Making Tofu From Dry Soybeans

Homemade tofu has a delicate taste that’s nothing like what you’re used to with store-brought tofu. I usually just chop it and add it to my food as is, its tastes good enough that it doesn’t need to be marinated or cooked.

You do need to buy or make a tofu press to make your own tofu. Mine was made by a small company named Passion Santé, and doubles as a sprouter.

Tofu mold with holes on the left (covered with a cotton bag, and press on the right

Extracting the soy milk

To make a small 200g (7oz) batch of tofu, soak one cup of soybeans for 24 hours or more.

When you’re ready to make your tofu, drain and rinse the beans. In a blender, grind one cup of beans with three cups of hot water to extract the milk.

Strain the milk through a cotton bag or a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a large cooking pot and press well to extract as much milk as possible. Do this until you run of soy beans. The leftover pulp is called okara and used in some japanese dishes, but I usually just throw it away.

Separating the tofu curd and the water

Bring the milk to full boil slowly, stirring from time to time to make sure it won’t boil over and spill. It can be very sudden, so keep an eye on it.

When it’s ready, add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to curd the milk, remove the cooking pot from fire and let it cool for a few minutes. There are many others products you can use to curd the milk, but I have only tried the lemon juice since I like the lemony taste it adds to the tofu.

Pour the tofu in the mold carefully, fold the cotton bag over it and cover with the press. Push it with your hands to remove as much water for the tofu as possible and add a weight on top. I usually just use a big book as a weight.


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Tofu curds, before pressing

After this, you can move everything in the fridge, pressing for at least 45 minutes. This will make a tofu that will hold together enough to cut in cubes, but a bit too soft to cook. So if you want a firmer tofu, you should press it for a few hours.

Fresh tofu, ready to be eaten

The tofu will keep in the refrigerator in water for about a week if you change water every two days.

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2 Responses

  1. January 29, 2010

    […] (3.5oz) of fresh homemade tofu, cut in […]

  2. March 1, 2010

    […] the curds gently in a mold or a colander lined with cotton cloth or cheese cloth (I used my tofu mold). Hold the corners of the cloth together and rince the curds under a light stream of water to wash […]

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