Sometimes when I purchase tofu I’ll drain the liquid, wrap it well and put it in the freezer. After being frozen and thawed it has a tougher and spongier texture which is better suited for taking on flavors. Cooked straight out of the package flavors slide right off and don’t get absorbed because of the high water content. The more liquid extracted the better its capacity to reabsorb flavors.
In the past I have put minimal effort into removing the fluid. I would use tofu directly out of the package or perhaps wrap it in paper towels to blot some of the liquid. If I bothered to place a weight on the block of tofu, that effort was abandoned as soon as the weights inevitably started leaning and toppled over. There are tofu presses made and sold, but the only way I will ever acquire one is by making one myself.
Well, this time I made an extra effort to squeeze out as much moisture as I could from the frozen and thawed tofu block. The weights did fall over once, but I persevered.
While the tofu was being pressed I put together a marinade consisting of:
- fermented black bean paste
- tomato paste
- soy sauce (Bragg Liquid Aminos)
- toasted sesame oil
- ume plum vinegar
- apple cider vinegar
- liquid smoke
I let the pressed tofu marinade in the sauce for a couple of hours and used my seldom used George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine (Yeah, I still have one of those) to grill the tofu. This time it really did take on the flavors wonderfully. Maybe I will be making a tofu press sooner than I thought.