Make Your Own Tofu
A homemade version of the vegetarian centerpiece
Make Your Own Tofu cont.
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Make the Soy Milk
- 1.Pour the dried beans onto a rimmed baking sheet and pick through them, removing and discarding any broken beans or stones. Place the beans in a large nonreactive bowl and cover them with at least 2 inches of cold water. Allow to soak for 12 to 24 hours.
- 2.Meanwhile, prepare the mold. Take the milk carton and cut off one of the long sides (try to keep the piece you cut off in a rectangle shape so it can be used later).
- 3.Place the cut piece in a resealable plastic bag and set it aside. Using a hole punch, a skewer, or scissors, poke 1/2-inch holes all over the milk carton so that the tofu can drain easily.
- 4.Reinforce the sides of the mold by running tape around the perimeter of the carton. Line the mold with doubled-over cheesecloth and trim the cheesecloth so there are just a few inches overhanging on each side. Fill a resealable plastic bag with about 1 pound of pie weights or dried beans. Set everything aside until the beans are done soaking.
- 5.Once the beans have soaked, drain them and discard the water. Place half of the beans (about 3 cups) in a food processor and pour in enough water to just cover the mixture (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups).
- 6.Process the mixture until it is pulverized and smooth, about 30 seconds. Then repeat with the remaining beans.
- 7.Place all the pulverized beans in a large (15- to 20-quart) stockpot and add 10 cups water. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Set 2 cups of water nearby to pour over the mixture later on.
- 8.Stir the mixture occasionally and let it simmer. The mixture is ready when foam rises to the top of the pot, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- 9.Remove from heat, immediately pour in the reserved 2 cups water, and stir until the foam subsides—it will not completely disappear.
- 10.Place a large fine mesh strainer in a bowl and strain the mixture. Push on the pulverized bean solids so that most of the liquid drains out. Discard the solids (known as okara) or use in a recipe that calls for them. The liquid is soy milk. It will last up to three days refrigerated.