TofuXpress to make, taking care to include your name and email in the comment section, some time before December 16th, midnight EST. Specific recipes and links are always nice, but not required; the winner will be chosen by a random number generator.

So, do tell, what pressed tofu dish are you dreaming of?

[Written for Go Dairy Free]

256 thoughts on “Pressing Matters

  1. Oh man, I have no idea what I would make with some perfectly-pressed tofu! Probably some stir fry, because I want to see the difference in how the marinade absorbs.

  2. This is fantastic! I would use the TofuXpress to make tofu stir-fry… I’m sure with the help of this tool the tofu would be perfectly crisp on the outside. Great giveaway!

  3. I’ve come to really love tofu, more and more without the need to fry in oil, coat, etc. I’d love to see what this little item does for the tofu I frequently dry-fry, then marinate!

  4. Tofu bacon. Yeah. Last time I tried a recipe for that it turned into tofu bacon… scramble. I wonder if this could make it dense and firm enough to hold in pretty little strips. mmm?

  5. Oh my goodness, this is the coolest thing I have ever seen, seriously! I hate using so many paper towels to drain my tofu. I would use it to press some tofu and then fry em up. I bet they would even rival the delicious tofu at Chinese restaurants :-P

  6. I’m getting a make my own tofu kit for the holidays so this would be perfect with playing with the density of homemade tofu!

  7. A long time ago someone made me the most delicious tofu sandwich that I’ve tried to replicate ever since to no avail.

    The tofu was pressed, sliced into a half inch thick slab, sauteed in brown sauce & vinegar, with some nutritional yeast flakes thrown in as a light coating. They toasted some nutty whole grain bread, spread it with a little veganaise & topped the tofu with some steamed spinach. Heaven!

    I wonder if the tofu press will get me one step closer to making it.
    Mouth drooling.

  8. You know, the first thing I’d try to do with it is to make tsukemono… not tofu at all. It looks like basically the same device as Japanese pickle presses, but a much more convenient size.

  9. I love the idea if this because the plate thing is too much work. :)
    I would use it to make baked tofu in peanut sauce, one of the few meat free dishes my husband will eat.

  10. I’ve been debating getting one of those! It’s amazing how compact the tofu gets. I would use it to make pomegranate BBQ tofu and buffalo tofu… I tried to make pomegranate BBQ tofu a few weeks ago, but the tofu had too much water in it still and even though it was baked for what felt like well over an hour, it was still mushy and moist and not at all what I’d wanted — though the sauce was amazing.

  11. Tofu marsala! I find that breaded tofu has a better consistency but not so great taste, and if you just fry the tofu without breading it’s too flimsy.

  12. i would love to make some crispy baked tofu – no matter how long i let it drain before it always wound up chewier than id like this could be perfect!

  13. Hi!
    Sounds great, I’ve been searching for such a contraption, in order to make compact fresh cheese (I eat dairy). So that is what I would make first.
    Then I’d try preparing my own hard tofu, to taste the difference with pre-packaged!

  14. What an awesome machine! I’d love to see if it could make tempeh… it should after all be same concept as tofu but fermented and even more pressed no?

  15. Hi! I would use this to make “Buddha’s Jewels” a sweet and sour tofu dumpling recipe from “New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant” I’ve been making this for years and it calls for pressed tofu. When I first started making this I was young and careless and never even bothered to press the tofu. Once I did I realized what a huge difference this step can make!! Peace, Stephanie

  16. I would love this! The first thing I would make is fried tofu, which I normally wouldn’t do because of all the splattering that happens if there is any water left in the tofu.

  17. “…every possible avenue has been explored, tofu baked, fried, and sauteed; stuffed, encrusted, and marinated; pureed, mashed, and otherwise annihilated into particles so tiny that not even the most discerning toddler’s palate could pick them out.”
    interesting gadget!

  18. There are so many possibilitites! Your feta idea sounds fantastic. I think I’d bake the tofu and toss it into a stir-fry.

  19. What a handy gadget! I’d use it to make Baked Tofu Sticks from my Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook. It requires the tofu to be pressed and marinated before lightly breaded and baked. Sometimes the tofu sticks fall apart (usually those cut from the edges of the block) so it can be a messy prep. This looks like it would really make things easier and more thoroughly disperse the marinade flavor.

  20. My very favorite way to make tofu is simply to bake it with a little olive oil until it’s golden brown and then marinate it in soy sauce.

  21. I was a tester for Terry Hope Romero’s upcoming Viva Vegan and there’s this recipe for Tofu Chiccarones in the book which is just amazing as it is, but I would love to be able to use a baby like this to really press the tofu prior to making the recipe, as that would be SUPERB!

  22. What a great contraption! I never press my tofu long enough/well enough (because I’m lazy) and then get upset when its too watery in the recipe I’m using. With this I’d really like to try your tofu turkeys or just in a stir fry with some veggies!

  23. Where to begin! I think this would be great for making baked tofu – extra dense and chewy plus you could marinate right in the press! I like the recipes in Veganomicon for baked tofu. But I might just have to fry up some tofu first – coated with some rice flour and cornstarch seasoned with garlic and ginger and salt (maybe a little cayenne) and fried up until super crispy. I think the uber-pressed tofu would make for firm crispy little nuggets of deliciousness!

  24. normally i am not a fan of unitaskers, but this looks AWESOME! i would immediately make some vegan Pad-Thai! Then figure out how to make Mattar Tofu – this sounds like it would be a perfect sub for Paneer!!


  25. I’d make this, which is originally from Bob Blumer and came to me by way of a friend.

    Chili Marinated, Panko Encrusted Tofu Recipe

    Yield: 4


    16 oz firm tofu
    1 1/2 cup sweet Thai chili sauce, divided
    2 inch piece ginger root, peeled and grated
    3 tbsp soy sauce
    2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
    6 tbsp vegetable oil


    Cut tofu into 3/4-inch slices.

    To a re-sealable plastic bag, add tofu, 1 cup of chili sauce, ginger and soy sauce. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

    Place panko on a plate. Remove tofu from marinade and pat down on panko, coating it on all sides. Reserve on a separate plate.

    In a sauté pan over medium heat, add oil. When oil is hot, fry tofu for approximately 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Top with a tablespoon of chili sauce and serve immediately.

  26. I’ve seen this and always thought it would be great for making a homemade version of Spicy Golden Tofu that a Malaysian restaurant near me serves… coated with a light dusting of cornstarch or arrowroot, then fried up with onions, bell peppers, and chili peppers and a dash of salt! The creamy center is key :)

  27. Boring, but true – the first thing I would make with my Tofu Xpress squished tofu would be good old baked tofu. Cut into cubes and marinated with soy sauce, oil, and garlic. So simple, yet so delicious.

  28. Tofu has been an interesting evolution for me as a vegan. The first time I ever ate it, about a week after going vegan, I actually started gagging and almost through up on the dinner table. :( I slowly found one recipe, and then two, that make it edible for me, and now I actually really like it, and never hesitate to cook with tofu in a new recipe. About the only way I have not conquered yet is stir-fry – it just never soaks up the marinade, never gets seared on the outside, so I skip it and use nuts or fake-meats (rare in my house!) instead. I’d love to try this presser and figure out tofu in stir-fry!

  29. Great giveaway! I LOVE pressed tofu, but always end up rigging up a complicated stack of plates and cans that ends up falling over constantly! I have my eye on a tangerine tofu stirfry dish with broccoli and red peppers.

  30. Oh, my… I never thought there is a tofu press. How awesome. I would use it to press not only tofu, but will try on making almond and cashew cheeses too. :)

  31. What a fantastic toy! I can never get my tofu marinated to the very center. I’d love to experiment to see if I could get the tofu back to its original size but filled with yummy marinade rather than water! Fantastic for perfectly baked tofu…my favorite way to enjoy it!

  32. Hannah!! You are now the third person (from my blogs that I follow) that have mentioned this tool, and gone into raptures over it. I first heard about it from Bryanna Clark Grogan, and she LOVED it. A couple weeks ago, another blog mentioned it (forgot which one …) and now you!! I got a feeling I’m going to make the plunge and get it. But … I’ll wait till after Dec 16th … maybe the random number generator will pick me!!

    I press tofu all the time, but probably most frequently for Eggless Egg Salad. There are a million recipes for this out there …. here’s my favorite.

    Thanks for another generous give-away!!

  33. Oh, random number gods, please pick me! ;)

    I would use the press to get tofu as dense and chewy as the tofu at my former favorite thai place (but we moved, and then it closed anyway). With delicious tofu, it would be that much more fun to try to recreate their red curry at home!

  34. I have been wanting one of these things for quite some time. I’ve seen it in action and I was extremely impressed.

    I definitely think it would lend a hand in my pad thai, or even jerky. Anything that the tofu needs to keep a uniform shape really!

  35. TOFU JERKY! Perfect for disgusing as real jerky for unsuspecting holiday guests ;) Oh, OH! Or just plain and simple pressed and baked tofu, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and nooch. Mmmm

  36. Wow. That is really flat. It’s funny you mention pressed salads – I wonder if anyone has ever used a salad/pickle press to press tofu. Anyway, I think I would be boring and make marinated and baked tofu to fully appreciate the firmness.

  37. Oh my gosh, I have been totally lusting after one of these…it’s on my Amazon wishlist! I would use it to make General Tso’s tofu.

  38. Oh my gosh! This is like what I’ve always wanted and never knew existed! I try my best to press the liquid out of tofu, but it still crumbles when I saute it or want to get a nice sear on it.. I usually have to slow bake my tofu to dry it out to get the texture I like!

    So I’d definetly make a stir fry, saute-ing this tofu up so it’s nice and crispy!!

  39. I’ve been seeing reviews for this all over the blogosphere and getting a wee bit excited for it.

    I’d love to try it out on some General Tso’s tofu…

  40. Wow, that’s a really great idea! We’ve always done the plate w/ book on top method, but it comes out somewhat lopsided and not as firm as yours looks. I think I’d want to make my favorite tofu dish: fried tofu with broccoli and buckwheat noodles, with soy sauce and sesame oil. It’s really easy and good!

  41. Inspired by a recent trip to Japan, I have come to appreciate the nuances in taste of fresh tofu and would love to experiment with a mild, garlicky marinade rather than the strongly flavoured way I usually prepare watery tofu. I also want to experiment more with tofu jerky!

  42. I know this sounds weird, but I’d try baked tofu FOR REALS. I’ve done it a few times before and it’s always come out so “meh.” I’m convinced it’s because I don’t have the patience to let all the water press out of my tofu beforehand!

  43. Oh man, how awesome!

    So here’s my story. There’s a neat little coop in Greenfield, MA. My husband and I stopped there the day after we got married as we headed to Maine for our honeymoon. They were really tickled to have newlyweds visiting, and we were really tickled to have good food for our trip! In their prepared section they had these containers of store-made Thai tofu, just chunks of tofu with an awesome peanut sauce, as I recall. But the texture of the tofu was amazing. Rich, creamy, thick, and unforgettable. I’ve been cooking with tofu for a long time and I’ve never been able to come anywhere close. So that would be the first thing I would try with said rocking tofu press :)

  44. I would try to replicate the smoked tofu from Millennium in SF! I was treated there on my birthday, and the little tiny pieces of smoked tofu in my potato and wilted greens salad were AMAZING!! I remember thinking at the time that they must press the tofu for hours to get that consistency and the marinade all the way through.

  45. Looks like a great tool. I’d love to give it a go to make scrambled tofu. It would be nice to see how it turned out with the water properly pressed out of it (we’re normally in too much of a hurry to give it any longer than 15 minutes under some kitchen weights).

  46. I would love to have a tofu press but probably wouldn’t buy it for myself.

    First up would be tofu bacon and fresh pickles (tsukemono)!

  47. a tofu press would be amazing! i would definitely make tofu parmigiana. pressed, breaded tofu, marinara, daiya cheese and pasta. mmmm.

  48. I’d make your tofu turkeys! My sister made them with homemade tofu at Thanksgiving and I’ve been craving them ever since…

  49. I don’t think it’s fair to pick one recipe! The question is what WOULDN’T I make using this thing?!

    My favorite recipes (with tofu) tend to be Chinese so I would definitely be making some General Tsao tofu or black bean tofu or hoisin tofu or…….nom nom nom

    1. LOL
      So true! The point with the TofuXpress is now you CAN make all those recipes you couldn’t before! But I get Hannah’s point as well – what would be the FIRST thing you would make now that you have the TofuXpress?

  50. It just started to get cold in Washington, D.C., so the first thing that came to mind was vegetarian pho noodle soup. I’ve never been able to match restaurants’ versions when it comes to frying the tofu. The uber-presser would be a huge help!

    This version looks pretty tasty, though I’d add some baby corn, ‘shrooms and other chunky vegetables.

  51. I would make the sesame tofu that my mom used to make, we could never get enough of the water out of the tofu and it would splatter like crazy in the sauce! Thanks for having this giveaway :)

  52. I would love to make a good tofu dish without the tofu crumbling. The first tofu dish would be either stir-fry or baked tofu smothered in BBQ sauce. :-)

  53. I guess I wasn’t the first (or the second or third, etc) who’s mind first popped to general tso’s tofu. I mean, it’s the perfectly fried tofu that makes that dish. So, add to that perfectly pressed tofu, and I can’t imagine anything more tasty!

  54. OMG. I would just make some extra firm tofu for normal stir-fry or baking use. I moved to London a couple months ago and they don’t put the firmness rating on the tofu packages here, so it’s been a lot of trial and error. I’ve found one brand which is quite firm but it’s expennnnsive. The regular priced tofu is super soft. ARGH!

  55. *drool* I would make some balsamic marinated tofu and roast that sucker. I love making balsamic-roasted tofu but my marinade never gets all the way into my tofu slices, leaving the middle sadly bland. This tofu press looks awesome!! Want.

  56. Definitely perfectly done bbq glazed tofu – Bryant Terry has a great recipe! I’d serve it up with some citrusy collard greens and cornbread! Bring on the Toful Xpress . . .

  57. I would press the tofu for one of my family’s most favorite dishes – swimming rama – because it would be so much better if the tofu just sponged up the peanut sauce! and you really can’t get the tofu pressed that far with the plate and paper towel method (which is our current method).

  58. I’d just make some sort of Chinese food. Not the most amazing revelation, I’m sure, but my tofu never achieves that fantastic texture offered by restaurants.

  59. feta-tofu sounds delicious, but I’d have to use mine to make faux-egg salad sandwiches. I loved these as a kid and it sounds like using this press would give awesome results over regular tofu in the salad.

  60. Ooh, I would definitely use this to try out several of the marinated tofu recipes I have seen but haven’t tried (due to a few fairly unsuccessful tries, as you mentioned)
    I love your ideas for additional uses too as I tend to shy away from products with only one purpose. :)

  61. I’m thinking thinly sliced vegan veal cutlets with a Marsala mushroom sauce is perfect for surviving this chilly Northwest weather.

  62. Back in the days when I first went vegan, you couldn’t even buy tofu at the store so I learned to make it. My father had built me a nice wooden press box but through the years it has disappeared. I would love to get back to making fresh tofu again and this would be great for that!

  63. Oh, that looks amazing–I’ve been using the plates-and-towels method for far too long. I’d love to fry up some pressed tofu for use in sushi!

  64. wow! that’s quite impressive. I’ve seen this mentioned around the blogsphere, but i never realized the results were so drastic.
    I’d probably make a nice tofu peanut satay.

  65. wow. That pictue instantly made me realize pei wei uses something like this for their tofu…it’s like a lightbulb came on. Anyways, first i’d make vegan bacon because there would be minimal oil popping since this tool would get rid of all the water. Second i’d bake pounds of tofu into jerky for my husband…so much that he forgets he’s not veg and becomes a veg head :)

  66. I would just keep it real and put the edges in my salad and I would love to put the creamy part in my baked potatoes and then I’d make up a mac & cheese recipe. Then I’d work on my pasta and cheese toppings. Now we can get creative around here. I haven’t even mentioned my crockpot yet. That is a real energy saver as far as green cooking. Then I’d start on some traditional tofu dishes. And when my totally vegan Aunt & Uncle came I would have a new burger for them to take back to the West Coast. Whew! That is exciting.

  67. Oh I’m not sure I can enter this because I’m from the UK, but I hope that’s still OK? =)

    Either way, first thing that popped into my head when ask what I would make was a Savoury tofu ‘Swiss Roll’! I knnow, I know… sounds unusual, right? But for some reason, it seems the like perfect thing to make with this.

    Once the tofu is pressed and rid of all that water. I imagine it would be perfectly dense and sliceable. Cut it very thinly and marinate the ‘sheets’ of tofu – then top the ‘sheets’ with any filling (I’m thinking some sort of pate – chestnut or mushroom maybe?) and roll it up like you would for sushi!

    It might not work as well and effortlessly as I’ve imagined it will but hey. I guess every dish started with an implausible idea.

    Btw – Fantastic Blog! Visit nearly every day =)

  68. I used to love making a teriyaki stir fry, once pressed and marinated, it was an excellent meat substitute. I gave up on it after a while, because pressing all the water out was too time consuming and messy. This gadget looks amazing, and it would be helpful in getting more tofu into my diet!

  69. i would use it for pressing and marinating and then make wasabi pea encrusted tofu…mmmmmmmm

    i’ve been wanting this but i just realized i forgot to put it on my xmas list…maybe i’ll win it instead.

  70. With my eating habbits, I’m practically anti-vegan :). Sure, tofu is good for you and all, but it might lack certain vitamins or other good stuff that real food has (excuse the term “real food”. Please don’t see it as some kind of food “racisim”). And sure, you can cook juices into the tofu to give it taste, but the taste will never be as full as the real thing. That’s why I’m not a fan of tofu.

  71. I’d use it to make the rosemary tofu cubes from vegan soul kitchen! they’d be so nice and chewy!

  72. I would make “favorite meal”, which is basically just stir fried tofu and vegetables over rice and whatever seasoning/sauce I happen to use (usually some variation of tamari & maple syrup). Santa, I NEED this! :-)

  73. I just got back from Japan and and am missing the dense and simply flavored tofu I had there. I would have my nicely pressed tofu straight up with some soy sauce and sesame seeds.

  74. Sign me up for that thing! I would use it for trying to compress tofu for my baking adventure, since tofu normal adds a lot of water to baking. May sound crazy, but the possible possibilities!

    I would also marinade the pressed tofu for coleslaw with Vegenaise, yummmmmmy!

    VEGirl- 13 year old vegan, environmentalist, and gluten-free girl

  75. stir-fry!
    caramelized tofu (brown sugar/maple syrup, soy sauce, sesame oil) + green beans sauteed with a ton of garlic and hot pepper flakes, plus mirin and some more soy sauce and sesame oil

  76. Wow, this would be great! The first thing I would make would be baked tofu… a little soy sauce and a little maple syrup as the marinade. Thank-you!!

  77. I would be infinitely appreciative to graduate from the precarious assemblage of heavy plates, pots, and pans! I would definitely make my favorite broiled tofu from Veganomicon – it really let’s the tofu’s possibilities shine!

  78. Did you say FETA cheese made with pressed tofu? This is definately one of the things I have missed since I went vegan. I bought some before i went vegan and it is sitting in the fridge rotting and taunting me. Would love to try and make my own feta with this.

  79. Ohmygosh, my poor, unfortunate roommate follows cooking instructions to the tiniest obsessive detail. That means he constantly has to put up with my very vocal disgust at some authors’ insistence that you must put “several” full paper towel squares on top AND bottom of your tofu block as you smoosh it for 30-60 minutes. Up to 14 squares???? Not very eco-friendly. You don’t need paper at all, I tell my roommate. The water can’t push its way back in with the books on top! (My half of the apartment is barren and cruel, with no paper towels). But it says this is the BEST way to drain tofu, he says. Well, this would be the BEST Christmas present ever!!!! He loves kitchen gadgets, and I love sweet pineapple or marmalade baked tofu, which is what I would make with it when I borrow it from him :). Thanks so much for the contest!

    P.S., I love your photography. Thanks for the tips! My roommate’s a photo student, too. Hah!

  80. I love tofu as a simple salad topper, so I think cutting it into small cubes and frying them would be the first thing I’d do. Then I’d look around for some recipes using it, since I actually don’t know any.

  81. WOW! So many people want this thingy LOL!! I saw this a while back and fell in love… the perfect compliment to a brick of tofu- genius! Wasn’t in love with the price, but it definitely looks like it’s worth it, especially with the amount of tofu I consume (and try to squeeze).

  82. Well I’d love to win the tofu press so that I could try making really dense chewy tofu, to serve in a brown broth with mashed potatoes and something green! :)

  83. First, I would use it to make hard tofu for vegetarian pho (have always just bought it and would love to be able to make the hard tofu at home!). Second, marinate it in delicious lemongrass/mushroom sauce marinade and then grill! yum yum yum

  84. wow, what a cool item! I would love to have one of these. My husband is a new vegan and we are cooking with lots of tofu in our house.

  85. I would make tofu scramble to go with the terrific french toast recipe in Hannah’s My Sweet Vegan cookbook.

  86. I would love to try making Tofu Whipped Cream from the Refresh Cookbook by Ruth Tal. I think that pressed tofu could potentially make it creamier. What a great gadget!

  87. OMG – I would be SO excited about this one. The first thing I would make is totally baked tofu. I try and try and it always just stays “goopy” and I love it so

  88. I’d love to make tofetta to veganise my Mum’s Egyptian fetta salad (fetta, cucumber, red onion, dill, lemon juice, olive oil, S&P) – So refreshing in the midst of an Australian summer right now!

  89. The first thing I’d use the press for is a dragon bowl–my husband’s favorite! Brown rice, kale, miso tahini dressing, and delicious, chewy tofu! A perfect meal!

  90. I have to confess that I have never pressed tofu in my life… never really understood what the purpose of it was, but now your post piqued my interest.

    So, what would I make? Chinese stir fry with tofu cubes (marinated). (Though the paneer idea some people are mentioning sounds good as well!)

  91. I’ve been wanting to press tofu for a while… but since I never think of it until I am really hungry I never did… But I bought some pre-marinated tofu last week (something I never do usually…) and it was pressed and it was delicious, the texture was so interesting and I think I might be sold to pressed tofu now. So I would definitely try to replicate the recipe so I could make a delicious sandwich. miam.

  92. I’d been thinking about splurging on one of these–my friend in Brooklyn sings its praise. If I had one, the first thing I’d make would be balsamic-garlic marinated tofu “flanks” that I’d smoke in my friend’s smoker.

  93. i would totally make fried tofu to have with sweet and sour sauce. i can never get it as good as it is in the restaurants and i’m only supposed to get it once a month (otherwise i would get it all the time).

  94. Hey there! I haven’t commented in so long over here! But I have been reading when I can. I loved your zucchini appetizers idea – I have yet to try it but it looks amazing and I hope to try it in the near future. I try not to have too much soy in my diet but I do love some tofu feta as a tasty condiment on top of salads and pizza so that is what I would do with this press if I had it. I love Bryanna Clark Grogan’s herbed tofu marinade recipe. :)

  95. Not being someone who eats a lot of tofu I didn’t even know that all that water tends to be causing some of the issues I had when using tofu in vegetarian dishes!! So that alone was worth reading this post for… :)

  96. I’d make some sort of pan-seared tofu, now that I’ve perfected my searing technique thanks to the Horizons Cookbook.

  97. I really want to imitate the teriyaki tofu that Pei Wei serves, but I’ve never seen tofu that’s so dense before. I bet I could do it with this!

  98. I began reading your review, thinking: “Sigh, I would love to have this fabulous gadget, but it’s a bit too expensive at the moment,” so imagine my delight when I saw that your review doubles as a give-away! The first thing I’d make is my infamous Broccoli-Tofu Stir Fry that has enchanted omnis for years.

  99. Wow, does this look amazing! I think my first try with this would be to marinade and then grill tofu… I feel like this would make FABULOUS tofu steaks! I could chop it up and spear it along with some grilled veggies.

  100. That’s so awesome.

    Oh I’d totally use it to make some pan fried tofu. nothing fancy, just tofu with some oil and soy sauce. Yum yum. Or even like you suggested, marinated and a salad topper.

  101. I’m *terrible* about pressing our tofu. Something about it seems so… hard. I’d love to give this a try and see how it is to cook with actual pressed tofu! Maybe something grilled?

  102. Wow! That looks like a neat little tool! I would use it to make the BBQ tofu in VwV… I love this particular BBQ sauce… it has a little bit of pomegranate molasses. With the help of the presser, it would absorb even more!

  103. I’d make my favorite compressed veggie salad:

    Slice tomatoes and a cucumber (longitudinally) on a mandolin and layer in a dish (or the TofuXpress!)

    Heat up some peanut oil, add some moong dal, a pinch of asafoetida, black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and heat till things start poppin’! Whisk in a bit of lemon juice and salt and then pour it over the salad and compress. SooOOooOOooo nommy and good for you too!

  104. I really want to replicate the spicy baked tofu sandwich that Blossoming Lotus used to have. It had chipotle Veganaise with avocado. It was awesome.

  105. My kids love tofu, even just cut up cold with some tamari and balsamic. The possibilities are endless as far as recipes. I wouldn’t know where to start. Probably would start with just a simple stir fry and than go from there. I would love to have a tofu press! So cool!

  106. Wow, that side by side comparison was unbelievable! I would for sure make vegan ‘chicken’ fingers, I’ve always wanted to try my hand at the breading but my tofu is always too wet, not allowing the breading to stick and crisp the right way!

  107. Oooh I seriously do love an extra firm block of tofu. Extra firm and chewy baked tofu (mmmm cilantro-lime marinade) is the first thing I’d make with a TofuXpress.

  108. Creamy in the center, you say? I’ve just gotten back from a trip to Japan where the tofu was unbeLIEVEable–some tofu bento lunches gave me an entirely new perspective on this staple. So, I’d use the creamy pressed tofu in my own bento, in combination with other tofu textures from crispy to silken, to try and replicate the experience for friends at home!

  109. Whoah, I can’t believe that enormous reduction in that tofu’s volume! I have clearly been very lazy with my own tofu pressing.

    I have my eye on this tofurky recipe for Christmas – I reckon that’d be the first thing I’d try making with this contraption.

  110. I think I would make baked “fried” tofu, with a sweet and sour sauce, like we had in my college dining hall. Much better than the somewhat funny-looking meat options!

  111. Hannah,

    That is SO impressive – I can’t believe the size difference between pressed and unpressed.

    I love to freeze, thaw and THEN press my tofu – makes it extra chewy and delicious.

    Hmmm…the first dish I would make if I won this awesome gadget would be my scrumptious General Tso’s Tofu – love it!

    My email address is

  112. I would make bbq tofu!
    This contraption looks very useful. I haven’t even been TRYING to drain my tofu these days… I must pay more attention.

  113. I would probably add some kind of barbeque marinade to the press, then after it was done I’d sear it on a cast iron hotplate with onions and mushrooms and eat it with mashed potatoes. Either that, or I would use it as a feta and make a big greek salad with olives, lettuce and tomatoes! OR I could use it in a vegan Pad Thai… Mmm I’m getting carried away with ideas now!

  114. Tofu and I have a bit of a rocky relationship, due in part to the fact that the first time I tried it, I didn’t have a clue how to prepare it- and tried to use it straight out of the package! I think this nifty little gadget could really help me with me goal of figuring out how the heck to use tofu the right way, and begin what I think could be a very long love affair with it! :)

  115. I’ve never heard of this gadget! I would definitely use it to press and marinate my tofu ahead of time for quick weeknight dinners- love it!

  116. Oh, man… I’d probably make some sort of stir-fry with pan-fried/marinated tofu… I’d love having this gadget in the kitchen!

  117. This tool is awesome! What a great invention. I would use it to make pressed Sushi and then I can slice it up. Or spinach and potato cakes, pressed perfectly and then pan fried. I’m hungry now. :-)

  118. What a great tool to save waste! I would love to try it on my grated carrot and daikon radish salad recipe :)

  119. Awesome! I would use this for making some marinated then pan-fried tofu triangles! Since I probably won’t win this, I’m going to ask for it for my birthday next week!

  120. Oooh wow, this has made me hungry! I think I’d do a baked tofu with tamari and tahini dressing. Yum!

  121. Good heavens, if I’d seen a tofu press in the shops I would have dismissed it as yet another stupid gadget, but that really is an amazing result. And “dense, chewy, and nearly creamy” sounds absolutely wonderful. The first thing I’d do with a Tofu Express is use it in my guaranteed-to-make-even-the-most-rampant-carnivores-love-tofu recipe. It’s a Madhur Jaffrey dish, where the tofu is cooked in a spiced tomato sauce with peas, fresh coriander, chili and spinach. While I *love* this recipe, I don’t make it very often as the tofu needs to be super-pressed.

  122. Hi Hannah! I would love the TofuXpress because I have just the recipe I’ve been dying to try. I’m born and raised in New Orleans and I constantly have to deal with people who either try to convince me that seafood is not meat, or that I cannot possibly be happy without fried shrimp. I want to make Isa’s Chile Lime Cornmeal Crusted Tofu from Veganomicon and serve it with traditional cocktail sauce ( ketchup, prepared horseradish, lemon juice and {veg} wostershire), along with some remoulade (aka creamy celeraic sauce) from Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Food. I usually don’t do well with fried tofu–it becomes too greasy–and I’m convinced that’s because I don’t get enough of the water out. Please help me make this recipe perfectly so that I can silence the fried seafood champions in my town at an upcoming Saints football game potlock! Thanks Hannah! P.S. I’m making your peppermint fudge this weekend! Elka Schmidt

  123. Hi Hannah, never commented before but I love your blog.

    I would make feta (since u mentioned it) and turn it into a vegan pizza with red sauce, red onions, sauteed mushrooms/garlic/spinach and the feta

    mmm :)

  124. It being the season for nutmeg-scented things, I’d use it to make the ricotta part of vegan noodle kugel, which I always want to be as distinctly cheesy as possible.

  125. Actually, similar to the above comment, I would make one of my favorite things- drunken noodles with tofu and veggies. Stir-fried tofu never seems to come out right for me!

  126. Oh my gosh this is amazing! I would marinade the tofu in my cheesy sauce and fry it up with a little olive oil. So delicious.

    In case anyone wants another cheesy sauce to have around, it’s great for everything-

    2/3-3/4 cup nondairy milk (depending on how thick you want it)
    3/4 cup nutritional yeast
    1/8 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup earth balance
    garlic powder, cayenne to taste

    just mix it up in a glass measuring cup and nuke it in the microwave for a minute. Stir, and if the EB still isn’t melted give it another 30 or 40 seconds.

  127. My neice is vegan and I try so hard at the holidays to offer her something besides a green salad and veggies. This would certainly open a whole new range of recipe options!!!

  128. Stir fry with peanut sauce. This is what my partner makes me for comfort food, but he doesn’t quite understand the use of pressing so I’d like to sneak this in.

  129. I would make Tofu Kung Pao. I really REALLY would like to have this also for making pressed salads. I have yet to make one and I hear it is super healthier for you. I have yet to have great tofu come out and I think this press would help the whole situation. Thanks!

  130. Oohh! I could use this to press tofu then make baked, marinated strips for sandwiches! And, while it may be a unitasker, think of all the paper towels you could save.

  131. My husband loves to do stir fry, so that would probably be the first thing we’d do – really soak up that marinade! But I’m sure I could find lots of other recipes to try.

  132. I would love this tofu press. I have such a hard time finding vegan cheese in Florida. I could make my own ricotta. I would use it to make scrambled eggs and omlets. I am sure I could make all kinds of wonderful recipes. the price of $40.00 is too much for me to buy so winning one would be wonderful! I am a new Vegan of 3 month and loving every mouthful.. I have fallen in love with Tofu…

  133. I’d love to make some creamy ricotta for a lasagna.
    Thanks for the demonstration, I had no idea that it would work so well.

  134. I would like to retry the sweet and sour broccoli almond tofu from VeganYumYum. I wasn’t able to press the tofu enough the first time around and it didn’t turn out quite right. It tasted so good that I definitely want to try it again…properly!

  135. I’d definitely use my extra EXTRA firmed up tofu for grilling purposes. So many times I’ve instilled far too much hope in my store bought extra firm only for its lovely grill marked skin to stick to my BBQ! I’ve also wanted to try to make somewhat of a tofu parmagiana…

  136. Cool, thanks for introducing this gadget. I would marinade the tofu in soy sauce, peanut oil and water, dip it in cracker crumbs and nut yeast and fry it up. Then, toss it on salad.

  137. This looks like such a nifty gadget. And uni-tasker my bony bum. Couldn’t this conceivably be used to press crumbled tofu back into a cohesive mass, thus paving the way for all sorts of delicious mix-ins? I’m entertaining visions of those horrid rainbow fruit-in-milky-gelatin desserts sold in American delis, but perhaps a slightly more edible version; or an aspic, but not disgusting – tofu, butternut squash, some wilted greens, dried cranberries, a little bit of this and that spice – pressed, sliced, and used for… who knows? Sandwich filling? Salad topper? Grilled and topped with a delicious sesame gravy?

  138. After pressing, I’d use a “dry rub” on the pieces and grill them in our smoker for several hours. I haven’t been able to try this yet, but having grown up in TX, I’ve kind of missed having BBQ style smoked meats since I became a vegetarian. Maybe this would satisfy the craving a little… Oh, and we’d definitely be grilling some corn and asparagus to go along with it. Yum!

  139. Hi I’d never heard of szechuan tofu before but after I looked it up I thought that it sounded like something I’d like to try. I also have a Bourbon Chicken recipe (doesn’t really have bourbon in it and I use tofu instead of chicken). Are you taking international entries?

  140. i think i’d make savory baked tofu slices to use in sandwiches! i love tofurkey slices, but they’re so expensive; it would be really convenient to be able to make my own that had a similar dense, chewy texture.

  141. I would try to replicate the so-delicious Marinated Bean Curd Salad (with garlic and cilantro) that I can only find at a Chinese restaurant that’s about an hours distance from me. I can never get the texture right because I can never get enough of the water pressed out. Oh I hope I get picked!!

  142. Wow, that thing would really come in handy.

    My first recipe would be for a sort of fried fish stick style dish. I think the press could help replicate that delicate fishy texture that can be so hard to achieve with tofu.


  143. Oooh, this looks like such a neat device. I would definitely make Shahi Paneer, which is traditionally made with paneer cubes in a thick, rich cream-based tomato sauce. I would substitute light coconut milk for the cream and the tofu for the paneer. Yummy!

  144. Wow Hannah, that thing is pretty awesome, I should say.

    Anywho, I’m pretty boring this way, but honestly, I would make a stirfry with all the colourful veggies and some pasta!

    Take care and thanks for all your beautiful recipes and pictures!

  145. Hello dear Hannah! Thank you for your lovely thoughts and photos.

    If I were lucky enough to have this fab gadget, I would definitely make a panko-breaded and fried tofu sandwich with homemade tartar sauce and tomato slices!!

  146. Oh, so many choices!
    Let’s see, there’s Salt and Pepper Tofu, Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu, Tofu Sandwiches, Baked Lemon Pepper Tofu, and I would really like to make a Sweet Potato and Spinach Frittata.

    I’d try these three recipes first:

    And then I would definately try something sweet. Mango and Apricot Tofu? Or something involving raspberries…

  147. Honestly, I think I would do a simple stir-fry. I have such a hard time making tofu at home taste as good as it does when I eat out. I think the texture is a big part of what I end up not liking, and it always seems like so much work to pull out the dish towels and books or cans to weigh it down. I bet I’d make it more with a gadget like this!

  148. oh boy! i’ve been having my eye on these gizmos for awhile now. i’d probably try stuffing tofu with this, or just marinading and baking it. or feta, like you suggest. or oven frying, or court bouillion or etouffe, or or or!


  149. Wow I’m amazed at how much smaller the tofu got after being pressed! I never press my tofu because I don’t have that much foresight!

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