So, lately, I had quite some time upon my hands and I thought: Let’s learn a new skill!
I’ve been really into making a lot of products from scratch lately and there came the idea to make my own Tofu. This was also after I found out that Seitan was made out of gluten and therefore not really suitable for my IBS…
I thought it was going to be really easy, and in a way it also is. It just takes a looooot of time.
The latter depends on the method you choose, though. You can make them completely from scratch or you can take the back door and take a small shortcut.
Anyway, you’ve actually come here to get an answer to your question. Is it really worth it?
That, unfortunately, depends on you! It can be really worth it if you really like to make things yourself AND if you’ve got a lot of time.
If you are more for some quick recipes, then you might be disappointed and pick another option. Just make sure you read the whole article though, making your own tofu might be something for you anyway!
For the taste itself you might not want to do it. Tofu is quite bland and therefore, you won’t really taste a big difference.
The difference lies in the price. As you might know, making things from scratch mostly is cheaper.
To make Tofu you just need two things: Soybeans and a coagulant. Both are not that expensive. With a cost of around US$2 for one pound of beans.
And this is for the organic beans. A lot of soybeans are GMO, so if you are quite against this, you might want to make your own tofu too.
Let’s have a look at how to make it!
Making Soy Milk at home
Nope, you haven’t read it wrong, we’re first going to make soy milk!
This is going to be the first part of making our Tofu.
With 1.5 Cups of soybeans, you get a block of tofu for about 2 people. If you want more you can double or triple or quadruple it of course.
If you are used to buying soy milk at the supermarket, this might be a good time to make the switch! Store-bought soy milk very often is sweetened, which you don’t always want. This soy milk is unsweetened and therefore will have a different taste, but you’ll get used to it. Don’t worry. And if not, you can always make tofu!
- Prep Time 8 Hours
- Cook Time 30 Minutes
- Total Time 8.5 Hours
- 1.5 Cups/ 300g of Soybeans
- 8 Cups / 1.8l of Water
- The first step is going to be a little tedious already. You're going to have to soak the soybeans for 8 hours into water. This is not the water from these 8 cups though. Just in case.
- Drain the water
- Put the beans into a blender
- Add water and blend
- With a cheesecloth and sieve drain the water out of the crushed beans into a pan that's big enough
- Squeeze the bean residue really well
- Boil the liquid you've got out of the beans and keep on a simmer for about 20 minutes. Make sure that you stir frequently
- And now you've got your own soy milk!
You’ll see that after these 8 hours your beans will have swollen a lot, so be sure that you put them in a big bowl.
Most blenders won’t be able to fit all of the beans at the same time, so make sure that you add the beans and water gradually.
If you don’t have a cheese cloth at home, a kitchen towel will do too. I’ve bought a cheese cloth though and I do have to say that it really saved me a lot of frustration. These cloths are a bit smaller and easier to handle. And they only cost a couple of bucks!
This soy milk will be a lot different than your processed soy milk, so make sure that you get used to the flavor in the beginning. If not, you can always add a sweetener.
Make sure you let the pan cool down first before you put it into the fridge. The milk will stay good for about 4 days.
Making your own tofu at home
Alright, so back to topic.
Well, it must be said that we’ve always been on topic. We do need this soy milk to make our tofu.
If you are here for the tofu and not for the milk, please discard the instruction of boiling the milk for 20 minutes. We will need to boil the milk, but not for 20 minutes to make our tofu.
And as I said at the beginning of the article, you can take a little shortcut here as well.
If you don’t feel like waiting 8 hours for the beans to soak, nor to put them in a blender. You can just buy some soy milk at your supermarket and this will be perfectly fine as well.
You do have to remember though that this will mean that it might not be completely organic or sugar-free!
- Total Time 30 Minutes
- Serves 2 People
- 8 Cups / 1.8 l of soy milk
- Coagulant: 1 Tbs Nigari or Gypsum, 4 Tbs lemon juice or vinegar
- So we've got our soy milk from the recipe above here
- we're going to bring that to a boil
- and let it simmer for 10 minutes
- scoop off the foam and let it rest for about 3 minutes
- add your coagulant, if you've choosen for nigari or gypsum, you need to dissolve this into little warm water
- the mixture now will curd, leave it for about 10 - 15 minutes
- strain the mixture into a box of some kind with holes, if you have a press you can put it in here
- put some weight on it and let it rest for about 30 minutes
- and then you've got a block of tofu!
For how long you press your tofu depends on you. If you like a soft block of tofu, about 15 minutes will do already. If you want it firmer than you put some weight on it for 45 minutes.
If you use Nigari, make sure that you put the block of tofu in a bit of water afterwards. This is to make sure that you don’t get the tangy flavor out of the tofu. I never had any issues with it, but some people don’t like the taste of Nigari.
Another thing I’d like to mention, I’ve read in many articles that the curdling of the soy milk happens at 167 degrees F, or 75 degrees C. If that works for you, great! However, in my experience that didn’t really work. I didn’t have a thermometer and it just didn’t curdle. Instead I let it cool down for 3 minutes and after putting in the coagulant, I brought it up to a boil again. Which worked perfectly!
And one last note. If you don’t want to make your own soy milk, you can just buy your soy milk from the grocery store.
In the picture below you can see an image of my own tofu, just to let you show that I’m not making things up here ;).
Did I think it was totally worth it?
Well, I’m not 100% sure. I do have to say that it was quite rewarding eating something that I made myself from scratch. I was really aware of the process and what it takes to make your own tofu. Therefore I gained a deep respect for people who do this professionally.
I made a delicious chicken tofu shawarma out of it.
What is your opinion at the moment?
Are you looking forward to make your own tofu?
Nama-stay wonderful everyone!