Ah tofu. I wanted to learn how to make tofu, it looks so simple yet it takes so much effort and the result I made was, to be honest, not as good as shop bought tofu! I think I removed too much water from the mixture. I recommend you don't press it as much as I did when you make it!
For the preparation, I'm going to make my tofu from dried soya beans, but you can make it directly from the soya milk you buy in the supermarket. Just make sure the milk is not sweetened or flavoured.
I'm using Nigari (Nigari info) as my coagulating agent, this is the Japanese bitter salt they extract from sea salt. There are many types of tofu and different tofus are made with different coagulating agents, silken tofu is made with Glucono-delta-lactone (E575), a chemical made by bacteria, or Epsom salts can also be used.
500 gms Dried Yellow Soya Beans (1kg-1.5 kgs if fresh beans)
2 Teaspoons Nigari Salt
Preparation Soya Milk
1. Starting with the dried beans, soak them in 1.5 litres warm water overnight. You can see how they plump up to twice the size from the photograph.
2. Drain off the water, add one cup of fresh water to help form a slurry and blend them, I used a hand blender on mine to make the slurry you see below.
3. Next up, we need to boil the soya slurry. This is done to destroy an enzyme in the soya that would make it difficult to digest. Add 1.5 litres of water to the slurry in a pan. bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Now we need to separate the liquid from the pulp, to do this I used two layers of cheese cloth in a collander. The liquid that drains off is what we are interested in, so make sure to have a large pan underneath the collander to catch the liquid.
5. At this point we have soya milk, you could leave it to cool, add a little sugar or salt and drink it if you wish, but we need it hot to make the tofu, so it's best to go straight ahead and make the tofu.
6. Dissolve the Nigari salt in quarter a cup of cold water. Add to the hot soya milk and leave it to coagulate for 10 minutes, perhaps longer. The liquid part should be clear and the curds visible, you can leave it longer until this happens.
7. Another cheese cloth covered colander is needed to get the curds. Pour through the liquid and keep the curds in the cheese cloth, leave it for 5 minutes to let any excess liquid drain off.
8. At this point I pressed the curd under a heavy weight and drained off the liquid. However that was a mistake. Instead I would put the curd into a bowl and leave it to settle and even itself out in the fridge.
9. That's it. But after all that work, you wish you'd simply bought it!