Make Your Own Tofu
A homemade version of the vegetarian centerpiece
Make Your Own Tofu cont.» Download and print these instructions
Make the Soy Milk into Tofu
- 1.To make tofu, let the soy milk cool to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, dissolve the nigari in 1/2 cup water and set aside. Once the mixture has cooled, gently stir in the nigari—almost immediately the mixture should start to separate into water and tofu curds.
- 2.Cover the bowl and let it sit undisturbed until the yellowish water and the curds are well separated, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, dampen the cheesecloth and put the milk carton on a rack set in the sink so the liquid can drain off. The cut side of the carton should be facing upward.
- 3.Once the liquid and curds have separated, use a fine mesh strainer to gently press down on the curds, and ladle off any liquid that collects in the strainer. (You won’t get all the liquid, but try to remove as much as possible.)
- 4.Using either a skimmer or a slotted spoon, scoop out the curds and transfer them to the mold.
- 5.Fold the cheesecloth over the tofu and place the reserved cardboard piece in the plastic bag inside the mold. Set the bag of weights on top and press down firmly until the liquid draining from the bottom has slowed to a few drops, about 2 minutes.
- 6.Let the tofu set up to your desired firmness. For soft tofu, it should take 5 minutes. For firm, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the tofu has firmed up as desired, pull it out of the mold using the cheesecloth, then remove and discard the cheesecloth.
Tip: Better Not Bitter
Depending on the amount and type of coagulant you use, your tofu may have a slightly bitter taste. It’s still good. To get rid of the bitterness, place the tofu in a bowl and cover it with water. Gently let water run over the bowl of tofu for about 10 minutes. The tofu is ready to eat once the bitter flavor is gone.
Homemade tofu is more perishable than most store-bought tofu, because it’s missing all the preservatives and additives. Use your homemade tofu within four days.
To store, place the tofu in a resealable container and cover with water. Place the container in the refrigerator. Change the water every day, and use the tofu as you would any other soft or firm tofu.