Tofu is made up of three ingredients: coagulant, water, and soybeans. It is one of those foods which instantly create divisions among diners. Crumbly, odd, and sometimes slimy and jiggly, tofu is a mysterious white block floating in liquid like something pickled, but it is not pickled.
When you make tofu, chill it in the fridge until firm enough to cut. Then cut it into cubes and steam it, fry it, or bake it. Place tofu in fresh, cold water for up to 3 days, if you want to wait a few days. You can add a little bit of pepper and salt and serve it immediately with vegetables and rice.
Homemade Tofu Recipe
- 1 pound of soybeans washed and soaked, uncooked, water changed every few hours
- 4 teaspoons of magnesium chloride
- 2 quarts of soybean milk
- Tofu mold: In the first step, build a wooden frame from finished lumber, which is ¾-inch thick. The open frame can be rectangular or square and have a height of 2-inches. Now, build a pressing board using the same lumber. The dimensions of the top should be half an inch smaller compared to the interior dimensions of the frame. Use two or more pieces of lumber to hold the board together. These cross pieces are used as handles to lift the board from the frame after the tofu is pressed.
- Soybean milk: Use a blender to make soybean milk in batches of three cups of water to one cup of soaked soybeans. Each batch should run for about 3 to 4 minutes. Take a big pot and put the coarse soybean milk into it. Heat it to a slow simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes. Cover a colander with a clean kitchen towel and place it into a big bowl or pot. Pour the hot soybean milk into the towel in order to strain the soybean milk.
- Even though a small amount of milk will drain via gravity, most must be forced out. You should do this when the milk has cooled. In order to do this, gather the towel’s edges to form a sealed ball. Tighten the towel edges. Scrape the outside of the ball using a spoon in order to facilitate the flow. Make sure that the bean residuals are trapped inside the ball. Do this until the inside of the towel is almost empty.
- Heat the strained soybean milk, stirring frequently, to 180 degrees, and then remove from heat source. A few different coagulants can be used to bind the soybean milk. Before you add a coagulant to the heated soybean milk, mix it with a quarter cup of water. Pour the mixture into the hot soybean milk, but do it slowly and observe. If a soft tofu is desired, the curdling milk in the pot can still be stirred easily. On the other hand, the stirring becomes harder if a hard tofu is desired.
- Place the tofu mold in the sink so the excess liquid can drain easily. Use rinsed cheesecloth to cover the inside of the mold and allow at least 6-inches of extra cheesecloth for each side of the mold. Add the curdled soybean milk into the mold. Now, fold over the extra cheesecloth, sides first. In this step, place the pressing board on top of the cheesecloth. In order to exert pressure, put a water-filled pot or bowl on top.
- Make sure to adjust the position of the weight so the pressure on the tofu is uniform. A five-pound weight will be enough for soft tofu. The final firmness also depends on time. Five minutes pressing will be sufficient for soft tofu. On the other hand, more weight and longer time will be required for firmer tofu. Lift the wrapped tofu from the mold and uncover it when the tofu has reached the desired consistency.