How to Make Tofu

624,441

388

176

Posted in FoodVegetarian-and-vegan

Introduction: How to Make Tofu

Tofu is great in so many recipes and easy to make. Along the way you will also make soy milk and have some okara left over. Okara is basically just bean pulp but it is great in breads, burgers, or cookies.

Step 1: What You Will Need.

Ingredients:
You'll need water, 3 cups of dry soy beans and 2 TBSP of Epsom Salt. As an alternative to the Epsom Salt, you may use 75ml of lemon juice. Most of the nicer grocery stores will have the soy beans and you can find Epsom Salt at the pharmacy. 

Equipment:
Food processor or blender, 2 large pots, 1 colander, 1 strainer, and a mesh bag. Instead of the mesh bag you could also use a few layers of cheesecloth. 

*Also note this recipe works doubled.

Step 2: Soak and Blend

Soak 3 cups of dry soy beans over night in the refrigerator. 

RInse the soaked beans and discard any discolored ones if you spot any.

Blend a little at a time with enough water to cover the beans. 

Add the processed beans to your largest pot with 12 cups of water.



Step 3: Stir and Simmer

Stir frequently and simmer for about 20 minutes. This will foam up a bit so be careful not to let it boil over. 

Step 4: Strain Out Milk

Strain into your second pot. Use a spoon to press out as much of the milk as you can. The liquid is soy milk. The solids are okara.

I usually take out a jar or two of soy milk at this point and continue making the rest into tofu.

Step 5: Coagulate

Heat the soy milk back up to around 180 degrees (fahrenheit).

Dissolve 2 TBSP of Epsom Salt in 1 and 1/2 cups of warm water.
(Alternatively you could use 75ml of lemon juice.)

Remove from heat and gently stir together.

In about 5 to 10 minutes the curds will separate.

Step 6: Add to Mold

Your colander with a mesh bag or cloth makes an excellent mold. Skim out curds and pour into mold.

Press down with a small plate and heavy object.

Leave for about 20 minutes.

Step 7: Finished

That's it! You are left with a nice slab of tofu, some soy milk and quite a bit of okara. It gets easier every time.

Share

Recommendations

  • Science of Cooking

    Science of Cooking
  • Space Challenge

    Space Challenge
  • Spotless Contest

    Spotless Contest
user

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.

Tips

3 Questions

I like the tofu preps but can I take the soy milk without using preservatives? Is the okara useful?

Yes, you can stop at the soy milk and use it like that.

Yes, the okara is useful but bland. You can add it to soups or other dishes or try these Okara Cookies...

Okara Cookies

  • 2 cups flour (Up to a 1/2 cup wheat)
  • 1 Tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cup okara
  • 1TBsp vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Chips? Almonds? Peanut butter? Craisins?

Mix everything together, dry first then okara and vanilla. If needed add water a little at a time until doughy. Add chips or what have you. Shape into cookies and bake 20minutes at 375 degrees.

What if my lemon is not up to 75ml? Can I still use it?

You will want to have more on hand or epsom salt just in case. Some batches will take more to curdle.

Can the soy milk stay till tomorrow before adding lemon?

I don't think that would be a problem. Just be sure you are heating it back up to the appropriate 180 degrees (fahrenheit) when you are ready.

176 Comments

Hey Mike. I appreciate your instructions. I've had a few goes at making tofu, yours was the second. It turned out good - feels and tastes right. However, I'd appreciate you giving more specific measures for the MgSO4.

I live in Australia where a tablespoon is 20mls. The US uses 15 mls, and there's a lot of variance in TBLSPN shape and volume these days.

Further, when you are talking a light crystalline solid like MgSO4, some people are going to do a heaped as opposed to level TBLSPN.

Some sellers of coagulants recommend 2.2g MgSO4 / 100g of dry beans, which is a lot less than what you have recommended.

Any clarity you can add to your coagulant measures would be appreciated, and where you sourced it from.

Cheers,
Bruce

1 reply

Bruce,

Thanks for checking it out and giving it a try. As far as conversions go I'm afraid I won't be much help beyond doing a google conversion. That is interesting, I didn't know that about Australian tablespoons. I can confirm that our tablespoons are labeled as 15ml.

I would say that I've had batches that might need a little extra coagulate to get going. In which case I just add a little more or a little lemon juice. My overall recommendation would be to keep an eye on it and play it by ear if it is not working, also be sure the temperature isn't too low.

My apologies for not being more precise.

Glad to know that you had a good experience your first go at it. Let me know if there is anything else I can try to help with.

It did not work out for me at all. It never curdled. So, I kept the okara and pour the disaster in my plants. Next time, I will try gypsum instead of Epsum salt.

2 replies

That milk is still soy milk idk why you would waste it. Use it to make yogurt sour cream or just use it in cereal. Lots of possibilities.

Sorry to hear that. The only time I ever had a problem when I was getting this down was when I did not heat the soy milk up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Might be something to double check next time.

Could you please specify how big are the cups you use for the soybean measurements?

1 reply

Sure thing. That would be 3 "cups" as in the unit of measure, cups.

1 cup is equal to 236.5 Milliliters.

Hi. Thanks for the recipe. Mine worked well following your recipe. However, I only managed to get about 2 cups worth. Maybe, I'll use up all the soya milk next time. I kept some soya milk to make some soft tofu pudding my kids love.

1 reply

Great to hear. When saving soy milk remember it is essentially water and soy bean "juice". You can play around with the water to soy bean ratio.

The soy milk that you use to make tofu will leave behind any extra water.

This worked perfectly for me! Thanks so much for uploading this!

I don't have a cooking thermometer, so I just heated up the soy milk until it looked like it was almost boiling and just starting to get frothy. That seemed to work.

I couldn't find Epsom salt where I live, so I added 75mL lemon juice (no water) to my soy milk (about 2L, made from 250g soybeans, because my cooking pots aren't big enough for more). It curdled within seconds! It went all cloudy like miso soup, and then the cloudy bits began to stick together into bigger and bigger clumps. After five minutes, I fished them out with a strainer.

Also, for the okara, I've been making these great, chewy dumplings (kind of like gnocchi) out of it. Here's the recipe for anyone who is interested. It's very approximate and you can vary it a lot. You can leave out pretty much any ingredient and it still tastes nice, except you absolutely need the starch or it just crumbles into a mess.

2 cups okara

1 tsp soy sauce (just a splash)

1 tbs sugar

1 tbs coffee creamer or milk powder (I used a sachet of Ovaltine)

1 or 2 tbs mushroom stock (chicken stock also works well)

3 tbs cooking wine (mirin is really good)

1 cup potato/corn starch

half a cup of sweet corn

Mix everything together. Heat some cooking oil in a frying pan. Add spoonful-sized dollops, each about the size of a big grape, to the hot frying pan. Fry for 2 or 3 minutes, then gently turn each dumpling over and fry for another 2 or 3 minutes on the other side. They should turn a lovely golden-brown. Serve like any other kind of fried dumplings would be served.

1 reply

So glad to hear! Thanks for the recipe.

I boiled the soymilk, then add lemon juice to it.I mix it gently...I don't get curd like layer it's not dissolve..plz tell me wat to do.....I have prepared the soymilk....I tried it for 7 time...but I don't get tofu

1 reply

Can you confirm you are heating the soy milk to the proper temperature? Other than that I would suggest the Epsom salt.

Hope that helps.

How many servings does this make? Or about how many cups?

1 reply

I have not measure that exactly. You'll see soaking soy beans will bulk them up quite a bit. I would say you get about 6 cups of tofu. I also set aside a few cups of soymilk. Also you get the okara pulp.

Nice tutorial! The mention on protein alternatives is very important and insightful. A few simple questions.

1. How long do dry Soy Beans last? (The Epson Salt, obviously, lasts a long time.)

2. How long does the Tofu, Milk and Okara last?

3. Epson Salt is a diuretic. Does it remain in the product, or as another mentioned with using vinegar, does it remain in the water?

And most importantly:

4. What does the Okara taste like and what are it's uses?

Yes. I'm a nube.

1 reply

Thanks, I feel protein is a bit sensationalized but this is certainly an excellent source! I'll do my best to answer your questions.

Dry soy beans will last a very long time. I've never heard of them going bad actually and have read that they are safe 8-10 years or more in a sealed container.

The tofu, milk and okara on the other hand should be used as soon as possible. After a week the taste a bit off to me.

I believe there will be some amount of coagulant in the tofu. All I can say is that I have never detected a taste either from epsom salt or lemon juice.

I would describe okara as tasteless. It is all texture. I have used it in burger recipes, just replace whatever mashed up bean the recipe calls for with okara and maybe add a little extra spices and you are good. It can also thicken up soups. And with the recipe below it will make cookies that stay chewy.

Okara Cookies
-2 cups flour (Up to a 1/2 cup wheat)
-1 Tsp baking soda
-1/2 Tsp salt
-1 cup sugar
-2 cup okara
-1TBsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Chips? Almonds? Peanut butter? Craisins?

Mix everything together, dry first then okara and vanilla. If needed add water a little at a time until doughy. Add chips or what have you. Shape into cookies and bake 20minutes at 375 degrees.

Hope that helps!

would this recipe work with other types of beans?

2 replies

Honestly I have not tried it myself. I always thought bean curd and tofu were pretty much the same thing. although I have seen both written on the same menu before.

It would be great for people with soy bean allergies.

I know black beans will work (just got through eating some), I imagine any bean will . great instructable