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.

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Step 1: What You Will Need.

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. 

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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195 Discussions


Question 3 months 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?

1 answer

Answer 2 months 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.


Question 4 months 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?

1 answer

Reply 4 months 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.


Tip 5 months 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.

1 reply

Reply 5 months ago

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


Reply 6 months ago

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


1 year 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.

3 replies

Reply 10 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.


Reply 10 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


Question 1 year 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.

1 answer

Reply 1 year 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.


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?

1 answer

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.


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.


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.