Ok, tofu. It’s an excellently cheap, healthy, high-quality vegan protein source, but what can you to make it delicious? One of my favorite things to do is squeeze it – as in squeeze the excess water out. Squeezing firms it up and pretty much eliminates that smooshy, waterlogged quality; then when you bake it or pan-sear it, the texture is reminiscent of well done scrambled egg, and that’s pretty decent in my book. So here’s how to squeeze your tofu in a few easy steps. You’ll need 2-3 kitchen towels, some heavy books, a surface you don’t mind getting damp, a knife and of course tofu. You’ll want extra-firm. I’ll wait here while you round stuff up.
1. Slice your tofu into even pieces on the surface you don’t mind getting damp. I usually do six pieces because it’s easy to cut half a block of tofu into even-ish thirds.
2. Place some toweling on the surface, arrange the tofu on half of it…
4. This is the fun part. Gather up your heavy books and stack them on top of the tofu. I’d say go for at least four. Place another cookie sheet or some plastic wrap between the tofu and the books to make sure the bottom book stays dry. I forgot this step, as you can see, and when I checked on my tofu later the book on the bottom getting pretty damp. Luckily it was my third copy of a Fannie Farmer Cookbook which I must have been compulsively buying for some reason, so no big crisis.
5. Leave the tofu alone for at least 30 minutes, but wait an hour if you can. Unstack the books and check to see if the toweling is super saturated with tofu juice; if it is, change it for clean towels. Cover the tofu back up and press it for at least another 30 minutes. At this point I consider it squeezed enough, especially if I’m going to be pan frying it, but a lot of people like to squeeze their tofu for a few hours or even overnight. Do what time allows and find your own tofu squeezing comfort zone.