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

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