Monday, October 12, 2009

Homemade Tofu

I've been looking forward to sharing this post ever since JLo brought back my tofu kit that I've ordered from the states! This summer while i was in Taiwan, i spent hours on the Internet and markets looking for stores with Nigari (the coagulant used for tofu) but they either didn't have it or the ones who do were located in the middle of nowhere. Ironic how i had to get Nigari in the US when you'd think they'd be everywhere in Taiwan since we're such tofu-loving people. Sigh, 誰叫台灣那麼方便, tofu is even sold at 7-11!

So after living for 4 years in Poland, i have well adapted to life without tofu... until last year when i found out that they've started selling them at PiP! Though they are now accessible, i can only find tofu every 1 out of 8 PiP visits. You'd have to be super lucky to get that box cuz they'll probably disappear within the same afternoon they're re-stocked. A lot of people probably don't even know they sell tofu in PiP cuz they're neeeeever there! OR because certain people i know *not pointing any fingers here* would hide them at very back of the fridge, camouflaged among other soybean items... so you'd actually have to dig to find it. LOL, we're THAT desperate. So instead of holding my breath every time i head towards the soybean section, i decided it was time to make my own... and they did not disappoint! My first block went directly into my pot of miso soup :) Even though, I'll admit, its hella mah-fahn to make soymilk every time you want tofu, mah-fahn tofu is still better than no tofu at all! I'd pick 20 minutes of soymilk squeezing and sore arms over 7/8 disappointing PiP visits ANYTIME!

Homemade Tofu
  • 400g dried soybeans, soaked overnight
  • 4 liters of water
  • 2-3 teaspoons Nigari (culinary magnesium chloride)
  • 1 cheesecloth bag

  1. Drain the soaked soybeans and divide them in 4 batches. Place each soybean batch into your blender along with 1 liter of water. Let the machine run for 3 minutes each time to grind the beans well [picture 1].
  2. Strain each batch of the liquidised beans through the cheesecloth bag, and capture the liquid in a big stockpot. Each batch will take ten minutes to drain through. When all the beans are strained, twist up the cheesecloth bag and squeeze the pulp tightly to get as much liquid as you can [picture 4, 5]. [My blender comes with a filter so I just pour the soymilk into a large pot and squeezed out the remaining milk from the pulp picture 3].
  3. The liquid that was strained into the pan is now soya milk (soy milk). Bring the liquid to a boil (it will foam up), then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir constantly, or it'll burn! [picture 6]
  4. Turn off the heat and allow the liquid to cool for 5 minutes. For best results use a sugar thermometer to check when the liquid has cooled to 80 Celsius (176 Fahrenheit).
  5. In a separate cup, take 2-3 teaspoons of nigari crystals and add them to 100ml water. Stir to dissolve [picture 7].
  6. Add the nigari solution to the soya milk and stir just ONCE [picture 8]. The liquid should immediately coagulate - split into large curds and watery whey. Leave the curds for 10-12 minutes to firm up a little [picture 9].
  7. Line your tofu kit with cheesecloth so that enough cloth is left to fold over and cover the top of the box opening [picture 10].
  8. Ladle the curds and whey into the cheesecloth and allow the whey to drain away. Cover the soymilk curd by folding the cheesecloth over the top [picture 11]. Then place the Tofu press on top.
  9. Place a weight on top of the tofu press (around 2 kgs) and let sit for 15-30 minutes [picture 12]. The longer you press, the firmer your tofu will be.
  10. Remove the weight and the Tofu press. Unwrap and carefully remove your tofu [picture 13, 14].
  11. To store tofu, place it in a container and cover with water + 2 teaspoons of salt [picture 15]. Refrigerate and use it up as soon as possible!

Homemade Tofu


  1. again, you are so hardcore with your cooking :S

    mehhh I wish you could send some to me.

  2. also, that :S face was supposed to be a :D...I dunno what happened. I'm tired. hahahahahaha. wow, your kids sure are lucky. you should make them cute little bento boxes/bien dangs for lunch. my kids will have PB&J, an apple, and a cookie. so lame.

  3. LOL, at least your kids won't get diabetes at 10....!

  4. Wow! Very cool! I'm not a huge tofu fan myself, but I admire anyone who can actually make it themselves!

  5. how cool!
    cant wait for your next recipe.
    its always a surprise =)

  6. Hi
    I come from Poznan and it is very interesting reading your blog and your comments about my city. I know how difficult might be to buy some stuff in Poznan, specially in oriental cuisine. You can buy tofu and more ingredients here Good luck :)