Making Tofu at Home

I am always inspired by my friend Sohee Mishra to try new things, she is the reason I ended up making my own yeasts, making sour dough breads and now tofu. Sohee Mishra is from South Korea but now lives in Rishikesh, India with her husband and 2 year old daughter. Sohee is always busy and I thought if she can find the time to do all this then so can I. I attempted to make tofu from a utube video but it scorched and wasn't the right texture. Sohee posted her recipe and procedure so I decided who better than someone who eats and makes it regularly would make a good tofu, so I used her recipe and instructions. I am really happy with the results, it made a lovely fresh tasting tofu, unlike anything you find in the stores.

I didn't take sufficient pictures because I got distracted figuring it out so some may be missing but following is a general description of what I did and Sohee Mishra's recipe.

300 grams of organic soybeans- soak overnight or at least 8 hours drain and rinse well

gradually blend the soybeans a bit at a time using 1 1/2 litres of fresh water (I used a vitamix)

I put the mixture a bit at a time in a nut milk bag and squeezed out the milk (the solids that you get here are called okara and keep them to use in other recipes, I used them in cookies and plan on making burgers tonight using the rest)

put the milk in a large heavy bottomed pan or the bottom will scorch and spoil the tofu like I did first try. Bring to boil and simmer for around 20 minutes stirring regularly and keeping an eye that it doesn't boil over or scorch. Sohee suggested keeping a glass of the milk out in case it is about to boil over and then you could add the glass of milk to calm it down and finish cooking. My pot was big enough that I didn't have that issue.

Remove from heat, add bittern and stir it in just until it is mixed then let sit for 20 minutes to form the curd. Sohee gave different options for what she calls bittern which is the ingredient that causes the milk to curdle. First time I used epsom salts but they weren't food grade and I was a little iffy about them. Then I mixed 75 ml. of lemon juice incorrectly and had to toss that and go with 100 grams water, 1 1/2Tbls. vinegar, 1 Tbls. salt. If you use lemon juice you do not need to add the water or salt. You can also use 1 1/2 Tbsp. of Nigari which you can order online but it is pricey so I didn't use it for that reason. If I ever find it in a store I will pick some up because I would like to try using it because it is the traditional way of making tofu.

I don't have a tofu mold and didn't want to order one in case I was never going to make it again. I am on the lookout for one now because I think I may make it more often. I poured the mixture back into the nut milk bag to get the curd and tossed the liquid. I put a colander inside a bowl, placed the nut bag in the colander, place a bowl on top and weighted it down with my mortar (very heavy). Then place in refrigerator for around 24 hours, remove from nut milk bag and enjoy just as it is, with a little tamari or in your favourite recipe. I tossed a small amount with tamari and added to my salad, yum! What you don't use keep in fridge covered with water and change daily.

Asian Style Salad

shredded nappa

finely chopped kale

small diced red onion

1Tbsp fresh chopped ginger

1 julienned large white globe radish (not daikon, although you could use it) I don't remember what kind it was but they grow quite large, have a nice sweetness and just a little heat or use a watermelon radish.

1 - 2 Tbsp. raw peanuts

1 Tbsp. raw sesame seeds

juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 cup cold pressed sesame oil

& 1/4 cup tamari

1/4 cup of tofu diced

I made some Okara cookies with some of the leftover pulp. They were okay but glad I added some extra ingredients or they would have been pretty tasteless. If I were to make again I think I would use 1/4 cup of coconut oil instead of butter to add more sweetness and moisture as they were also a touch dry. None of that stopped me from finishing off all those cookies in 3 short days and I didn't share that many. First time I have baked cookies in 13 years.

Okara Cookies

3 Tbsp. oatmeal (I pulsed a bit in a magic bullet)

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup spelt flour

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup raisins

Mix above ingredients

Blend until creamy

3 Tbsp butter

2 eggs

3 Tbsp coconut sugar

Add the dry ingredients and mix until no dry left, drop from spoon onto cookie sheet, flatten with back of spoon and back 25 minutes in 340° oven or until done

Well, I made some lentil okara patties for dinner and they all went in the trash, yuk! I had lots of wonderful spices, onion & garlic but the texture turned me off, won't be attempting that again.