Homemade Tofu-First Attempt Nov 2012

I have a dream...most people dream of material goods that will make them happier, better cars, better houses or even better kitchens and while I definatley dream of a better kitchen my first dream of dreams right now is all about home made tofu.

I have a bee in my bonnet I guess and I find if that bee gets in there I have no choice but to rolll with the idea until I have exhausted it. Over the years it has been many things and some you have witnessed-kimchi making and pickling being my most recent for sure which I hope you too have gone and gotten all worked up about as I have.

My tofu obsession was alwasy there but certianly had not increased to the epic proportions that it is today where my husband finds tofu on the table at least three times a week. Not that it is expensive or not well made locally -we have more tofu outlets making A class tofu than I can even visit -but it is all about being able to say -this is my tofu!

So I am determined to have soft beautiful white lusciously delicious tofu by tomorrow evening. Today is Monday so I have sorted by ingredient needs and have my soy beans soaking.

Right now I have started small -just 500g dried soy beans which if I understand my reading right should be enough for at least one block.I went online and researched and read all sorts of things unforunately all telling me something different to do. Some said just use soy milk, some said buy a soy milk maker and go from there , some said no way to store bought soy milk and some said just use soy milk from any good Asian store. The true purists said you have to use soy beans that are soaked for 18 hours to get the best end result so that is where I am at-soaking my 500g of soy beans overnight before I rush home tomorrow after work ( I will be thinking tofu alllll day though I promise) and churn and squeeze my soy beans before pressing them to make tofu.

I also bought a wee kit online locally (again there easy to follow recipe is anyting but and rather confusing) but I think now I may have read all information on hand so just will just make a start. I have a press that is plastic as I feel I want to graduate into a beautiful wooden one when I actually have the process down and I have cheesecloth and a coagulant (again controversial stuff with much said on what and why and how so more on that as well later). 

Ill keep adding as this occur....so for now... just soy beans ...soaking...not very exciting..yet!

 

 

Day 2 was suppose to be Tuesday but as usual the week got the better of me.

I did make my milk though...and it seems to be just that-soy milk.

First off I washed my soaked soy beans well rinsing them a  a number of times before they went into my blender. Instead of the food processor I used my bar blender as I was suggested to be a better option for creating a finer milk.
I used 3 cups of beans and 6 cups of water to create a nice rich milk.

 

That went straight into a pot and was heated to cook the beans. It seems there can be issues with uncooked and thus indigestible beans so this first process is again repeated but more on that later .
So my heated through milk is ready to be strained through a fine sieve lined with muslin cloth which is done twice and Im left with what is known as lees. Soy lees. They sort of look like ricotta actually and have a very mild cheesy smell to them but these are used in all sorts of Asian cooking to thicken and enrich soups and sweet puddings.

 

 

 

They can also be mashed up with other ingredients and fried to make a dumpling sort of croquet. I decided to stick to my plan though and I discarded my first lot of lees in favor of my attention not being taken away from my milk.?

I chilled my milk and the next day i reheated in order to recooked or do a ‘second cooking’ on the milk to aid in the digestion factor. Heated up to 75C and stirring well it starts taking on a tofu scent.

I took the pot off the heat and added my coagulant in thirds stirring well each time. I found that I needed more actually so ended up adding in 5g to 8 cups of milk.

The curds began to appear to my great excitement!

 

I left the pot for a few minutes then scooped out the curds and popped them into my plastic mould lined with the same freshly cleaned muslin cloth and placed a jar of marmalade on top to help weight it down.

I had decided that my first tofu attempt would be with a firmer style which is not my favourite but for some reason I decided perhaps would be easier. Indeed I think there is room for more error and as a terrible instruction follower I think I did ok.
I pressed my tofu block-yes one single not even very thick block of tofu-for exactly ten minutes and then flipped it out and into cold water to help firm it up.



The whole process took about 15 mins so I can see once I get the hang of it and have milk on hand it is a fast process that would be possible for dinner.
As I still have soy beans to use up from my 1 kg purchase Ill use them up and soak another batch tonight to make some soft tofu tomorrow but feel that in future Ill look for some organic soy milk at my local Chinese supermarket as this will indeed speed the process up drastically. I assume the taste will be totally different so keen to try both ways. Maybe ill decide that the milk process is one day and as it can be kept for up to 5 days in the fridge I guess it is on hand to make fresh when needed as well. Ill be back on that front soon to let you know.

Meanwhile...look out for new tofu recipes ! ?

 

 

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