I've made Tofu before, using the Nigari Salts to make Homemade Tofu. This method uses a much easier coagulant, lemon!
Nigari salts can be made from sea-salt. They're difficult to find, and in shops, and so you might end up having to make them yourself.
Lemon on the other hand, is trivial to get. I didn't realize it could be made from lemon, but now I know, I'll be making it myself more often!
The principle is easy enough. First we make soya milk. This is yellow mung (soy) bean blended with water, the soluble and fiber proteins are kept in the water, and the rest filtered out with a sieve.
Don't throw this byproduct away, it's known as Okara, and its got plenty of soy protein carbohydrates and fiber still in it. I'm going to be using it for other recipes in the following days. Use a spoon to press out the liquid so we get the maximum soy milk from this leaving the dry by product.
Next up, this soy milk is boiled, simmered and left to cool slightly. Salt and the lemon juice are added and it begins to curdle as you stir gently. Once that begins, you can leave it to settle for 15 minutes so that the lumps get bigger and the proteins have clumped.
Next we pour it into a muslin or cheese cloth lined colander. To remove all the water, it's best not to force it, rather let the water go slowly over a couple of hours. Put a weight on it helps. I folded the muslin over the top of my tofu and placed the big pan on-top for a bit of weight.
And that's it, you end up with a good firm tofu, which is ideal for savoury recipes. It's not like shop bought tofu, its firmer with more texture, but it has all the same bland protein goodness that makes it an easy to use base for other flavors.
500 gms Yellow Mung Beans
4 liters of water (about 18 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Muslin cloth or cheese cloth
1. First soak the yellow beans overnight in water so they are soft. They'll swell up to 2-3 times the volume. It's better to leave them in a cool place or the fridge or they'll start to decay and ferment.
2. Drain them.
3. In a liquidizer, blend the yellow beans and the water. You likely need to do this is lots of batches, 4 litres of water is quite a lot, and I needed to do it in 4 batches in my liquidizer.
4. Blend each batch thoroughly, to get the maximum soy out of the beans.
5. As you finish each batch sieve the soy milk through a fine sieve. Keep both parts, the liquid that passes through the sieve is our soy milk and used for this recipe. The rest is a byproduct we can use for other things, I'll explain the next few days.
6. Boil the soy milk till its just boiling, simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, it helps break own the grass-turf flavor it would otherwise have. Then take it off the heat, then leave to cool for 5 -10 minutes. We need it still hot, above 70 degrees Celsius.
7. Add the lemon juice and salt.
8. Stir gently so the lemon and salt are mixed well into the soy milk and it begins to curdle.
9. Once the curdling starts, put the lid on, and leave it to cool down and curdle some more. This should take 15-30 minutes.
10. Take a large colander and line it with muslin, I used 2 layers to ensure I caught all the tofu curds.
11. Pour the liquid through the muslin and catch all the curds. The waste liquid can be thrown away. We only need to the curd.
12. Wrap the muslin over the top, place a weight on top. Not too heavy we don't want to make it too firm. Leave it for 2 hours for the liquid to drain away.
13. Unwrap and you have your tofu!