How to Make Tofu From Scratch ♥
If it has happened to you that in the place where you live (in Mexico), the tofu that you find in the store and that says “Firm” on the box (but that it is not firm at all), when you cooked it for the first time, you did not understand anything in this life... well, that was my case too.
I said, why do people on Instagram love tofu so much if it tastes terrible. But, I wanted to give it another chance. I decided to do it myself and BOOM, that's where my relationship with tofu changed forever. That's when we went from being enemies to best friends for life. I found that the level of firmness in tofu are for some things and not for others.
For example, the softest ones are perfect to make vegan cream, yogurt, to make a creamy sauce, mousses, cheesecake, etc. And that the firmer ones are the ideal ones for frying, baking, etc., the kind of meals you would expect to have a more pleasant and enjoyable consistency when chewing.
So, when I learned how to make tofu from scratch, the whole problem was solved, yay! because now I could make a lot of recipes without the tofu tasting like a savoury flan, lol.
In addition to the fact that, at least in Morelia (Mexico), tofu is somewhat expensive, which was another motivation for making it myself.
What do I need to make tofu from scratch?
You literally only need dry soybeans, water (I use tap water, because it ends up boiling), and an acid, be it white or apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice. That's all.
What is the procedure for making tofu from scratch?
In a nutshell, you’ll need to do the following:
- Soak the soybeans
- Blend them with water
- Strain the mix to extract the soy milk and separate it from the formed residue (called okara)
- Boil the milk
- Add vinegar or lemon juice to create the soy curd
- Press the curd
- Let the tofu rest so that it has a firmer consistency
WATCH THE TUTORIAL ON HOW TO MAKE TOFU FROM SCRATCH
Do I need to buy molds to make tofu from scratch?
Not necessarily. Although if you want to have some beautiful and perfectly square molds, you can buy them (in Asian stores or online). The molds that I have used since I began to prepare my tofu for several years now, are some elongated metal pans that my grandmother had and that fit inside each other.
So, I just made a few holes in one of them (to drain the liquid), and that's it. You can do the exact same thing with two matching molds or even use a strainer and put something heavy on top (with the tofu covered in a cloth, of course).
Where can I buy dry soybeans?
I buy them from a bulk store that sells grains and seeds. I literally buy a huge sack (it’s also cheaper too), because at home we love tofu and we make it several times a week. So I'm sure you can find them in a store where they sell grains and seeds or even in health food stores.
Now, let's prepare this delicious Tofu from Scratch ♥
How to Make Tofu from Scratch
- 2 ½ cups dry soybeans
- Enough water to soak the beans
- 8-12 cups water
- 2-4 tablespoon vinegar or lime juice
- Soak the soybeans in enough water (at least twice the level of the beans) for 5-7 hours or overnight.
- Once soaked, the ratio is 1:2 for the blending step; for each cup of hydrated beans blend with two cups of water (tap water). Cover a strainer with the cheese cloth and pour the previous mix into a large bowl, keep just the liquid (you can keep the soy fiber 'okara' to make other recipes or just use it as plant "fertilizer"). Repeat the same process with the rest of the soybeans. Remove the foam created on the surface.
- Transfer the liquid (soy milk) to a large saucepan. Heat the milk over medium heat and remove the foam on top as it appears. Mix occasionally and when the milk starts to boil and the foam rises even faster, turn the heat off.
- Addvinegar or lime juice. Mix a couple of times and the curd will start to form; the liquid that separates from the curd should be completely transparent, if it looks slightly white, add more vinegar or lemon juice and mix.
- Let cool for 15 minutes.
- Place the other piece of cloth in the tofu mold, pour in the milk curd and cover with the ends of the cloth, place the second mold on top and press until the maximum amount of water possible is strained.
- It’s highly suggested to place a heavy object on top of the mold that is pressing the tofu and let it rest for 2-3 hours (so it can keep draining the water and make the tofu firmer).
- Transfer to the refrigerator to make the consistency even firmer (still covered in the cloth pieces)
- Store the tofu in a container with water, in the refrigerator.