How to Make Tofu from Scratch (and a soysage recipe!)
There’s nothing like the taste of homemade tofu. Here’s how to make tofu and use the pulp left over from this tofu recipe to make delicious soysage!
Although we usually use store-bought tofu (when we eat tofu, which is not that often these days), it does not seem like the same food as freshly made tofu. The taste of fresh tofu cannot be represented by a store-bought product, unless it is coming directly to the store by a local tofu maker that makes it every day.
You can get the full balance of the legume and all its nutrients by using the leftover pulp from making tofu for another recipe, homemade soysage. One of the secrets of a healthy, holistic diet is to use the whole plant.
How to Make Tofu
Ingredients and Supplies
+ 1 pound, approx. 2 ½ cups of dried organic soybeans soaked in large bowl overnight — 10 to 16 hours.
+ Deep, tall, wide stainless steel pots.
+ Extra bowls, sieves, cheese cloths, clean organic muslin, and a blender or food processor.
+ A cooking thermometer is also useful — although, you can do without it.
+ Ladles and spoons
+ The curdling agent used most often is Nigari. You will need 3-5 teaspoons for this recipe.
+ A simply-made or bought tofu box or more cheesecloth.
Making the Tofu
- Blend soaked soybeans into a smooth milky, foaming puree. (The consistency of cream of wheat.)
- Put that puree in a large pot with 8 cups of water. The mixture will foam up considerably as it simmers, so using a tall, large pot is necessary. Bring to boil – lower to simmer – cook 10 to 15 min – stir foam back into it.
- Cooking up the fresh pulpy soymilk brings the smells, already emerging, of the fresh beans, delightfully into the whole kitchen. Enjoy.
- Cool pureed soy mixture and strain through a sieve or double layer of cheesecloth over a large bowl or mixing pitcher.
- Set pulp aside for soysage, bread, or any veggie dish that needs more pulp or fiber in it.
- In a large stainless steel pot bring the strained soymilk to a simmer about 180 degrees and add 2-3 teaspoons of nigari.
- The milk will start to separate into curds and whey. Add another teaspoon or two of nigari, if there are any parts of the mixture that haven’t curdled. Ladle the mixture into a tofu mold lined with muslin. Ladling the curds into the tofu box lined with muslin will allow it to drain more and let the tofu set. If you do not have a tofu box – simply wrap the curds in cheesecloth, place in a large colander, put a plate on top, and weight the plate down with a few cans. Either way, allow the tofu to set for 20 minutes.
- The kitchen will seem to be turning white at this point. While the tofu sets wash your equipment, because the soy milk is gets very sticky when it dries.
- Store the tofu in the refrigerator if you’re not going to serve it right away.
Fresh homemade tofu is almost impossible to stop eating. 4 ounces of tofu has 9 grams of protein, and calcium as well.
- Soy pulp (okara) left from the tofu recipe above
- 1 cup of wheat germ
- 2 tablespoons of flax meal
- 1-2 tablespoons each of fennel seeds and sage
- black pepper and soy sauce, to taste
- Mix the ingredients in a large bowl, until you form a nice dough. If it’s too wet, you can add flour of your choice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches a doughy consistency. Think cookie dough.
- Form into patties and fry in your favorite cooking oil.
The national soybean research lab, and a primary source of soybean information, informs us that all three of the macro-nutrients required for good nutrition: complete protein, carbohydrate and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals, including calcium, folic acid and iron, are present in soybeans.
They contain complete protein, providing you with all the essential amino acids in the amounts needed for human health. Soybeans are, supposedly, the only common plant food that contain complete protein. Soybean protein provides all the essential amino acids in the amounts needed for human health.
Enjoy your fresh, homemade tofu and soysage, and let us know if you have any other tips, comments, or questions!
Photo Credit: FotoosVanRobin via flickr