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How to Make Tofu

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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.
 
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Step 1: What you will need.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Heat the soy milk back up to around 180 degrees. 

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

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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.
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RossP21 month ago

How many pounds of Tofu does this make?

mikeinternet (author)  RossP21 month ago
I have not actually weighed the tofu yield. My rough estimate would be about 2 pounds.
MassDave3 months ago

Great instructions! It all worked exactly as stated. I'll definitely do this again.

mikeinternet (author)  MassDave3 months ago

Glad it went well!

kim braman4 months ago

What can be done with the okara? Can the soy milk be frozen?

mikeinternet (author)  kim braman4 months ago

Also as far as freezing the soy milk. Never tried it. I'm sure it would last quite a bit longer but I would recommend using it as fresh as possible.

mikeinternet (author)  kim braman4 months ago

Here is a recipe for cookies that can make use of a good deal of it...

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.

Or this makes a pretty good burger...

Patties
  • 1 Cup 'Stuff' (Chickpeas, Lentils, Beans, Tofu, Okara)
  • 1 Splash of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 2 TBsp soy sauce
  • Spices

1. Mash 'stuff' with oil.

2. Add everything else. Knead.

3. Form cutlets. Fry.

The cookies come out nice and chewy. The burgers are even better the next day in a toaster oven or oven. You could also add it to soups or bread. Honestly it is pretty bland stuff but very versatile. Hope this helps.

dzung.duong.54 months ago

HI ! I only know that Epsom salt is used for cleaning, bath or laxative ( take with cool water). I am wordering that Magnesium Sulfate inside epsom salt should be became poison after cooked it???? I really confuse to use it by this way, Can you please give me some idea? Thanks alot !!

mikeinternet (author)  dzung.duong.54 months ago

That is not something I have heard. Epsom salt is certainly one of the more popular coagulants. Of course if you have any reservations, I would recommend using lemon juice.

Hope that is of some help.

great instructions THANK YOU! I used bottled lemon juice, curdled immediately. Will do this one again

mikeinternet (author)  kristin.haugen.3135 months ago

Excellent. Thank you for sharing your results.

I think tofu is somehow even better when you make it yourself.

lindagraham366 months ago

is this home made

Also tried with LEMON JUICE and zero curds at all.

JL86 months ago

Unfortunately I used way to much lemon juice. My tofu was a bust. All that work for nothing. Oh well. But good directions, it's just my fault for not adding it in slow.

mikeinternet (author)  JL86 months ago
Sorry to hear that. I'm surprised that too much lemon juice would have kept it from coagulating into tofu. In my experience the only issue has been not being sure the soy milk was at the correct temperature.

Hopefully this first attempt was not too much of a discouragement.
mairvine2 years ago
Tried this with the lemon juice option and it didn't work. No curds at all. Heated the milk to 180 degrees using a thermometer, then tried it again heating it to 190 and no curds. Guess I'll try again with Epsom salts.
so late and you probably mastered it by now but I use vinegar. the lemon juice sub is very specific. has to be fresh squeeze lemon, 3 tbsp (I think) diluted into water. you can't use the bottle lemon juice. but with vinegar for about 20 cups of soy milk I usually use roughly 1/4 cup of vinegar and if it doesn't coagulate completely I just add 1/4 of a cup extra of vinegar at a time.

as for the temp. I usually set my burner to high. STIR CONSTANTLY!!!! use a very big pot and when it starts to foam like something out of a horror movie take it off the heat, continue stirring and wait 3 minutes. then add the vinegar my tofu usually separates right away but if yours doesn't don't be afraid to add more vinegar. the tofu doesn't take on the taste it sits in the water after separation.
mikeinternet (author)  mairvine2 years ago
I usually use Epsom salt with great results. Hope you have better luck next go.
juvylyne7 months ago
Very interesting. Would like to try it. In the beginning you mentioned 12cups of water into 3cups of dry soybeans. I calculated that it must be around 500g soybeans for around 3 liters of water. In your 2TBSP Epsom Salt, how many liters of soymilk do you turn into tofu, since you mentioned that you take out a jar or 2 for soymilk? And how many grams of tofu are made in the end?
Also, regarding the Epsom Salt, you mentioned that 75ml lemon juice can be an altrrnative. I didn't know that. Since lemon is sour, it wouldn't affect the taste of tofu, since tofu usually tastes bland? If not, I would try that alternative.
Thank you for your help.
oh and I forgot to mention (if your interested in trying vinegar. I soaked 2 cups dry. it turned into 6 1/2 cups soaked. it, in turn, turned into 19 1/2 cups soy milk (I removed one cup after the boiling process. I placed it into a mug with a little maple syrup and vanilla) and I used 1/2 cup of vinegar. if you find your milk doesn't separate like the pictures in the instruct able just add more 1/4 cup at a time until its fully separated.
it doesn't alter taste. its almost like it stays in the water after the separation. I actually use vinegar (regular vinegar is fine, but I like my fancy stuff so I use coconut vinegar)
philipt27 months ago

Lots of confusion with amounts. This is what I do.

300g soaked = 670g drained

Blend 100g drained to 1000g of hot water. Filter through cloth = about 6 litres of milk

Bring to boil and cook for 20 minutes

Add 10g epsom salts. Filter

Makes about 550g of tofu compressed

What will happen if coagulant is used much ? if it is used less ?

If you do not add enough coagulant it will not form into tofu. Start slowly, you can always add more if it needs it.

Have fun.

rachael238 months ago

I have purchased a 300g bag of dried soya beans

what amount of Epsom Salt and water should I be adding? as I'm not working with 'cups'

Thanks for your help

mikeinternet (author)  rachael238 months ago
Not sure what the weight comes out to, but 3 cups is 709.765 milliliters. 700 ml of soy beans would be fine.
kindle1239 months ago

Hi, great instructions. I have some liquid calcium chloride used for cheese making- could I use that as a coagulant? if so, how much would I use for the three cups of beans? thanks for your help.

mikeinternet (author)  kindle1239 months ago
Although I have never tried it myself, it is a popular coagulant. I would say to treat like epsom salt, 2 TBSP in 1 and 1/2 cups of warm water, being sure your soy milk is heated near 180 degrees.

You might want to add half at a time to see if it starts to coagulate with less. Also if it takes more you can always add more. The extra water will just be discarded.

Hope that helps.
thanks very much, Mike. I'll let you know how it goes.
husejn3 years ago
would this recipe work with other types of beans?
mikeinternet (author)  husejn3 years ago
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

I've seen it done with garbanzo beans.
mikeinternet (author)  trask1 year ago
We will need to give that a try. Thanks!
mguer1331 year ago

great instructable, thanks. do you think you can preserve the milk? I was thinking of canning .

mikeinternet (author)  mguer1331 year ago
Thanks. I've never tried it myself. In my experience you'll want to use the milk as soon as possible. Maybe a few days in a jar.

I have tried this great receipe for soy milk making. It works great but I let the okara-soy milk mixture boil gently for 35 min (over the wood stove). It does go over when not stirring. The final soy milk add to be desolved by at least half to be a bit more fluid. I did add a little sugar (80g for 5 liters of milk).

Thanks for this instructable!

mikeinternet (author)  mguer1331 year ago

Thanks! Glad you gave it a try and thanks for adding your tips.

acoyle21 year ago
Thank you for pointing out the Epsom salts have magnesium chloride in them. I'm never have thought of that myself.
joanna512 years ago
Soya is so good for you! Tofu is a great way to eat it.
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