Today, I feel like I’ve just earned my stars and stripes, for I’ve finally made my first batch of homemade tofu after all these years as a vegetarian!  Check it out!!   With Spencer leading the way as captain,  this afternoon we took an adventure together, and set sail on tofu exploration.  And it couldn’t have been easier!

Soy literally means “great bean”.    According to “The Book of Tofu & Miso” by William Shurtleff & Akiki Aoyagi, based on evidence from distribution routes, it seems likely that soybeans originated in Northern China or Mongolia.   Legend has it that soybeans are one of the oldest crops grown by man, extensively cultivated and highly valued as a food for centuries before written records were kept.   Dating back as far as 2,838 B.C., a Chinese emperor wrote a book which described the soybean plant and it’s medicinal properties.   Tofu making is said to go back as far as 200B.C. when the ruler Liu An is believed to have discovered the process.   Tofu is still so highly prized in Japan, their language refers to it as “o tofu” in reverence!

So people have been making homemade tofu for ages.   Why haven’t I done it before now ???

I hope you don’t wait as long as I did ….  I think every vegetarian should make homemade tofu at some point in their cooking endeavors!

Here’s the easy steps to making Homemade Tofu, along with some suggestions below, in case you don’t want to invest in the basic “equipment”.  See printable Recipe below.

  • Make soymilk (1/2 cup organic non-gmo soy beans + 6 cups purified water)
  • Get more information on buying soybeans & the steps for making homemade soymilk here
  • Spoon off foam from top of hot soymilk
  • Sprinkle and stir in the tofu coagulator powder (2.5g)
  • Cover with lid or plate and let stand 10 minutes
  • You’ll notice that soymilk will begin separating into “curds and whey”
  • Place cheesecloth evenly into the tofu mold
  • Place mold in the sink so that the whey water can drain off
  • Pour “curds and whey” into the mold.  Curds will be contained, and the whey will be discarded.
  • Wrap the edges of the cheesecloth over the top of the tofu
  • Place top into the mold, covering the soy curds
  •  Press down on the top, using a 5 pound weight (such as a can or book)
  • Press for 20 minutes
  • Remove tofu block from mold, and place in a storage container
  • Cover tofu with water
  • Tofu will keep in the refrigerator 2-3 days, changing the water daily.
  • 1/2 cup dry soy beans yields a 5 ounce (1/3 pound) block of fresh tofu!

 

Don’t have a soymilk maker or want to make larger batches?  No problem.    Simply soak the soybeans, and process the beans to a smooth-textured consistency  in a blender, juicer, coffee mill, or even a mortar and pestle.   This thick white puree is referred to as “GÔ”

The correct soaking time is said to vary with the air temperature.   If tiny bubbles have begun to form on the surface of the soaking water, you’ve soaked to long.   At 80°F, you’ll only need 8 hours of soaking time, 14 hours at 60°, 24 hours at refrigeration temperature.

Blend the mashed beans with the purified water (6 cups water to 1/2 cups beans).   Place GÔ in a pot on the stove and bring up to 180° to kill any bacteria.   Proceed with adding the coagulator powder, and continue on with the instructions above.

No tofu mold?   Make your own out of wood.   You won’t end up with a tofu block, but you could also use a small colander.  There are plenty of ideas on Youtube.   No cheesecloth?    You could steal your mother’s clean pantyhose!  Even coffee filters would work.

Was this whole tofu experiment cost effective?  

I purchased my Tofu Maker Mold, along with 20 Coagulants for $17.99 from Juicer Superstore.

13 pounds of organic soybeans can be purchased for just $29.50, including priority mail shipping from Laura Soy Beans.

13 pounds of dried soybeans makes 70+ (1/2 cup) batches of soymilk or tofu (plus the usable okara as the soy residual)

1/2 cup soybeans costs 50 cents and a packet of coagulator 20 cents which yields 1/3 pound tofu.

So 1 pound homemade tofu (not factoring in electricity) cost me $2.10.   About the same as store bought ……

 

endeavour-flag-patchCost effective or not, today, I feel like I’ve just completed a pilgrimage of sorts, and joyfully joined the ancient society of  tofu-makers.  

If the world goes to hell in a hand basket, I now know how to make tofu with no grocery store in sight.  

It makes me happy at heart 🙂 

 

 

 

TofuMaking14

Making Homemade Tofu for the 1st Time!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade tofu couldn't be easier. I hope you give it a try!
Author:
Serves: 1 5 oz block
Ingredients
  • ½ cup organic non-GMO soy beans (available via LauraSoyBeans.com) to yield ⅓ pound block tofu
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • Soy Milk Makers (if possible)
  • Tofu Mold & Press
  • Cheesecloth
  • Tofu Coagulator
Instructions
  1. Make Homemade Soy Milk:
  2. ------------------
  3. Soak ½ cup soy beans in water at room temperature for 8 hours (or 24 hours in the fridge).
  4. Rinse and drain the soaked soybeans.
  5. Place the beans in the Milk Maker (see notes if you do not have one). Add filtered water to the fill level (about 6 cups)
  6. Place the top and grinder funnel into the machine. Snap in place, and press the Soy Bean Button.
  7. In 15-20 minutes, you’ll have soy milk !!
  8. Make Homemade Tofu:
  9. ---------------------
  10. Spoon off foam from top of hot soymilk
  11. Sprinkle and stir in the tofu coagulant powder (2.5g)
  12. Cover with lid or plate and let stand 10 minutes
  13. You’ll notice that soymilk will begin separating into “curds and whey”
  14. Place cheesecloth evenly into the tofu mold
  15. Place mold in the sink so that the whey water can drain off
  16. Pour “curds and whey” into the mold. Curds will be contained, and the whey will be discarded.
  17. Wrap the edges of the cheesecloth over the top of the tofu
  18. Place top into the mold, covering the soy curds
  19. Press down on the top, using a 5 pound weight (such as a can or book)
  20. Press for 20 minutes
  21. Remove tofu block from mold, and place in a storage container
  22. Cover tofu with water
  23. Tofu will keep in the refrigerator 2-3 days, changing the water daily.
Notes
The correct soaking time is said to vary with the air temperature. If tiny bubbles have begun to form on the surface of the soaking water, you’ve soaked to long. At 80°F, you’ll only need 8 hours of soaking time, 14 hours at 60°, 24 hours at refrigeration temperature.

Don’t have a soymilk maker or want to make larger batches? Simply soak the soybeans, and process the beans to a smooth-textured consistency in a blender, juicer, coffee mill, or even a mortar and pestle. This thick white puree is referred to as “GÔ” Blend the mashed beans with the purified water (6 cups water to ½ cups pre-soaked beans). Place GÔ in a pot on the stove and bring up to 180° to kill any bacteria. Proceed with adding the coagulator powder, and continue on with the instructions above.

No tofu mold? Make your own out of wood. You won’t end up with a tofu block, but you could also use a small colander. There are plenty of ideas on Youtube. No cheesecloth? You could steal your mother’s clean pantyhose! Even coffee filters would work.
 
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