Tofu (For Carnivores...) ?

I am a meat-eater who is interested in cooking more vegetarian meals (healthier, variety, and often, quite a bit cheaper!). Last night I made a red bell-pepper and poblano chili soup (delicious), and I was thinking of making some kind of veggie kabobs later in the week.

But sometimes, a meal needs to be bulked up with some "oomph!" , which veggies, grains, or legumes can't provide ... it needs some good, hearty tofu. A long time ago, I tried some tofu that was very, very dense ... almost "meat-like" in firmness and texture. It was dry-fried, I think, and it was covered in a spicy Moroccan-flavored paste. I have never been able to duplicate the firm-ness or texture of the tofu that I sampled ... whenever I cook tofu, it is usually spongy, too moist, and often will crumble apart ... and it still retains a lot of moisture from the package, making it taste watery, or like the water it was packaged in (instead of what I cook it with, which is what it is supposed to taste like!).

Vegetarians out there: what is your sure-fire way to produce perfect tofu? I know I must be doing something wrong ... I think my problem is that I am not draining it ... I am trying that today, but I have also heard that baking the moisture out, or freezing the block of tofu, will firm it up. How do you make excellent, dense tofu for your dishes?


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