How to Make Tofu

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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.

5 People Made This Project!

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220 Discussions

0
mikeinternet
mikeinternet

Answer 2 months ago

I've never tried it myself. Looking into it a little it seems like folks get mixed results. Seems like it is worth experimenting with but you might want an alternative on hand like lemon juice in case it does not coagulate.

0
Anumitha
Anumitha

Question 1 year ago on Step 5

Can white vinegar be used as coagulant as we do for paneer? And what if we don't seperate okara from the milk?

0
CWVH
CWVH

Answer 3 months ago

I've found that the apple cider vinegar works great for me. It doesn't taste sour after. After placing the curds in the weighted tofu mold, I want about 20 minutes then run it under purified water for 2 minutes. I then place the tofu in a covered bowl filled with water. Hope it works for you.

0
mikeinternet
mikeinternet

Reply 3 months ago

That sounds like an excellent alternative! I will have to give that a try.

0
j3666z
j3666z

Answer 8 months ago

Never use vinegar (or epsom salt) as a coagulant. It will make your Tofu sour. Amazon sells "nigari". Dirt cheap. Use that instead. If you don't separate the okara, your Tofu will be gritty and have a weird texture. You really do need to strain it.

1
cjdecember
cjdecember

Answer 11 months ago

Yes it can. You’ll get a cleaner taste with nigari than using an acid.

0
mikeinternet
mikeinternet

Reply 1 year ago

I'm afraid I do not know the answer to either of those questions. My only advice would be to get it to that stage then split it into smaller batches for experimenting. I'd be interested to hear how it goes.

0
stegglesps
stegglesps

Question 7 months ago on Introduction

We tried your recipe today. Had an issue when it came to pouring off the soymilk. We took off 24oz approx of milk and put it all back into the pot and carried on. After the lemon stage it never curdled. Where did we go wrong?

0
mikeinternet
mikeinternet

Answer 7 months ago

Sorry to hear it didn't work for you. One thing we missed early on was being sure the soymilk was at 180 degrees (Fahrenheit), this means reheating it. If that wasn't the issue the only other thing I would suggest is to just go ahead and add more lemon juice.

0
srinathgs
srinathgs

Question 7 months ago

During blending, do we have to keep watch of how much water we add?

0
Yogagir1
Yogagir1

2 years ago on Step 1

Can we use Epsom Salt for Cooking?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Epsom salt is not suitable for cooking and you should never prepare food using this type of salt. Although small quantities of Epsom salt won’t cause serious side effects, it is better not to eat this salt.

0
MartinA206
MartinA206

Reply 1 year ago

been using Epsom salt to make tofu for at least 15 years and I guess the Japanese have used it for centuries. its even marked as food grade on the 25kg sacks we buy. not actually eaten as its a catalyst so is drained away

I use 6 teaspoons for a 3 large cups of soyabean, which produces around 8 litres of soy milk which then coagulates within 2 minutes eventually yielding 1kg of pressed tofu

only reading this page as i needed calico, but that is not used here, and the technique seems to produce a poor product with limited use due to not using a setting box to press remove the liquid

0
j3666z
j3666z

Reply 8 months ago

Traditionally, the Japanese use magnesium chloride aka nigari or historically boiled sea water. Never epsom salt. Or calcium sulfate if you are making tofu pudding, as it gives a softer but creamier result. I don't think I've ever seen it made with epsom salt.

0
mikeinternet
mikeinternet

Reply 2 years ago

Interesting. Lemon juice is a good alternative.

0
mikeinternet
mikeinternet

Reply 1 year ago

Thank you for your insight regarding Epsom salt.
Aside from the shape I have not found a difference using a colander vs setting box.

0
greenimonster01
greenimonster01

Question 1 year ago on Step 1

What are the benefits of using Epsom salts? Does it affect the flavor? Why would you want to use toxic Epsom salt when lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar or even vegetable renet are healthier easy to find options? I've made a bunch of different types of cheese dairy and non dairy and I've never heard of this. Does it have to do with the fact that tofu is from beans?

0
j3666z
j3666z

Answer 8 months ago

Epsom salt should never be used to make Tofu. You can use it if you want, but your Tofu will be bitter/sour. The Japanese use Nigari, or magnesium chloride. Available at any good Asian grocer, and Amazon sells it dirt cheap. This won't flavor the Tofu, and gives nice firm Tofu. No commercial Tofu maker would ever use epsom salt in Tofu!

0
mikeinternet
mikeinternet

Answer 1 year ago

Epsom salt (also known as Magnesium sulfate) is common in food and was the most popular coagulant recommended when I was learning to make tofu. I'm not aware of it being harmful, but if you are concerned I have also used lemon juice and mentioned it as an alternative.

0
Lisa-MarieR2
Lisa-MarieR2

Question 8 months ago

Can I add flavoring to tofu if so when? I want to add a New Zealand ant FLAVA in powder form..