Easy steps for making tofu at home from scratch

Easy steps for making tofu at home from scratch

May 14, 2020

tofu-recipe-easy-steps

The lockdown that has forced us to spend more time at home and in our kitchens during this COVID-19 crisis does have some positive side effects: we’re starting to upskill ourselves to make more food at home. Not just the simple recipes and quick meals, we’re making food from scratch. We’ve seen the banana bread craze, and many have made an attempt to nurture a sourdough starter to bake fresh sourdough breads in their own kitchen.

Making food from scratch is a great activity as it teaches you so much about the process behind the food we’re consuming, making it an enriching experience. It also allows you to make it super fresh, and if you get it right, even tastier than store-bought. Making your own also allows you to work with ingredients that you like without any additives making sure you’ve got the healthiest product. Last but not least, it’s a lot cheaper than buying store-bought. So lots of reasons to use this time to develop some essential skills for a self-sustaining life.  

Vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians will often look for tofu to add plantbased protein to a meal. Soy provides an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, without the cholesterol and saturated fat found in meat. That makes tofu an excellent ‘meat replacement’ that provides essential nutrients. Tofu in itself doesn’t have much flavour, however it’s incredibly versatile to play around with different sauces and marinades, or to use in soups and stews to build that flavour.

Making tofu yourself isn’t difficult, however we found that the available online recipes are often so lengthy with so many options that it becomes a bit confusing. So if you’re keen to try your hands on making your own fresh tofu, here’s the short and to the point version that worked really well!

 

Ingredients:

  • 250 gr dried soya beans
  • ½ tbsp Epsom Salt
  • Water

 

With regards to the water to use, each step in the method indicates how much water to use, and depending on whether you like the water quality in your municipality or are lucky enough to have mountain water running from your tap, you can use that or opt for filtered water.

 

Tools:

  • Large pot
  • Colander or sieve
  • OmniBlend blender (notes below on which jug works best)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs (optional)
  • Large pot or bowl
  • Cheese cloth or fine mesh tea towel
  • Mold (to press the tofu)

Method summary:

  1. Soak the beans
  2. Rinse the beans
  3. Prepare large pot with water
  4. Blend the beans with water, and add to the pot
  5. Bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes
  6. Filter/strain the soy milk
  7. Bring the soy milk back to a boil and leave to cool for a few minutes
  8. Add Epsom salt (dissolved in a little water)
  9. Stir slowly and carefully to allow the soy milk to curdle
  10. Once curdled, pour over cheese cloth in mold
  11. Cover the curdled soy with the cheese cloth, and press
  12. Leave for about 30 minutes for a medium hard tofu

 

Full method (for easy reference, the numbering corresponds with summary steps above):

  1. Soak the beans in water for 8 hours or overnight, leaving about 5cm extra so that the soy beans can soak sufficiently
  2. Once soaked discard the water, and rinse the beans
  3. Take a large pot (the soy milk boils over easily so go as big as you can to avoid boiling over) and add 6 cups of water
  4. Add 2 cups of beans along with 2 cups of water to your OmniBlend jug at a time, and blend for 30-45 seconds on high speed. Add the soya blend to the pot with water and continue to blend all beans.
  5. Stir the soy bean mixture into the water, and bring to a boil. Continue to stir and keep a close eye on it as it starts to foam and quickly boils over. Simmer for 10 minutes. Soak the beans
  6. Place a cheese cloth or fine mesh fabric over a colander and place it over a large pot or bowl (large enough to fit the strained soy milk). Either leave the liquid to cool down a little before pouring it onto the cheese cloth or immediately strain (just careful as it’s boiling hot). Use a wooden spoon or tongs to press the liquid out of the pulp (this pulp is called okara). In the bowl you now have freshly strained soy milk.
  7. Bring the soy milk back to a boil and leave to cool for a few minutes
  8. Dissolve the Epsom salt in 3 tablespoons of water and pour over the milk to coagulate the milk.
  9. Stir slowly and carefully to allow the soy milk to curdle. It’s ready when all liquid is clear and with white lumps, the curdle.
  10. Once curdled, pour over cheese cloth in mold
  11. Wrap with the cheese cloth, and press with a plate, saucer or anything that fits your mold to press the liquid out as much as possible and leave to rest with something heavy on top.
  12. Leave for about 30 minutes for a medium hard tofu

 

You can now use the tofu immediately, or store in the fridge (covered in filtered water in a sealed container) for use later.

There are so many options to enjoy the tofu, and we really liked the flavour of this marinade:

 

Miso Lemongrass Marinade:

  • 1 stalk lemon grass
  • 1/2 tbsp miso
  • Small knob fresh ginger (5 grams)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (less sodium)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp water

Add all ingredients to your OmniBlend jug, and blend on high until you’ve got a smooth sauce. Slice the tofu and marinade in the sauce for 30 minutes up to a few hours before grilling.

tofu-marinade

Altogether a truly rewarding activity that you’ll hopefully enjoy as much as eating the end result!

 

Which jug to use?

To blend the soy beans for the tofu, we used the OmniBlend I – 2ltr Pro. The 1.5ltr narrow base jug would have worked equally well, and you’d then blend in smaller batches. For the marinade we used the 1.5ltr narrow base jug, and vise versa this would have worked well in the 2 liter jug too, which has a narrow base too.

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