Worthwhile Gadget: The TofuXpress

I've posted before that I have a lot of kitchen stuff. Like so much that I have a giant Ikea armoire in the basement to house pie plates (I think I have 6), special pans (bundt, train cake pans, you get the idea), multiple waffle irons (yes, multiple), cookie cutters, etc. etc. etc. So I'm loathe to buy a single-use tool - there are usually other ways to accomplish the same task (I'm looking at you, mango pitter!). But then there are some essential single-use tools - the egg slicer comes to mind. And now, the TofuXpress.

I'd never heard of this thing, 'til one day a Semi-Sweet reader emailed me that her husband & daughter had gotten her one at Sur La Table. Intrigued, I checked out the site - a tool that squeezes the heck out of your tofu? Was small-ish? American-made? Dishwasher safe? Sign. Me. Up. I emailed the good folks at TofuXpress to see if they'd be willing to send me one to review, and guess what? They said yes!

Now yes, you can press your own tofu - here's what I used to do:

Lots of paper towls (cringe-worthy from an environmental perspective), the cookie sheets, lots of plates . . . it works, but it also only goes so far. Unless you take time to change the towels, they get saturated quickly and your tofu will still have a significant amount of moisture in it. This doesn't matter for some preparations, but say you want to get it crispy? Or really saturated with marinade? Or just want it to be firmer and more flavorful? The TofuXpress is your new go-to girl.

 You just put in your block of tofu, snap in the top (there is a heavy-duty spring in there, that's what does the pressing) and let it go. The instructions say to put it in the fridge and let it press for an hour, or overnight, but I find the results to be awesome (and far superior to my old method) in as few as 15 minutes.  When you're ready to remove the tofu, you just tip the unit upside down over a sink, remove the accumulated water, and free the tofu. So simple.

The TofuXpress also comes with a lid that conveniently attaches to the base for storage - use this for marinating. You need to press the tofu first, then remove the liquid, insert the tofu with the marinade into the base, and cover with the top - place in the fridge for the desired time, and voila! You can even press the marinated tofu to achieve a denser texture that's more meat-like.

I haven't tried this yet, but the instructions say that you can also use the TofuXpress to press other vegetables, like eggplant, or defrosted frozen spinach, for example. Check out all the details, including a video demo, at the TofuXpress site. If you eat tofu on a regular basis, this is $39.95 well spent. Two thumbs up!

What's your favorite kitchen gadget? Something innovative like the TofuXpress? What would you like to see me review here for you?

{Disclaimer: I was sent the TofuXpress free-of-charge to review, but TofuXpress did NOT solicit my review - I contacted them. All the opinions in this review are my own.}