Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A tofu story: Soy milk continued

  1. Boil your mash. So, you've now got a bunch of soy mash boiling on the stove, with a total of 454 grams, or 1 pound, of soybeans and about 22 cups of water. Cook this for about 20 minutes on medium. Stir frequently, as the soy will stick to the bottom of the pan. You want to avoid this from burning. If your soy mash threatens to boil over, stir or add a little cold water. Your soy milk is ready for the next step when the solids have separated from the milk. It should look like the picture on the right.

  2. Strain your milk. Line a colander with muslin, or use a fine meshed strainer (like I did!). Carefully pour the mixture through the strainer to separate the soy fibre from the soy milk. It's best to use muslin so that you can squeeze all the soy milk out of the mixture and to avoid any graininess in your soy milk. 

  3. Enjoy your milk! If your aim was to make soy milk, then you are done. Soy milk in this manner won't keep as long as that which you buy at the grocery store as it has no preservatives. I have never tasted a better cup of soymilk than my fresh soymilk with a touch of maple syrup and a splash of vanilla!
 I'll add the instructions to make tofu soon.

You will have a bunch of soy fibre left over, and shown on the left. This is called okara. Don't throw it out! It contains a lot of fibre, and a good amount of protein. Okara can be stored in the fridge, or frozen or dried for future use.

I'll do a post in the future about okara uses, but as a quick idea, you can use it to bulk up your morning oatmeal, cutting calories and increasing fibre and protein. I made oatmeal with 1/2 cup rolled oats and 1/2 cup okara cooked with about 1 1/2 cups of water (or more, depending on how long you cook it for and how moist you like it). This oatmeal is rich, creamy and very delicious!

These instructions are my variation of those found in The Tofu Cookbook by Bauer and Andersen and by Makiko Itoh at http://www.justhungry.com/2006/03/milking_the_soy.html 

Monday, March 12, 2012

A tofu story: Starting with soy milk

This weekend I undertook making my own tofu. I had found a fabulous book at the used book store on Tofu, from the early seventies (before I was born)! It didn't look too difficult, and since I've already made cheese, and the process is fairly similar, I was game. The first step is to make a batch of soy milk.

First step: Find your ingredients. Dried soybeans and some sort of coagulant. I found gypsum at T and T in the spice section. You can also use epsom salts or nigari.

Second step: Soak your beans (I did 454 grams or 1 pound) in lots of water overnight. Drain the water, and rise the beans one more time in hot water to warm them up.

Third step: Prepare your pot and gather your blender and kettle. NOTE! I used the Cornell University process to grind my beans which requires boiling water. This reduces the "grassy" or "beany" flavour of the resulting soymilk (which is an intermediate step in the tofu making process). If you choose to use boiling water to grind your beans be VERY careful. You can also just use cold water, it will just result in a stronger tasting soy milk.

Put about an inch of water in your very large pot. Heat this up until almost boiling. Wrap your blender in a towel if you are using boiling water to blend the beans. IF you are using boiling water, please make sure you are using a high quality blender that can handle the heat and will not crack or break. If you are not using boiling water, there is nothing to worry about!

Fourth step: Grind your beans. Take your blender, and put a cup of soaked beans in it. Pour in enough boiling water to cover the soy beans (about 1.5 cups), and blend on a middle range speed.If the mixture is too thick, add some more water. Stop blending when you have a creamy (although grainy) mixture.

Fifth step: Add your beans to the pot.  Pour the bean mixture into the pot that has water almost boiling in it. Add enough water so that you have added a total of 22 cups of water for your 1 pound of soaked beans.

To be continued!

These instructions are my variation of those found in The Tofu Cookbook by Bauer and Andersen and by Makiko Itoh at http://www.justhungry.com/2006/03/milking_the_soy.html