Dec
06

TofuXpress Gourmet Food Press And Recipe For Easy Maple-Tamari Seared Tofu

Why did I wait so long to purchase the Tofu Xpress Gourmet Food Press? My prior method of pressing the tofu between two plates using a water-filled tea kettle on top of the plates as a weight suddenly seems archaic to me. My time to enter the 21st century has arrived. Yes, indeed! I finally splurged for this very nifty item which I used last night to press a block of tofu in preparation for an easy maple-tamari seared tofu recipe. I will provide the recipe below.

FYI, I give the Tofu Xpress two thumbs up! If I had four thumbs, I would give it four thumbs up! If I had six thumbs…oh, forget it.You get the picture. Right?

Here is what the TofuXpress looks like out of the box…

To begin using the Tofu Xpress, you must remove the top piece by twisting it in a clockwise direction. The disassembled parts will look like this…

There is also a piece which sits under the base which can be used as a marinating lid if you want to marinate your tofu in the Tofu Xpress. Place the tofu in the center of the base…

Then, place the top piece on top of the tofu. While pressing down, twist the handle sides underneath the side hooks of the base and click into place, so that the wings are straight along the length of the unit…

Place the Tofu Xpress in the refrigerator for the desired amount of time. I usually press my tofu for about one hour.

When you are ready to remove the tofu, tip the unit upside down over a sink to remove water that has accumulated at the top. Twist off the top piece and remove your pressed tofu from the base. Voila!

The Tofu Xpress was easy to use and gave me a nice pressed tofu enabling me to begin preparation of the maple-tamari seared tofu. Also note that the Tofu Xpress could be used for pressing liquid out of foods other than tofu, such as sliced eggplant, thawed chopped spinach, tomatoes, cabbage and macrobiotic salads.

Anyway, the following recipe was posted by Kathy Patalsky in the Family Kitchen section of Babble on September 16, 2011. It calls for a very simple marinade for the tofu which is to be seared after marinating.

For this recipe, you must have the following ingredients on hand…

Oops, I forgot the safflower oil. Please note that you must use safflower oil only for this recipe because it is more stable at high heat than other oils.

Start by slicing the block of pressed tofu into 6 rectangular pieces. Each piece should be approximately 3/4 inch thick. Look at these tofu pieces which have been perfectly pressed with the Tofu Xpress…

Next, mix together your marinade using 2 to 3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce (you must use tamari and not any other soy sauce which would be too salty), 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke.

Dunk the tofu strips into the marinade and allow to sit for a few minutes. Longer marination will result in bolder flavored tofu.

Alternatively, you could marinate the tofu strips in the Tofu Xpress which, as previously mentioned, comes with a marinating lid to cover the tofu while marinating or storing. The marinating lid is also designed to fit underneath the Tofu Xpress when not in use. Very clever!

After marinating, add 2 tablespoons safflower oil to a large non-stick skillet. Wait until the oil is very hot, usually about 1 minute. Then add the tofu to the pan. It should sizzle loudly from the salt/sugar/oil. Do not move the tofu around. Just let it sit in the pan uncovered so it gets that nice browned sear on the bottom.

In about 1-2 minutes, flip the tofu. Repeat on other side.

If the pan begins to get too dry, you can add the leftover marinade in small spoonfuls. But do this only after you have achieved a nice sear of color. Keep adding the marinade to the pan until most has been used up. The maple syrup should form a nice mildly sticky crust on the tofu. Add some salt and pepper at the end of the cooking process, using one piece of tofu as a taster slice. Season the remaining tofu, to taste, with fine black pepper, salt and any other fine dry spiced you would like to add.

Remove tofu, place on plate to cool for a minute before serving. These tofu rectangles could be layered on top of salads, in sandwiches, wraps, over rice or quinoa, or simply eaten on their own!

EASY MAPLE-TAMARI SEARED TOFU

Makes 6 rectangles

Ingredients:

1  14- ounce block of firm or extra firm tofu

2-3  tablespoons of tamari (use only tamari because any other soy sauce will be too salty)

2  tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

2  tablespoons safflower oil

Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Press the tofu.

2. Slice the block of tofu into six rectangles. Each rectangle should be about 3/4 inch thick.

3. Mix together the marinade using the tamari, maple syrup and liquid smoke.

4. Dunk the tofu strips into the marinade and allow to sit for a few minutes. Longer marination will result in bolder flavor.

5. Add 2 tablespoons of safflower oil to a large non-stick skillet. Wait until the oil is very hot, usually about 1 minute.

6. Add the tofu to the pan. It should sizzle loudly from the salt/sugar/maple syrup. Do not move the tofu around. Just let it sit in pan uncovered so it gets that nice browned sear on the bottom. In about 1-2 minutes, flip the tofu. Repeat on the other side.

7. If the pan begins to get too dry, you can add the leftover marinade in small spoonfuls. But do this only after you have achieved a nice sear of color. Keep adding the marinade to the pan until most has been used up. The maple should form a nice mildly sticky crust on the tofu.

8. Add some salt and pepper at the end of the cooking process, using one piece of tofu as a taster slice. You could also add any other dry fine spices you’d like to add.

9. Remove tofu, and place on plate to cool for a minute before serving.

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