Sunday, 22 June 2008

Homemade Tofu

And it's back to blogging after my business trip to Cambodia and Thailand. Actually the trip was only ten days long but I ate sooooo much on the trip that I did pretty much a full week's raw vegan detox on my return, just to get back into my trousers and didn't really feel like blogging it all! Thailand was fabulous as ever and it was fantastic to return to Cambodia although the country has changed so much in the five years since I was last there. It's a truly magical country which I am both entranced but deeply depressed by.
Anyway, I'd love to say that I ate so much tofu in Asia that I was inspired to make my own on my return but in fact I didn't eat any and this came about directly as a result of Hippolyra of Fuss Free Flavours and her challenge. Well I've done it! Cooking is often as much about the processes of creating as it is about the eating for me and this was certainly a fairly lengthy procedure, but as I view cooking very much as a hobby, it was a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Homemade Tofu
Soya beans
Juice of half a lemon
I soaked the soya beans in plenty of water overnight, they expand greatly so be sure to cover them in more water than you think you'd need.
Once soaked, I made use of my new nut milk maker and used this to create a creamy milk, I thus didn't keep any of the okara (bean pulp left over from making the milk) as it was still raw. Once I had milk, I boiled it up twice on the hob, skimming off any foam and making sure it didn't boil over.
I kept some milk to the side which I am going to try and make yoghurt with overnight (have you seen the crap they put in soy yoghurt in the shops?).
Whilst the remaining milk was still warm (around 75 degrees), I added the juice of half a lemon to approximately 2 pints of milk. I put the saucepan lid on and left it to separate for 15 minutes.
Once separated, I strained through a muslin lined sieve, covered the tofu mixture with more muslin and then placed some heavy tins and other items on top. I left it to drain for 20 minutes and then pushed the last of the whey out by hand as I wanted a fairly firm tofu.
I was pretty surprised and pleased with the result, it does taste different from shop bought tofu and you do feel quite a sense of achievement afterwards!
Hippolyra, if you read this - I am trying to soak one of the boy's turmeric stained t-shirts in the whey but I'm not convinced of its laundry-whitening properties as yet!!
I'm planning to devour it with some wilted spinach and sweet chili sauce later on tonight. The rest I am keeping in water in tupperware in my fridge and will change the water daily until the tofu is finished.


Tony said...

I am new to making Tofu, fact is I am sitting here waiting on a pound bag of some chemical to help seperate the curds to make tofu.
After reading your very good article I am wondering if I am reading it properly. did you say you use a half lemon to make the tofu? if that is the case I have a lot of dehydrated lemon powder and lots of lemon trees. can I use the lemon or the powder to make tofu? I plan on making 2 quarts of soy milk at a time. what would I use for 2 quarts?
Again thank you for your help and also thank you for the great article.

Tessa said...

Hi Tony

Glad you liked the article, I'm not sure on quarts but have googled it and see that 1 quart = 2 pints, so 2 quarts would be 4 pints. I did indeed use fresh lemon juice to separate the curds from the whey - I didn't use any kind of chemical. I don't know about powder but you should try using the 3/4 of the juice of a lemon for 2 quarts of soy milk. The temperature has to be about 75 degrees - you should also check the blog Fuss Free Flavours for more info on homemade tofu - this is where I got my info from. Tessa

Hippolyra said...

Well done Tessa! Which nut milk maker do you have? I am sure that you can cook the raw okara and use it in cakes and breads (I dried my last few batches and added a whole load to the muesli jar)

I have soy beans soaking at home for a batch this evening!

I too have been away (and eaten my body weight in ice cream and cream teas) and need a raw vegan detox, but I also have my new Ottolenghi cookbook, maybe I'd better only cook the salads?

Tony, a tablespoon of vinegar works as well in the soymilk as a coagulant as lemon juice or gypsum.

Tessa said...

Thanks! It was so much fun actually, I am definitely going to do it all again and will try the okara. I have the Yaoh hemp milk maker - I got one second hand for cheap on eBay. I think it is designed mostly for hemp or almond milks but I've been having some success using it for rice and soy milks too although obviously you have to cook the rice first or boil the milk after.

The Ottolenghi cookbook is literally the best thing ever - we are having the kosheri for lunch today!