Tofu is very popular among vegetarians and vegans as it is one of the many good sources of protein. Even though the unseasoned tofu is less appetizing, I should say; but the way you season it as you cook with other ingredients makes the difference. It’s great for making desserts too! In fact, there are real meat eaters who like to eat TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) or commonly knows as ‘veggie meat’. They come in dried, canned, frozen and fresh cooked forms. You can either buy them in food stores or make it yourself, just like tofu. Yes, it is convenient to just go to the store and grab a pack of tofu, but to me it’s a good thing to know how to make tofu–it’s cheaper, fresher and tastier. It is fairly easy to make. All you need is the basic ingredients and materials to do the process. In this recipe I use the most common and cheapest coagulant — Lemon juice. There are other great coagulants you can use as well, like, Nigari (mostly use in oriental countries), Gypsum, or Epsom Salt but these may not be readily available in other countries. Anyway, like I said the process is relatively easy, but I have to tell you that you need to be extra careful to avoid a mess. Give it a try! 🙂
2 cups dried soybeans
4 quarts water (16 cups)
2 TBspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
3-4 TBspoons lemon juice (prefer fresh)
2 large size pots
very fine mesh/strainer or cheese cloth for nuts
wooden spoon or available long handle spoon
tofu molder (optional)
1. Soak soybeans for at least 8 hours or overnight. Rinse and drain
2. In a blender, blend 1 cup of soybeans at a time with about 3 cups of water or just enough to cover the beans for finer texture. Do the same for the 2nd cup of soybeans.
3. Add the rest of the water into a big pot with the blended soybeans. Bring to boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid boiling over.
4. Using a very fine strainer, cheese cloth for nuts, or clean cloth (t-shirt) to separate soy pulp from milk into a different pot.
5. To coagulate: Heat the soy milk back up to 180-200 degrees. Add sea salt and 3 TBspoons lemon juice and stir. If the water is still white and milky, add another spoonful lemon juice and stir again. Let it sit and wait for about 5-10 minutes, the curds will separate.
6. Skim out curds and pour into a molder. A colander with fine mesh bag or fine cheese cloth will work just fine. Press down using a spatula, a bowl or a heavy object to extract more water out of the curd. Place a heavy object (I use a jar with water) and let it sit for at least 45 minutes.
7. Tofu is ready to eat/use. If you are not using it right away, soak tofu in water and refrigerate. Change the water everyday if you don’t use the tofu.
Makes about 1 and half pounds of tofu or 20-24 oz.
1. If you use a different coagulant, follow instructions on labels. Rule of thumb: the more coagulant you put the harder the tofu. Be careful in using more lemon as it could make your tofu more sour.
2. Save the Okara (soy bean pulp). Great in bread, cookies, and burgers.