I can’t lie to you folks– I don’t like the taste of tofu. Nevermind that it actually has zero flavor and takes on whatever flavors you cook it with, I just can’t stand the stuff. The aseptic package tofu has the quivering consistency of jell-o or gross flan and just plain old smells weird. The water-packed variety takes hours upon hours of draining and pressing and wasting my paper towels to get the job done right. I have to keep it between two plates with a brick on top to get it to the desired dryness. If I wrap it in my dish towel, then bits of the block come off on the towel, plus that’s just kind of gross to me.
God(zilla) bless Google. I looked up easier ways to drain the water from my tofu and stumbled across the Tofu Xpress. I was leery but interested. The directions said you could put your tofu in the box and within one hour in the refrigerator you could have totally drained tofu. Still skeptical, I ordered it anyway.
It’s a bit pricey, I have to admit. With shipping it came to about $45 so you gotta really want the Tofu Xpress. I’m a big fan of Alton Brown and his dislike of what he calls ‘uni-taskers’ so I ignored my gut instinct to save the money and just use plates, paper towels, and a brick.
From the picture you can tell how it works. Apparently, you can also add in some marinade, which I will be doing in order to not have to taste the delicious bean flavor. I think tofu tastes like slippery air, don’t you? But, I digress.
There was virtually no assembly and the marinating tray is actually attached to the bottom of the device when not in use so no worries on losing it. I actually like my tofu bone dry so I left the contraption in my fridge for over an hour and kept going in to empty it. I got suspicious leers from various family members each time i brought it out to drain, but i pressed on. Ha, no pun intended.
Once it was dried out to my liking, I made the most awesome, delicious tofu scramble ever. To me, a tofu scramble is only delicious if I can’t tell it’s tofu. That may sound bad to my fellow veg-heads but I do NOT have a poker face. If I don’t like something, it is impossible for me to hide. I wear my emotions all over my face. Some may even call me…animated. There are worse things to be, I can assure you. Like hypocritical or uneducated, for instance. (Uh-oh…sentence fragment.) So I hope my friends over at the PPK don’t get upset about me posting their recipe but it’s so delicious, I just HAVE to SHARE. I used all caps there to let you know how desperate this situation is.
Basic Scrambled Tofu:
For the spice blend–
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 ground turmeric
1 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp water
For the tofu–
3 garlic cloves, minced (or if you’re like me, 6 garlic cloves. I love the stuff!)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound xt firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup nooch(nutritional yeast)
black pepper, to taste
Blend the spices together in a small bowl, then add the water and mix well. Set aside.
Preheat a large skillet over medium to high heat. Saute the garlic in the olive oil for about 10 minutes. Crumble up the tofu and add it to the pan. Make sure it’s in nice bite-size pieces. Saute for a good ten minutes, stir often. Make sure to get under the tofu and scrape the bits of it off the pan, that’s where the yummy caramelization comes from. The tofu should be browned on one side at least. The water should cook out of the tofu but on the other hand, if it’s too dry add a little water. Moist tofu is a good thing…at least that’s what they tell me.
Add the spice blend and mix to incorporate. Add the nooch and the pepper and cook for 5 more minutes. Serve warm, preferably with some yummy whole wheat English muffins that have grape jelly blobbed on top. I like grape jelly, and in blobs, I like it even more.
The book, Vegan Brunch, has some add-in ideas that you are more than welcome to try. Things like broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, carrots, red bell peppers, onions, and other veggies that would make this a lot more healthy. You go to town with that, I hate all those things. Well, except spinach, but I’m not putting it in my tofu, so there!
My assessment of the Tofu Xpress is that it is a useful tool that can help out anyone looking to incorporate more tofu into their diet. As long as you don’t mind spending a little bit, i would recommend it, for sure.