Friday, May 18, 2012

fresh homemade tofu

Late last year we drove across the country to visit my brother and sister-in-law who live in Esperance.
It's a gorgeous little town on the southern coast of Western Australia with Australia's whitest beaches and bluest oceans.

A one way trip took us 36 hours of driving, broken up into 3 days.

It's not about the destination, but the journey. The drive was very therapeutic and we got to chatter away about life and dreams - not to mentioned tore our way through a couple of audio books.

One of which was 'Under the Dome' by Stephen King.
Not the most comforting author to be listening to when your out camping in the middle of the dessert!

Anyways, enough of that.

While we were in Esperance, I insisted that we visit the local health food store.

While browsing the shelves, Joel discovered this 'Tofu Making Kit'. 
As a huge advocate for making everything from scratch, I just HAD to get it.

Funnily enough, the lady at the counter explained that it was her family who made the Nigari from the local Lake Crystal, Pink Lake.

What came in the kit was a mould, muslin cloth and Nigari.
Nigari is Magnesium Oil. Essential to life, magnesium is crucial for optimum health and vitality.

This recipe calls for the Nigari, but if you don't have any or you can't get your hands on it, ask your local health food store if they have any Magnesium Oil - it should do the same thing.

Homemade tofu is unlike anything I have tasted before.
It's delicious and so smooth!

Makes me wonder what they put in the store bought kind, that makes it taste so different.

This recipe first explains how to make soy milk from the soy beans (no Nigari required for this), then how to make the tofu from the milk.


heavy based saucepan with lid (medium-large)
mould (can use an old container with holes poked through)
muslin cloth (or new chux cloth)
large bowl
wooden spoon
slotted spoon


(approximately 450g)

1 c soy beans
15 ml Nigari (for firm tofu, use less for silken)

Start off by soaking a cup of soy beans for 8-12 hours.

Once soaked, you end up with about two cups of beans.
Drain and place in a blender with 3 cups of boiling water.
Blend for 1-2 minutes until you have a smooth paste.
Pour the contents of the blender into a heavy based saucepan.
Add 4 cups of boiling water and bring to the boil.
Once at boiling point, remove from stove.

Strain the contents of the pot through a moist muslin cloth lined colander/strainer, into a jug.
(Tip: The mixture will be hot, so use kitchen gloves at this point).
Squeeze all the moisture out of the muslin cloth.

At this stage you have 2 things:

*Okara - soy bean fibre (not required for the rest of the recipe)
1 1/2 L Soy Milk - you can stop here if you're just after soy milk

*Most people discard this, but Okara is full of nutritional properties and can be used in other recipes where flour or binding ingredients are required.
I will be posting an Okara recipe as my next post, so stay tuned.
Store the Okara in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Taking the soy milk, pour contents back into the saucepan (ensuring the pot has been cleaned).
Bring to the boil and simmer for 7 minutes.
Combine the Nigari with 1/2 c of boiling water and mix well.

Remove the pot from the stove and using the wooden spoon stir the milk from side-to-side (6-8 times) while drizzling 1/3 of the Nigari mixture into the pot.
Remove the spoon and drizzle over another 1/3 of the Nigari.
Cover the pot and stand for 5 mins.
Curds will start to appear on the top of the mixture.
While lightly stirring the top 1/2 inch of the mixture, drizzle over the final 1/3 of the Nigari.
Cover and stand for a further 5 mins.

Line the mould with cleaned muslin cloth and sit in a colander over a bowl.

Using a slotted spoon, spoon out the curds into the mould.

Fold the muslin cloth over the top of the curds and press a weight on top (or a plate if using alternative).
Let the moisture drain out of it (4-5 mins).

Next, place the mould in a bowl of iced water for 5 minutes while it firms up.

Remove tofu from the mould and serve fresh in your favourite dish.

If you are wanting to keep the tofu for longer, you will need to place it in a bowl of water, cover and store in the refrigerator - replacing the water daily.
Will keep for up to 3 days.

Sorry about the marathon post! xo

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