I always knew I wanted to have Kim teach me how to cook something, so when she told me that she wanted to teach me how to make tofu from scratch I couldn't say no! Tofu is something that I normally just buy at the store and never really thought to make from scratch.
Check out my interview with Kim below and read about her story behind making tofu from scratch!
Tofu is something that I can just go and buy at the store - why make your own?
I was vegetarian for 13 years and have always enjoyed eating tofu. I started making my own tofu mainly for 2 reasons: 1) I missed eating fresh homemade tofu (the tofu you buy in the store just doesn't compare in taste and flavor) and 2) I was saving money for my around the world trip and on a strict budget and organic tofu and soy products were expensive to buy. I thought myself how to "milk the soy" as part of a cooking experiment for a year before I left for my trip. The Milking the Soy experiment helped me save money for my trip but more importantly it became a very meditative and therapeutic experience. It became a connection with the food I was making and the people I was making it for. It kept me focused, provided a creative outlet, and I learned a great deal about myself through the whole process. The milking the soy experiment in many ways helped me prepare for my travels. During that year, I would jokingly tell my friends that I was busy with my "Soyfriend". I had indeed developed a love and passion for soy during that experience.
After my cooking lesson from Kim, I now have a new found appreciation for the soy bean and the process of making tofu. I had no idea how much work it takes to make such a simple dish and as you can see in the video, the process can be time intensive. However, it's well worth it for some tasty fresh tofu.
1 Cup of Organic dry soybeans
1 Bottle of Liquid Coagulate/Nigari
Start with organic dry soybeans and soak them in water overnight between 10-18hrs.
Blend soaked soybeans in blender or food processor and slowly add some water to create a paste.
Transfer soybean paste to a tall pot and add enough water to cover soybean paste.
Turn on the stove to high and cook soybean paste for approximately 20 minutes, or until you see the the soy fibers, known as "okara", separate from the soy milk.
Extract soy milk from the okara by pouring the mixture through a muslin cloth across a large bowl.
Clean out the pot you used to cook the soy paste.
Place soy milk back into the pot and cook to 165 degrees.
Once the soy milk reaches 165 degrees, turn off the stove.
For a soft/silky tofu, add about 2-3 drops of liquid coagulate (Nigari) to separate curds and whey. For a firmer tofu, add about 4-5 drops of coagulate (Nigari).
After adding the Nigari, do not move the coagulate/soy milk mixture for about 25 minutes.
While you are waiting for the curds and whey to separate, set up tofu mold by placing muslin sleeve inside of tofu mold.
Once the curds and whey separate, scoop curds and press into tofu mold.
Prep Time: 10 Hours Cooking Time: 2 Hours Yield: 1 Block of Tofu