Perhaps it is quite random to find a tofu tutorial on a bag making blog, but random has it's place (and so does home made tofu). It's easy, it's good for you and it tastes much better.
Find Part 1 of the tofu tutorial here. It talks a bit about the ingredients and it tells you where to get the equipment from.
Ingredients (for 1 block or 1 mould of tofu):
- 1 tspn generously heaped of Gypsum powder
- 0.5 tblsp heaped of cornflour
- 250g of soya beans (soaked in cold water overnight)
- cold water - right, pls read this carefully. Choose a cup (anyone will do). For every cup of beans you will need just under 2 cups of water, BUT for the last cup of beans you will need only one and half a cups of water because the other half cup of water will be used to dilute the gypsum and the cornflour - don't worry, this will make more sense in a minute...
How to make tofu
1. Wash beans (no, not you doggie) - Rinse the soaked soya beans in fresh water and drain well. Place beans into a big bowl.
2. Blend beans and water - Get your chosen cup and scoop a cupful of beans into your blender/processor. Now using the same cup add just under 2 cups (eg. fill cup to 7/8 full) of cold water to the blender and blitz the beans and water thoroughly. Pour the mixture into a another big bowl.
Continue in this way until you get to the last cup of beans. So, put the last cup of beans into the blender and then add one cup (7/8 full) AND another half full cup of water to the blender and blitz.
Blitz the soya beans with your carefully measured water.
3. Straining the soya milk - I like this bit, it's a good workout for your arms. Using the muslin bag (that should be supplied with the tofu kit, or just make your own bag) carefully squeeze out every drop you can of milk from the blended soya beans. You'll get a nice aroma of the soya beans at this stage. Put the residue to one side. The bean pulp residue is known as Okara and it's stuffed full of nutrients. You can make yummy recipes from it too.
4. Heat up the strained soya milk - pour all of the strained soya milk into a large saucepan and bring the milk to just below boiling. Whilst you are waiting put the gypsum and the cornflour into clean big bowl and (using the same cup that you measured the soya beans and water with) add just under half a cup of cold water and mix well. Place this bowl into the sink for later.
Keep an eye on the pan of milk, do not let the milk boil over because all of a sudden it will spill over the sides and make an almighty mess (which is a real cow to clean off your cooker). When the milk just about boils turn off the gas and skim the froth off the top of the milk.
5. Right this step all happens quite quickly so read before doing it! - speed is of the essence in this step. Now that you've skimmed the soya milk; go to the bowl (in the sink) with the gypsum and the cornflour in it. Give the gypsum mixture another good thorough stir.
Bring the hot soya milk to the sink and pour the milk into the bowl RAPIDLY AND FROM A HIGH HEIGHT - DO NOT (I REPEAT) DO NOT STIR AT ANY TIME OR THE TOFU WILL BE RUINED.
Gently skim the top of the poured soya milk. I say gently because if you do anything that resembles stirring, the soya milk, gypsum and cornflour ingredients will not coagulate and the tofu is a gonner. Cover the bowl of gypsum and soya milk and set aside in a warm place for 15 minutes.
6. Prepare the tofu mould - while you're waiting for the soya milk to coagulate prepare the tofu mould in the sink. Wet the mould and the muslin mould cloths with cold water. Line the mould with the muslin liners.
7. Add add the set soya milk to the tofu mould - spoon the coagulated soya milk into the tofu moulds. You'll see that the soya milk now has a soft blamange texture and some of the water has begun to separate. Spoon the soya milk stuff into the tofu mould. There should be enough mixture to fill the mould. After filling the moulds fold the muslin over the soya blamange.
8. Wait for the tofu to set - pop the lid onto the mould and place a nice heavy weight onto the lid. It's important that you select a heavy weight that will fit into the mould (because the lid needs to sink into the mould as the water leaches out of the tofu).
Wait for the tofu to set. The firmness of the tofu is determined by how long you leave it to set:
- soft and wobbly jelly = approx 3.5 hours
- medium firm = approx 4.5 hours
- firm = 5 or more depending on how firm you want it.
9. Turn out the tofu from the mould. Carefully take the tofu out of the mould and free it from it's muslin linings. This bit is very satisfying. The tofu is ready to cook with or you can store it in a container of cold water in the fridge (for several days if you periodically change the water). I haven't tried freezing it yet, I never get the chance to.