Tempting Tofu – Make Your Own in 8 Simple Steps by Michelle - 24th June 2016 Tofu has never been easier to make then with The Tofu Box! Here’s how easy it is to whip up a batch of your own. Simple Steps Soak 500g soybeans overnight, drain the next day and rinse Blend the soybeans (into a soy milk) using 1L of water to every 200g soybeans Pour milk through the cheesecloth into large bowl, store the pulp on top of the cloth for another day Boil the milk and reduce to a simmer for 7 minutes, turn off heat and let cool for 5 minutes Mix 1.5 tsp Nigari (the coagulant) in 1/2 cup warm water Add the coagulant mix to the milk and let it curdle for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile set The Tofu Box on your draining board and line with the rinsed cheesecloth and find yourself 1.5kg minimum of weight you can use for the next step Drain the curds (the solid stuff) from the whey (the liquid stuff) using a sieve or a slotted spoon and put them into the box Add the lid and your 1.5kg of weight – 1 hour later a medium-firm tofu block made with your own two hands! Useful Tips For step 1 our blender wasn’t big enough to process all 500g of soybeans at once so we improvised. We easily split the soybeans into 3 batches, and then blended 1/3 of the soybeans at a time with just over 1L of water. Use filtered if you can, it improves the taste of the tofu in my view. 500g of soybeans gives you enough tofu to use for 3 main meals (2 people) so it’s worth doing the whole bag at once. The tofu is easy to keep in the fridge covered with water, or cut half of the block off and freeze. When it came to step 3 and pouring the milk through the cheesecloth, at first the cheesecloth sank straight down into the bow, under the weight. We improvised and used a large elastic band to fix the cheesecloth to the rim of the bowl before pouring the milk in. Be careful when removing the cheesecloth though that it doesn’t dip back into the milk, it happened to me twice! In step 6 you need weight to press your tofu box lid down – we used a couple of packs of flour from the cupboard but a few cans of beans will do just as well, and they stack really nicely. Our first block came out medium-firm. If you like your tofu really firm just leave to drain for longer in step 8 – experiment with time or the weight of the items you place on top to press down to increase or decrease the firmness. Okara – Oh-kar’-ah I was fascinated to learn about okara on our first attempt at making tofu. The pulp left over from step 3 was quite bulky and I moved it into a large tupperware straight away and put it in the fridge. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but The Tofu Box website provided some great inspiration to make sure this by-product didn’t go to waste. Especially since it’s a great source of fibre, protein and minerals. Here are my favourite ways to use the okara: Okara falafels with kale pesto Banana okara matcha cookies (I am such a sucker for matcha) Mini okara “meatloaf” Ultra fudgey okara brownies Pumpkin okara pancakes And now for the good stuff… a simply delicious tofu recipe. We whipped this up in about 20 minutes (not including time to make the tofu). If you are in a rush, you can also use store-bought tofu. The great thing about The Tofu Box is it can also be used to take store-bought tofu and press it until it’s very firm, which makes it ideal for baking inside puff pastry. No-one wants a soggy pastry parcel! Recipe – Tofu Pesto Pastry Parcels (serves 4): 1 pack vegan puff pastry (readily available in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose etc) 250g tofu 1 jar vegan pesto 1 cup pine nuts 3 cloves chopped garlic 2 chopped red onions 1 sliced tomato Balsamic vinegar 2 bunches asparagus Use organic where possible and affordable Grill the pine nuts in the oven (be sure to keep an eye on them!). Remove from oven and set aside to cool, and switch from grill to oven at 180C for a fan oven (200C if not) Cut the tofu up into wide strips Spray a baking dish with coconut oil or grease with vegan margarine Cut the puff pastry into 4 chunks and roll out into a rough square Spread with pesto, then layer the tofu, tomato and chopped garlic inside. Dab a bit more pesto on top and sprinkle a bit of black sesame gomasio and pepper (TIP – if there is oil floating at the top of the pesto jar, be sure to mix it in before you spread the sauce) Whatever pesto you don’t use put the lid back on and keep in the fridge. It makes great sandwich spread instead of margarine or use it to flavour pasta or quinoa dishes Wrap the parcels up as if you’re wrapping a birthday present 🙂 Finish all your “presents” and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown Wait 15 minutes and then boil water to steam the asparagus for 5 minutes (you can also griddle them if you have one, they always look so good when cooked this way) Pastry should be ready to come out the oven at the same time the asparagus is ready Place a tofu pastry parcel and a few asparagus spears on each plate, sprinkle with pine nuts Enjoy!