Way back when my mom-in-law introduced me to making our first incarnation of easy to make faux bacon, she taught me the way to press the water out of the tofu was to wrap the block in a paper towel and balance a cast iron skillet on it. Pretty K.I.S.S. right? Except the skillet has problems balancing for a extended period of time and the paper would get soaked to the point that it would disintegrate, coating the tofu with bits of yummy recycled wood product.
It’s been awhile now, but I recall looking at tofu presses at the local co-op and being less than impressed with the prices. At 40-60 bucks a pop they were right there with the $60 counter top compost bins on the over priced shelf (to the left of the boutique designer soft drinks section & loan dept).
Across the country in Atlanta there was a guy named Ben who was encountering the same problems. Fortunately for us, he was a little more motivated to do something about the issue than yours truly. Instead of popping the latest incarnation of Call of Halo (Halo of Duty?) in the XStation, Ben got to work designing, manufacturing & marketing an easy to use and relatively inexpensive tofu press.
Apathy aside I’d never lost my curiosity about them. It goes without saying we’ve made do in our tofu press free kitchen despite the fact the fa’con isn’t as crispy as desirable. So I was delighted when Ben offered us the opportunity to try the EZ Tofu Press, if for no other reason it was a chance to sate my curiosity about tofu presses on somebody else’s dime.
The first thing you’ll notice about the EZ Tofu Press is that it is pretty simple looking, Two boards, a couple of nuts & …. ah screw it, a picture is worth a 1,000 words so here ya’ go.
Notice the EZ Press has none of the springs, clasps & containment units of the other presses, conforming with DFV’s K.I.S.S. policy.
As the designated DFV gadget & tech guy, I looked at the beautiful design simplicity of the EZ Press and just charged in without taking a second to look at the directions, resulting in one thoroughly crushed brick of tofu. What were supposed to be TLT sandwiches turned into a TLT salad. We here at the DFV test kitchen eat our fails, literally. They can’t all be gems.
So I took :30 seconds out of my hectic schedule to read the directions and guess what? They’re K.I.S.S. too! The trick is taking your time. Armed with the pad to keep myself amused with rounds of Fairway Solitaire Golf during the 3 to 4 minute resting periods between tightening the press, I took another run at not smashing a brick of tofu. This time it worked beautifully. It’s amazing what can happen when you follow the instructions.
When properly squeezed, the brick of tofu compressed down to about 2/3 of it’s original thickness yet maintained it’s firmness and ability to be sliced. It was interesting to actually see the strips enlarge from re-hydrating the marinade while frying instead of shrinking as the water is boiled out. The final product was pretty damn tasty pieces of fa’con that looked good and were sourdough ready. By this point I was hungry and didn’t get pics, sorry.
The verdict: I love the EZ Tofu Press and I’m not giving back. The EZ Tofu Press is available from Amazon for the low low price of $26.99. If you are tired of balancing heavy objects on your tofu, but don’t want to spend an arm & leg (which wouldn’t be very vegan would it?) get yourself an EZ Tofu Press.
DFV Quick Fa’con
1 brick of firm Tofu, pressed and sliced into strips
1/4 cup of Nutritional Yeast
5 tbs of Tamari
1 tbs each of:
Maple Syrup or Bee-less honey
I’ll also add a tablespoon of BBQ Sauce and Annie’s Vegan Worcester Sauce when I have them around
Mix all the marinade stuff together.
Fry tofu strips in a little bit of oil over low to medium heat, when tofu begins to brown, cover with nutritional yeast, THEN add marinade and raise the heat to medium/medium-high. Cook until desired texture & temperature.
* Its just been brought to my attention that Braggs & Tamari are generally interchangeable and that I am being redundant here. There is a reason this is Steffi’s page and not mine…..
UPDATE: We just got word that Ben will giveaway a EZ Tofu Press to one lucky DFV reader. Please leave a comment below by Sunday night and we’ll draw a winner Monday morning. Limited to residents of U.S.A., sorry international readers.
I would love to try this. It looks easy and fun and I want to play around with marinades and pan frying these smooshed beauties!
I want!!! I
I would love an ez tofu press!!! Ive always wondered what the difference was and if it really mattered how i prepped the tofu. Right now i use a ton of paper towels and my martha stewart cookbook (i know its not very vegan of me but its the heaviest cookbook i own. Lol) thanks for the review now i know its something worth putting money into. And if im not the lucky winner ill just have to save up and purchase one. Thanks again!
Sadly, I’ve had too many disintegrating paper towel experiences as well. I need one of these!
Awesome! I’ve been looking for a tofu press that wasn’t a monstrosity to use.
I would love to try this! I have always wanted a tofu press and this one looks very simple and easy to use, something that I love! F’acon sounds delish, too. 😉
Oh my, I would love this I have failed every time when making tofu bc I couldn’t press the water out. AND, this bacon recipe, I would have never tried this unless I saw this. Will have to try soon.
I would really like to try this out! I like tofu alot but squeezing all the water out takes time! This looks like it will cut that time in half! Pick me!
This would be so helpful! My tofu is always either too full of water or in crumbles!
This is awesome, the reviews on Amazon are fantastic. I too use the paper towel method and I find it time consuming and a waste of paper! All vegans need one of these.
This is brilliant! I have wanted a press for years, but I simply cannot bring myself to pay $40+.
I would love this! I always try to make marinades for tofu and it never tastes as good as the stuff in the stores (that might have extra stuff in it I don’t want!) This would be great! Thanks for the opportunity either way!
I also use the paper towel method, but I have a cast iron teapot I use to do the pressing. Not very pretty. but it gets most of the water out. Would love to try a proper pressed tofu dish at home!
Oh I would LOVE one of these!! Been looking at tofu presses, but like you was turned off by the price. This one looks awesome!
What a beautiful piece of technology.
Must order one!!! I love it!!
I would love one! I love tofu in my meals but it is always so difficult trying to get all the moisture out…
Please! Pick me, pick me! So tired of piling plates on top of plates to compress my tofu!
would save so many paper towels! 🙂
I want one! And this F’ acon sounds great!
I’m definitely sick of picking wads of recycled wood product out of my tofu too! I’d love to try this nifty product.
I’m sick of picking bits of recycled wood product out of my tofu too. I’d love to try this nifty product!
Vegan sous chef from Columbus, Ohio! Tofu press would be awesome for the restaurant.
I would love to try this. thanks for the giveaway
Me, me, me!!!!!