Thursday, August 5, 2010

Broccoli Tofu (my favorite tofu dish of all time) and a product review: Tofu Xpress

Some people don't like tofu.  I am not one of those people.  I like to put the soft variety into smoothies or whip it up into a dip...but my favorite, FAVORITE way of eating tofu is to fry it.  It gets all chewy and delicious...okay, I find it irresistible.  Call me crazy.  Wouldn't be the the first time.  The problem I've always had, though, is not being able to squeeze enough water out of the tofu to make it hold its shape.  I mean, give me some cheese that needs pressing, and I pull out the dumbells...or the pans & heavy cans...but tofu...you see...it's a bit more delicate.  I said I liked it pressed, not crumbled.  Although I do like it crumbled.  Just not when I'm going for pressed.  Capisce?  So, while I've given it the old college try...many a time...I'd somewhat given up resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to get my chewy squares of fried tofu.  Not at home, anyway.

Time rolls on.  Cubes of chewy fried tofu remain the things of fantasy.

Tofu smoothies.  Crumbled attempts at stir-frys.  Tasty tofu still finds its way into my mouth.

And then, one day...just about a week ago...a magical little gadget ingratiates its way into my kitchen...into my life. Fast friends forever.  I already have a pet name for him.  TX (pron. Tex).  You may have heard him called by the name TofuXpress.  It would be an understatement to say he's changed my life forever.  For the better.  TofuXpress is a container with a spring-loaded "compressing" top that is exactly the right shape and size for an average block of tofu.  The cool thing about it is that it can also be used to press the water from other foods such as frozen spinach, eggplant, tomatoes, cheese- you name it!  But I'm guessing my little TX will be reserved exclusively for tofu pressing.

As I said, easy as can be to use...simply center a block of tofu into the base of the TofuXpress, place the top over the tofu, press down while turning and slide the edges underneath the handle-like sides of the base.  Place in the fridge and let sit for 1-3 hours (or overnight...I've tried that, too...totally rockin' chewiness is attained).  Just look at the amount of water that is removed from the tofu!!  Turn it upside down over the sink to drain the water, then remove the top and flip it over to remove the resulting tofu.  The cool thing is, it also comes with a marinating lid, which you can  use to cover the base if you want to store or marinate the tofu once it's been pressed.  And then you can press it again after it's been marinated to get rid of excess moisture, if you choose.  The lid snaps on right under the base for storage when it's not in use.
So, I LOOOOOVE my TX TofuXpress...and HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who cooks with tofu...or who wants to, but isn't familiar with the process of squeezing it.  Shall we move on to my absolute favorite tofu dish of all time!?  Sorry, no measurements...it's a "feeling" kind of dish...

Broccoli Tofu
from the kitchen of girlichef
serves 2

1 block tofu, pressed in the TofuXpress overnight
12 oz. broccoli, cut into florets and blanched
oil for frying
cornstarch 
olive oil
garlic, minced
ginger, minced
scallions, sliced
crushed red pepper flakes
honey
teriyaki sauce

Begin by cutting the pressed tofu into cubes.  Pour some cornstarch in a bowl and toss in a few cubes of tofu at a time.  Shake them around to coat, remove, set to the side and repeat until all tofu is lightly coated.  Preheat about 2-3" of oil in pan to ~350-375 degrees F.  Carefully lower the cubes into the hot oil, a few at a time, so as to not crowd the oil.  Fry until the outsides turn golden.  Remove with skimmer or slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.  
In a large wok or deep nonstick skillet, heat a glug of olive oil.  Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Sauté until they begin to soften, just a couple of minutes.  Drizzle in a little teriyaki sauce and a big blob of honey.  Stir it all up over the heat and let it bubble up a bit to thicken.  If it seems too thin, add a bit more honey. 

Once the sauce has thickened up enough to coat the back of a spoon, toss in the reserved tofu and the blanched broccoli.  Toss everything around for a minute.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.  Enjoy the chewy, fried tofu morsels with the green broccoli and the spicy-sweet sauce that envelopes them both like a your favorite blankie on a cold winters night.
Would you just look at that!?  Now THAT is what I was talking about.  And now I can have it anytime I want!
sssshhhhh....you don't see the magical transition from chopsticks to fork...
Please visit the TofuXpress website by clicking HERE...you can learn about the developer, the other uses, and even find some recipes!


*I received the TofuXpress free from the company for review, but this in no way effected my opinion of this rockin' kitchen gadget!

This post is linked to:
*Get Grillin’ with Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored by Ile de France CheeseRösleEmile HenryRouxbe and ManPans.
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