We made tofu from scratch yesterday, and it was delicate, slightly beany, and super delicious! I could have eaten it all on its own, but instead we whipped up a three-course tofu feast!
I'd never successfully made homemade tofu before, and it took a little bit of research to sort out what all needed to happen. Some friends and I tried making tofu from scratch once before, and it didn't go very well. That time, we started from the soybean, made soy milk, then curdled and pressed it. It was a lot, you guys. And because there were so many steps and we weren't sure where we screwed up, it was a little bit frustrating. It also took 10 hours and yielded zero tofu.
Instead of going through all of that again, we started with store-bought soy milk. The thing about going that route is that you have to read the ingredients. You need a soy milk that's just soybeans and water.
Soy milks with additives might not curdle the way you need them to, and I can't guarantee that they will work out.
This time around, we also used the Soya Joy Tofu Making Kit. It comes with the mold and a packet of nigari. Nigari is a salt that acts as a coagulant. To make tofu from scratch, you basically curdle soy milk, and press those curds into a block shape with the mold. From what I hear it's a lot like making ricotta cheese.
Because we started with soy milk, the directions that came with the kit were not much help. They want you to start with "two batches" of soy milk from their soy milk making machine. We did not have this machine, so we were kind of stuck.
After a lot of googling, Kip and Bonnie found this article on making tofu from Splendid Table. The thing is, since we bought soy milk already made, we still didn't know how much to use with how much coagulant. After a lot of failed search attempts, Kip ended up buying a digital copy of Asian Tofu, the book by the Splendid Table article's author. If you want to make tofu from scratch, I highly recommend this book. It was a huge help!
We made three batches of tofu, each a different firmness. Bonnie used the soft tofu to make a super tasty miso soup with baby bok choy and radish sprouts:
Kip went deep fried with a salt-and-pepper tofu. She did two variations using the medium-firm tofu, adding Chinese Five Spice Powder to the cornstarch/salt/pepper mix for half of the batch, and that one was my favorite:
I have been obsessed with kale salads lately, so I made an Asian-inspired raw kale salad and tossed in the firm tofu:
Raw Kale and Ginger Salad with Tofu
- 4 cups dinosaur kale, chopped
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic paste
- 2" piece of fresh ginger, minced
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1 block fresh tofu, cubed (you can use store-bought, if you prefer)
- Sriracha, to taste
- In a large bowl, combine the kale, carrots, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, and salt. Get in there with your hands, and massage until the kale is nice and wilted.
- Fold in the remaining ingredients, and serve as-is or chilled.