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pressing tofu questions

March 9, 2009

after i finished posting my lunch, i drowsily ate a heart shaped peep for no reason at all…

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i took a short nap and woke up absolutely starving! what’s up with all the sleeping and waking up hungry? blah…i fixed myself this small bowl of black beans and broccoli with melted cheddar and plain yogurt- just enough to get me to dinner in a couple hours.

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so like i mentioned earlier, i had some tofu pressing. being korean, i’ve been eating tofu since…forever, and thought i had eaten in every shape and form until i tried the marinated tofu at the whole foods salad bar. i love the tofu there, so i had to recreate it at home which is why i’ve started to press tofu to get a dense and chewy texture.

i leave the tofu pressed between a clean dish cloth or paper towels for about four hours. if i’m using paper towels, i’ll wring out the water halfway through. my presser of choice is a pan with my fruit bowl on top πŸ™‚ i usually cut the block up into a few slabs before pressing, but i think big cubes would be better since i don’t like how flat it gets. my tofu ends up super crispy but it’s never thick enough to be chewy. i want chewy!

i’ve also never tried marinating. do you marinate before or after pressing? i can’t figure that one out.

i also haven’t figured out the art of oven temp and timing when it comes to baked tofu…i just throw it in with whatever else i happen to be baking and hope i remember to take it out before it burns πŸ˜›

anyway, i had no real plans for my little slabs so i took a peek around the fridge and in the cabinets and decided to just put something together as i went along. i baked the tofu along side korean sweet potato cubes. then i remembered i had acorn squash, so i threw that in the oven as well. while that was all baking, i started pulling out all the half eaten produce in the fridge (endive, beets, half a pear) and it looked like a salad was in the works.

what resulted was a big plate of random food πŸ™‚ i did get a little carried away though because it was way too much. i ate about 3/4 of the salad and 1/4 of the acorn squash.

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the squash was baked with a sprinkle of brown sugar, salt and pepper, then drizzled with a little maple syrup. i had the salad with plain yogurt on the side plus some spicy bbq sauce for dipping. i told you- completely random plate of food! πŸ™‚

so here are my “pressing” tofu questions? (haha! :D)

what’s your favorite way to eat tofu? and how the hell do you get tofu to turn out like the ones at the whole foods salad bar? if you have any tips please please share!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. innascribbles permalink
    March 9, 2009 9:35 pm

    Thanks for the tofu pressing and cooking tips! I just bought my first slab of tofu EVER and am trying to figure out how I want to cook it. You dinner looks super yummy- sometimes random combos are the best!

  2. March 9, 2009 11:51 pm

    aren’t the tofu from wf just really firm tofu? or i dont really know.

    the best way to eat tofu? steam it and dip it in soysauce with goochu karoo and green onion!

  3. March 10, 2009 7:08 am

    DAMN that Peep is vibrant, haha – love it πŸ˜€

  4. March 10, 2009 10:10 am

    Never pressed tofu so I’m really not sure. Most of my life I’ve eaten it stir-fried but recently I’ve been baking it (started off Gliding-Calm style and now with different sauce) and it gives it the texture that it’s been fried even though it hasn’t!

  5. March 10, 2009 10:11 am

    P.S. I also like tofu raw! Did you ever swipe little bites from your mom when she was cutting it? I did!

  6. March 10, 2009 10:58 am

    Great post, Sue (love the title)! Your dinner looks scrumptious.

    I usually press my tofu as a whole block, and only for an hour or so – but I’m definitely taking your recommendation of cutting it up first and pressing for longer… thanks for the tip!

    I like to pan-fry tofu, since I haven’t been able to replicate the crispy exterior by baking it. I eat it either with stir-fried veggies or as tofu balls (on my recipes page).

    When marinating, I press it first to expel the water.

    Regarding your question on my blog about the figs – I bought the Turkish Smyrna dried figs at Trader Joe’s. I love how they are a beautiful golden color without the addition of sulfur dioxide!

  7. Emily permalink
    March 10, 2009 4:29 pm

    I’ve read a couple places that Whole Foods, etc actually acheives that texture through frying

    http://eatingchalk.wordpress.com

  8. March 10, 2009 8:10 pm

    Being a complete tofu novice, imagine my suprise when I told my chinese boss that I used it in a sandwich and she LAUGHED at me!! I marinated a block of extra firm tofu in a baggie with terriyaki sauce overnight. Then I baked the block in the oven for an hour, sliced it and used it in salads and sandwiches. Seriously, she just about died laughing when I told her I put a little horseradish mustard on it in my sammy and it was delicious.

    The only OTHER time I’ve made it, I sliced it, and baked it in the toaster oven sprinkled with garlic powder. After about 20 minutes I flipped it, sprinkled more, and baked for another 20 minutes. It was SO good. Chewy and dense but a little crispy on the outside. I’ll definately do that again.

    Thanks for your post on this! I’m a sponge for new tofu ideas!

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