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Make your own tofu

Warning: if you attempt this you may never want to buy packaged tofu ever again! The satisfaction of slicing into freshly made tofu is like no other. It does require commitment, patience and a willingness for your kitchen to potentially get really messy!

There are many ways to make tofu and multiple recipes, this is simply what I have found, through much experimentation to be the most successful and greatest tasting.

Method 1: Cook the pulp method (Follow our video on Instagram)) - Best tasting but takes longer

  1. Soak dried soya beans in cold water overnight or at least 8 hours!

  2. Drain & rinse then blend beans with fresh water in a blender at the ratio of 1 cup soaked beans to 1.5 cups water.

  3. Pour the blended liquid into a really large saucepan ensuring there is plenty of space above the top of the liquid.

  4. Bring to a gentle boil then reduce heat & simmer for approx 15mins.


  6. Pour into another container (or you can leave in pot if you have time) and allow to cool enough to handle.

  7. Pour this liquid into a nut milk bag over a measuring jug and squeeze out as much as you can so you're left with the soya milk in the jug and then empty the pulp into a separate container. The pulp can either be composted or used for an alternative use. (Google okara recipes for ideas)

  8. Once you've measured the amount of soya milk you have, pour it into a clean pot. It doesn't have to be quite so big but there should still be a little space above the liquid.

  9. Return this soya milk back up to around 80c. I rarely check temperature but instead wait until it starts to simmer then take off the heat and wait for 3-4mins.

  10. Meanwhile measure about 12-14g per Litre of soya milk of magnesium chloride or nigari powder in just enough water to let it dissolve.

  11. Once soya milk is hot, use a slotted spoon to gently stir the magnesium mixture in a zig zag motion. Let sit for a couple of minutes. If it hasn't curdled at all and still looks like one big white mass then return to the heat and REALLY gently warm until it starts to coagulate and split. Once it starts to split remove from the heat.

  12. Leave covered for about 10-20mins.

  13. Prepare a tofu mould by lining with cheesecloth or a nut milk bag and place the mould in a deep baking tray or large container to capture any water underneath it.

  14. Holding a sieve over the sink, pour or ladle the curdled mixture into the sieve and wriggle and shake around removing as much of the liquid as possible. Tip the tofu into the mould and continue until all the mixture is complete. Flatten the tofu down with a spoon then fold over the cloth so it is sealed. Place the top on the tofu mould and press down to remove some liquid. Leave to sit for another hour or two with a weight (a jar or tin of something) on top. You can leave it overnight if you have space in the fridge.

  15. It's nice to use almost straight away but if you are storing it I tend to leave the cloth on it but place in a container of water. Change the water daily.

  16. It makes quite a soft yet still firm texture which will hold it's shape in soup but if you are adding it to a curry or stir-fry I would suggest either roasting it on baking paper (with or without a drizzle of tamari or soya sauce) with a drizzle of oil for 10mins or else carefully sauté the tofu separately (again the addition of tamari is great) so as best to keep its shape.

Method 2: Don't cook the pulp method! Quicker but squeezing the soya milk can be more challenging

  1. Soak dried soya beans in cold water overnight or at least 8 hours!

  2. Leave out Steps 3-6 of Method 1 and make raw soya milk by jumping straight to Step 7. (This also means the pulp is raw so take that into consideration if using it)

  3. Once you've measured the soya milk add to a large saucepan.

  4. Allow this soya milk to simmer for 10-15mins until it no longer smells raw then remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.

  5. Complete the same as Method 1 from Step 10 onwards.

Side notes, hints & tips

  1. The recipe is based on soaked soya beans so it matters less how much you soak. 1 regular size block of tofu would use roughly 2 cups of dried beans

  2. Nigari powder is magnesium chloride. I've found sachets of it in brewer's stores but when making in bulk have used Food Grade Magnesium Salts (check it's magnesium chloride) with great success.

  3. I've used lemon juice as a replacement for magnesium once and it works but you can taste the lemon and doesn't have that authentic tofu flavour.

  4. I've tried using Epsom salts once and it didn't work so I haven't tried again. This was before I discovered the re-heating the milk trick though so if you do try it please let me know.

  5. A tofu press is desirable and ideal but if you don't have one and don't care about the shape of your tofu you could place cheesecloth over a sieve, wrap it up and place something flat over the top as a press.

  6. Be warned there will be a snake skin like film that will more than likely coat the bottom of the pan, especially if cooking the pulp. It does come off if you scrape it with a spoon but choose your pot accordingly and bare the cleaning time in mind.

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