Our most recent attempt to make tofu at home was a doozy! Last time we attempted to make a tofu with “bits”. There was lots of chopped up onion and garlic, all raw, and the flavour was fantastic.

This time I wanted to create a more subtle flavour, using more of a sauce rather than lots of chopped up ingredients. The result was a terrific block of tofu, with a really rich and smokey taste which would be used in a variety of dishes.

Easy Steps to Make Tofu at Home

Stage 1 – Soak

For a normal sized block of tofu go with 125g of soybeans. Rinse them in a colander and then leave in a large bowl covered with drinking water to soak for 8 – 12 hours. Make sure you leave them in a warm place…away from the cats and dogs!

Stage 2 – Drain

Drain the soaked soybeans and then rinse under cold water. They are now ready to blend.

Stage 3 – Blend

You can use either a food processor or blender, but it needs a bit of oomph behind it. Don’t try using a hand-held blender, it won’t even touch sides. Even though the soybeans have been soaked they’ll still be quite hard on the blade and motor of your blender. Blend the soybeans with drinking water in a 1:7 ratio. 125g of soybeans needs 1.75L of water. Do in two batches if you need to – don’t make the mistake I did and overfill with water, or you’ll end up dancing in soymilk rain!

Stage 4 – Strain

Place a muslin cloth on top of a large bowl or pot. I use an elastic band to secure the top because the weight of the milk and pulp starts to really weigh the cloth down. You don’t want it touching down into the milk! Pour the blended soy milk through the muslin cloth and wait for it all to drain through leaving the pulp on top. Don’t bin the pulp, it’s called okara and can be used to cook. More on that later…

Rinse the muslin cloth as you’ll need it later.

Make Tofu at home

Stage 5 – Cook

Bring the milk to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes stirring constantly.

Stage 6 – Coagulate

Make Tofu at homeLet the soy milk cool for 5 minutes. While waiting add your coagulant to warm water. I used Nigari from my Tofu Box, but you can also use other substances. Even lemon juice or apple cider vinegar will curdle soy milk. I like Nigari because it doesn’t leave a strong taste behind so you can really bring out other flavours.

For 125g of soybeans mix 1/2 tsp of Nigari with 1 cup of warm water.

Once the milk is cool stir in the Nigari water gently and then leave to curd for 15 minutes. Do not stir again!

Stage 7 – Into the Box

Line the Tofu Box with the muslin cloth. Using a slotted spoon move the curds from the soy milk (it’ll look a bit like cottage cheese!) into a mixing bowl. Stir in any flavour or ingredients you’d like to use.

We tried making a “Baconish” flavoured tofu with inspiration straight from the book by Leinana Two Moons.

I made a sauce consisting of maple syrup, cayenne powder, paprika, olive oil and crispy onion bits. Plus a couple of sprays of liquid smoke. If you’re wondering what on earth it is check this article out from Dr Greger.

Once the flavour is mixed in move the curds into the Tofu Box on top of the muslin. Wrap the muslin over the top of the curds too, and put the wooden lid on top of the muslin.

Make Tofu at homeMake Tofu at home Make Tofu at homeMake tofu at home

Add weight, and make it fun! You’ll need 1kg or more. I’ve got pretty competitive with my dad in the past to see who could get the most efficient “press”. This time I built a modest tower of beans (the cartons from Sainsburys are perfect for this), but my husband then stepped in and out-scienced me by applying a clamp.

If you want super firm tofu leave it pressing for 2 hours at a minimum. We left this block for 3 hours and it came out fantastically firm. So much so, that I ended up slicing it up to use as a sandwich filling!

Make Tofu at home

Shortcuts

I try make tofu using organic soybeans, as I want the least processed block possible. But if you are battling for time, you can shorten the process by using store-bought soy milk. The challenge with store-bought is the additives and how processed the milk is. If you’re not able to tell the percentage of mixed solids in the milk, it may be tough to control the firmness of your tofu. It really is simple to make tofu at home!

However you choose to make it, I hope you have as much fun as I did, and remember tofu is really nutritious and versatile. If you want to read more about it, here’s an old post about tofu.

Enjoy!

Simplifying Happy (Tofu Tofu Tofu) Choices

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About Michelle

Michelle grew up in a culture where it was normal to eat meat at every meal. Watching close family suffer multiple health problems drove her to learn more about eating for health. After watching Food Inc Michelle took the plunge into veganism and hasn’t looked back since. She is now on a mission to bring vegan inspiration to everyone!

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