This tofu recipe is a result of good few trials and errors, experimenting with different ways of setting the curds. Depending on the coagulant, I had mixed results, some better than others, and within time I've picked my favourite, one that produces consistent tofu each and every time. I've tried Epsom salt, lemon juice and vinegar. I don't have access to nigari though, which is the "original" tofu coagulant, so can't tell you anything about that, but my aim here (the idea) was to be able to make homemade tofu, WITHOUT having to buy anything extra, than what I already had in my kitchen on an everyday basis.
I got the "worst" tofu using Epsom salt, maybe it's the fault within the salt itself, but I simply had to throw away the first batch I've made... I tried again, using more Epsom salt, but wasn't entirely happy with the result, the tofu had weird consistency and there was this funny aftertaste.
Lemon juice was next, worked quite well, but because lemon juice isn't that much acidic, the resulting tofu was very soft, crumbly and I was not able to cut it nicely, only crumble it into salad, make scramble etc. I also found that I needed quite a bit of the juice itself, to make the curds set!
Third time lucky as they say, and it was for me too. Vinegar worked like a charm, curds appeared almost immediately and they turned into proper big ones, which firmed up creating firm tofu, easy to cut, with pleasant taste of soy, no aftertaste present! 👌
I make my tofu using store bough soy milk, some might say it won't produce great tofu, others will say it's lazy, well I say - it's quicker, I have no waste, and if you buy good soy milk to start with, you'll get good tofu. Make sure you're using quite strong vinegar, of around 10%. Apple cider vinegar is usually around 5% and it didn't work well for me, so look for stronger ones!
How to make it...
- 1 l unsweetened soy milk (organic if possible, soy is one of the crops hugely affected by GMO)
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (minimum 10%)
Good to have -> a cooking thermometer, plastic cheese basket, muslin/cheese cloth.
Heat up soy milk up to around 80°C (175 F) , if you don't have the thermometer, it's to the point in which the milk starts to "smoke" (you'll see smoke like thin clouds coming up from the pot). Stir from time to time, to prevent burning at the bottom. Don't bring it up to the boiling point, if you accidentally did - just let it cool before the next step.
Take of the heat and pour 1 tbsp of vinegar in, stir very gently! You'll see it curdling immediately. "Sprinkle" over the second tbsp of vinegar, don't stir this time at all. Cover the pot with a lid and put aside for 15 mins. After that time, you'll see curds have formed and the separated from "whey" - which will be yellowish liquid. Using a big spoon, working gently not to break newly developed tofu cuds too much, strain the curds (I'm using a round plastic cheese basket lined with a muslin cloth, you can probably get one of those - sometimes even for free, like myself - from your local cheese-monger, or buy it online), press gently and wait for the gravity to do it's job, around 1 hour or so.
If you don't have a cheese basket like that, use a colander, lined with double layer of muslin cloth, fold the overlapping cloth on top of the tofu curds, and put a plate on top for gentle pressing. Once pressed, place in a container with a lid and refrigerate till needed. Enjoy!
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