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How to Make Tofu

Show Off Your Cooking Skills! Learn How to Make Tofu at Home

Did you know that tofu can be made at home? Go through this article for a brief overview about the method for preparing tofu.
Sonia Nair
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
With tofu getting more and more popular as a health food, most of the stores supply this product. Have you ever thought of preparing tofu at home. Making this soy product at home is not a difficult task, if you know the right method.
Making Tofu
We all know that tofu is made of soy milk. To be more precise, soy milk is coagulated with salts, like calcium sulfate or magnesium chloride. This curdled soy milk is strained to remove the whey. The remaining curd is collected in a cheesecloth that is fitted into a mold with holes that facilitate removal of whey left in it. The curd is then pressed to form tofu. You can prepare this soy product at home with the help of the following tips.

  • In order to make tofu, you can either use ready-made soy milk or homemade one. If you have a soy milk maker, you can use it, or else try the following method.
  • Soak two cups of organic soy beans for a day (24 hours). Make sure to add enough water (around 8 to 10 cups), as the beans can swell up to more than double their size.
  • The next morning, wash the soybeans, after draining the water. Grind the soaked beans in a blender, with enough water to cover them. You may have to do this in small batches.
  • Once done, boil seven cups of water in a large pot, and add the ground soybeans to it. Cook over medium heat, till the mixture boils. Don't forget to stir continuously, to prevent burning. Use a wooden spoon for stirring.
  • As the mixture boils, minimize the heat, and cook it for another eight to ten minutes. You may prevent spilling of the mixture by sprinkling some cold water, or by adding two to three drops of vegetable oil into it.
  • Now, strain the mixture using a cheesecloth, and you will get soy milk that is required for making tofu. Squeeze out the maximum amount of soy milk from the residue. Even the residue (called okara) can be used in some recipes.
  • Heat the soy milk over low heat, till it reaches around 140°F. Meanwhile, prepare the coagulant by mixing a teaspoon of 'nigari' (magnesium chloride) in a cup of warm water. Alternatively, you may use lemon juice (around 1.5 tablespoons), for curdling soy milk.
  • Add half of this coagulant mixture to the soy milk that is kept over low heat. Stir gently, and turn the heat to minimum possible. You may also keep the pot on a warming plate in the lowest setting.
  • After five minutes, add the remaining 'nigari' solution, and once again stir gently, before covering the pot, and let the soy milk coagulate. Within 15 minutes, the soy milk-coagulant mixture will start curdling.
  • As the coagulation completes, you can transfer the curd to the tofu mold that is lined with cheesecloth. If you don't have a tofu mold, you can make use of a square or rectangular plastic container, by making holes along the sides and the bottom, so as to facilitate drainage of whey.
  • Transfer the curd to the container, and place the cover over it. You have to place a small weight over the lid, to ensure that the whey drains properly, and the tofu gets firm.
  • It will take around 30 minutes for the whey to drain completely. Once done, you have to immerse the mold in a large bowl of cold water, and then open it under water. You can use this homemade tofu right away or refrigerate it in a bowl of water, for further use.
  • In some cases, tofu may turn out to be slightly bitter, due to the use of 'nigari'. If you find the tofu bitter, hold the bowl under running water, for at least 20 minutes. But make sure that the bowl with tofu is filled with water. Keep a sieve below the tap, so as to lower the water pressure, which can crumble the tofu into pieces.

You can try this method and make fresh tofu at home. Always store tofu properly (in water). If frozen, thaw it beforehand, and squeeze out the water completely, before cooking tofu.