Friday, May 11, 2012

How to Make Tofu (or Soy Milk)

My friend Tom showed me how to make tofu and I must say, I couldn't believe how easy it was! Tofu is something we rarely buy because of its cost, but now that I know how to make it I feel more excited about eating it!

Here's how you make your own. (The same process also makes soy milk. To get soy milk you simply stop earlier in the process.)

To get started you will need:
2 tsp nigari or Epsom salts (Tom had nigari. I will probably use Epsom salts until I can get nigari. Nigari has lots of good-for-you stuff in it so many people prefer to use it.)
2 1/2 cup soaked soybeans (only soaked, NOT cooked)
cooking pot
 2 cheese cloths
something to use as a tofu press

1. Soak 2 1/2 cups of soybeans in 5 cups of water overnight.

2. Rinse and drain the soybeans.

3. Put one cup at a time of soybeans in the blender with 2 1/2 cups of hot water. Blend one minute. Continue until all soybeans are blended.

4. Pour the soybean and water mixture from the blender into a pot. Boil soybeans and then turn down to a medium heat for 20 minutes. When they are done cooking, they will start to have a foam on top like this:

5. Lay your cheesecloth inside a strainer and pour the mixture through it. (What you've caught in your cheese cloth is called the pulp and you can make things like soy sausage out of it.) The strained liquid is now soy milk. STOP if you want soy milk and not tofu.

Pulp. If you aren't going to use it for soy sausage right away, freeze it.
SOY MILK: If you are keeping the soy milk and not making tofu, add some salt, sweetener and possibly vanilla or cocoa for flavoring to your liquid. Refrigerate immediately.

OK, back to tofu:

6. Heat your soy milk until it is at least 185 degrees.

7. Add nigari or Epsom salt with 1/4 cup of hot water. Pour slowly into the mixture to begin curdling the milk.

Pour slowly as you might not need it all. If you need more, simply mix more up.
8. Stir as you add until curdled. When curdled, it will look like this:

9. Line your tofu press with cheese cloth. Start scooping out the curds and putting them on the cheese cloth.

10. Once you've scooped out all the curds and placed them in your tofu press, put the lid on top.

11. Put something heavy on top to properly press it.

A great balancing act!

12. After 30 minutes, remove tofu. You can use immediately or store in container with water in refrigerator.

To learn more about making and cooking with tofu, I highly recommend my favorite cookbook, The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook.

What do you think? Is tofu making easier than you thought it would be? Isn't it neat that the same process also makes soy milk?

I'm linking up to the Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways blog hop!

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