Intro: Tofu Press
While I am a dedicated fan of animal protein, I was recently bewitched by Andrea Nguyen's new book, "Asian Tofu - Discover the Best, Make Your Own, and Cook it at Home." I'm a sucker for any book that tells me how to make something, even if it's tofu. Now while you don't actually need a tofu press to make tofu, I felt that a press would enhance the aesthetic experience, so here's my ghetto version. And by the way, home made tofu really is very different from (and better than) the watery bricks you buy at the supermarket.
Step 1: The Basics
I used a premade wooden keepsake project box from JoAnn's fabrics. I would have liked to make the box from scratch, but I am temporarily workshop-less, so my projects are limited to the kitchen counter. The box was ideal because it had a lid with an inset, which would become the final 'floating' lid.
Step 2: Drilling the Holes
A tofu press needs holes so the water can escape as you compress the tofu. I don't know if there's an ideal configuration of holes, but this worked. Calculate where to drill by the thickness of the box sides and the joins in the wood, but don't worry if you're off a bit, this is tofu science. I used a 15/64" bit.
Step 3: The Floating Lid
The floating lid is used to compress the tofu. Saw the lid to size, but saw off the narrower ends first - you'll be using those to make the legs.
Step 4: Finishing
Glue the shorter ends of the lid to the base to create feet, which will allow the water to drain out when you compress the tofu. Give everything a good sanding, then finish with mineral oil which is food grade and non-toxic. Now make some tofu!