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.

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.

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192 Discussions

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jonasw94

Tip 1 day ago

My parents have a press that squeezes the juice out of apples. You can apply a lot of force with it, and the tofu comes out so firm it's almost tough to chew. Fries really well and has a bit of a different texture than even firm store-bought. I'll try smoking some of it soon.

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mikeinternetjonasw94

Reply 7 hours ago

That's pretty neat! Maybe it could be a good start toward some tofu-jerky. Thanks for the tip.

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mikeinternetAlisaAverina

Reply 24 days ago

At that point the curds is what you skim out and press into tofu. The liquid left behind is just water.

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Yogagir1

6 months 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.

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mikeinternetYogagir1

Reply 6 months ago

Interesting. Lemon juice is a good alternative.

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mikeinternetmikeinternet

Reply 5 months 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.

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MartinA206Yogagir1

Reply 5 months 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

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KwameG1

Question 9 months ago on Introduction

The last l placed the milk in a refrigerator for some days, later when l took it out it had calculated so l sieved it and had my tofu without Epsom salt or lemon juice. Guess it's the same tofu.

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mikeinternetKwameG1

Reply 9 months ago

I have not heard of this happening before. For myself if I have ever left the milk for too long it will just start to smell a little off and go bad. Very strange that yours began to coagulate on it's own, especially at a low temperature.

Glad it worked for you.

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VirtueZ

Question 1 year ago on Step 7

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

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mikeinternetVirtueZ

Answer 1 year ago

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.

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mikeinternetVirtueZ

Answer 1 year ago

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

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VirtueZ

Question 1 year ago on Step 5

Can the soy milk stay till tomorrow before adding lemon?

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mikeinternetVirtueZ

Answer 1 year ago

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.

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brucebne

1 year ago

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

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mikeinternetbrucebne

Reply 1 year ago

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.

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SoizicC

3 years ago

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.

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matthew01nSoizicC

Reply 1 year ago

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.