Home made tofu is amazing – make some today (or tomorrow, because you’re going to need to soak the beans)
Get hold of 250 grams of organic soya beans and some coagulant. A heaped teaspoon of nigari is good but you can use the juice of a lemon or even a tablespoon or two of vinegar at a push. You can of course make more by using multiples of 250 grams, but you will need a very big saucepan if you make a bigger batch.
250 grams of dried beans usually makes about 300 grams of firm tofu
You’ll also need some equipment and materials: A bowl for soaking the beans, a liquidiser/blender/smoothie-maker or some such device, a colander, a large saucepan, a stirrer and a piece of fine muslin about 60 cm / 24″ square
Soak the beans in plenty of water for up to 24 hours until they are fully plumped up. Rinse the beans in a colander. You should have 3 cups of soaked soya beans.
Whizz up the beans one cup at a time with an equal quantity of cold water, e.g. 1 cup of beans = 1 cup of cold water. Add twice the amount of boiling water, e.g. 2 cups, and whizz up some more.
Put a colander over the saucepan and line it with the muslin. Tip the whizzed up mixture into the colander and let the soya milk drain through the muslin into the pan. Repeat for the other 2 cups of beans.
Pull up the sides of the muslin and squeeze out the remaining soya milk.
What’s left in the muslin is called okara and can be used to bulk up bean burgers and in other recipes. Okara must be cooked before consumption so it’s best to find proper recipes to use it or dispose of it in the appropriate way as food waste.
Bring the soya milk in the pan to the boil and simmer gently for three or four minutes. Careful – it will spill over the top of the pan so keep an eye on it. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the coagulant. If using nigari then dissolve it in a little hot water before adding it.
The soya milk will separate into curds, the solid part, and whey, the almost clear liquid part. Strain this through another piece of muslin placed over the colander, (or the same one washed after the okara). You can let the whey drain away down the sink unless you can think of a use for it.
Fold the curds into the muslin and leave it in the colander. Put a weight on top if you want firm tofu.
After a few minutes, longer for firmer, remove the tofu from the muslin.
Store in the fridge covered in water until you need it for a recipe, it should keep for a few days.
Note: I’ll add some pictures to this the next time we make tofu.