Remember that New Year’s Resolution to eat vegetarian until dinner? We’re doing it! Let’s get started the Hipsteaders way by making our own tofu. The recipe that I followed was originally posted by La Fuji Mama.
Homemade tofu is much more flavorful than anything I’ve ever bought in the store and it’s delicious. As always, making your own ingredients also allows you to control everything you put in it. This recipe requires soaking the soybeans overnight before using them so make sure to start it a day ahead of time. Gather ingredients and supplies. You’ll need dried soybeans, nigari salts (coagulant), water, a tofu press, a food processor or blender, a thermometer, a large pot, a colander and a large bowl.
A tofu press is not totally necessary. You can squeeze the water out of your homemade treat using a colander. If you do plan to make a lot of pretty tofu, you can find a press online for less than $20. The coagulant we are using, nigari, is the natural salts left over after common table salt has been removed from seawater. Less coagulant produces softer tofu while more coagulant will make a more firm texture.
Soak 1 1/2 cups of dried soybeans in 4 1/2 cups of water for at least 8 hours or up to overnight. The beans will soak up quite a bit of water.
Process soybeans in the soaking water in a food processor or blender until beans are finely ground. Work in batches if necessary.
In a large pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add the ground soybeans and reduce heat to medium-high. Cook while stirring over medium-high until the mixture nearly boils. It will foam up a lot so don’t be surprised, just keep stirring! Right before the mixture boils, reduce the heat to low and keep stirring for 8 minutes.
Now you’ve made soy milk! Strain this mixture into a large bowl through a cheesecloth-lined colander.
Gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and give it a good squeeze to get all of the soy milk out of the ground beans. You’ll be left with soy milk in the bowl and okara, the insoluble bits of the soybeans. I made mine into a really tasty lunch, I’ll post the recipe soon!
Prepare your coagulant by mixing 2 1/4 teaspoons of nigari into 1 cup of water. Stir to dissolve.
Rinse out your pot, pour in the soy milk and warm over low heat while stirring until the soy milk reaches a temperature between 150 and 155°F.
Remove soy milk from the heat and add half of the coagulant while stirring in a circular pattern for 6 strokes. Add the remaining coagulant and stir in a figure eight pattern until the soy milk begins to coagulate.
Once the soy milk begins to coagulate, cover the pot and let it sit for 15 minutes. Strain the coagulated soy milk in a cheesecloth-lined colander. This time save the coagulated soy milk.
Carefully transfer the coagulated soy milk to your tofu press.
Cover with cloth, close press and add some weight. I just used a couple jars. Make sure your tofu press is over something to collect the liquid. Let sit for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove tofu from mold and rinse with cold, clean water. Cut it up and serve it! If you’d like to store your fresh tofu, make sure to put it away in cold, clean water.
This tofu is totally worth the effort. Give it a shot! I’ll post some recipes for this strange bean curd soon.
INGREDIENTS AND SUPPLIES
• 1 ½ cups dried soybeans
• 2 ¼ teaspoons nigari salts
• Tofu Press
• Food Processor
• Large Pot
• Large Bowl
1. Soak soybeans in 4 ½ cups of water for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
2. Process soybeans in soaking water in food processor until beans are finely ground. Work in batches if necessary.
3. In a large pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil.
4. Add ground soybeans.
5. Heat over medium-high until the mixture nearly boils while stirring. Just before the boil, reduce the heat to low and cook while stirring for 8 minutes. Don’t be surprised when this mixture foams up quite a bit.
6. Strain mixture into a large bowl through a cheesecloth-lined colander.
7. Wash out your pot and pour in the soymilk.
8. Cook over low heat while stirring until the soymilk reaches a temperature between 150 and 155°F.
9. Remove from heat and add half of the coagulant mixture while stirring in a circular motion for 6 strokes.
10. Add the other half of the coagulant while stirring in a figure eight pattern until the soymilk begins to coagulate.
11. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
12. Strain coagulated soymilk through a cheesecloth-lined colander.
13. Carefully transfer the coagulated milk to a tofu press.
14. Wrap with cloth, close press and add weight.
15. Let tofu sit in mold for 15 minutes.
16. Rinse with cold, clean water.
17. Enjoy right away or store in cold, clean water in your fridge.