How To Make Homemade Tofu

Have you ever tried making your own homemade tofu? This recipe will teach you how to make tofu from scratch. The process is similar to cheese making, and it’s not only simple but also much healthier compared to store-bought tofu, plus it’s a great household staple. Tofu is not only extensively used in Asian cuisine but also provides a wonderful source of protein to daily meals for vegans and vegetarians around the world.

Steamed Silken Tofu with Mushrooms. Image credit: @foodpassionical. Click on the image to see the full post on Instagram.

Tofu varieties: 

  • Soft tofu (also called silken tofu) is delicate and not pressed. It provides a creamy texture and it is perfect for smoothies, pies, and sauces.
  • Extra firm tofu is often packed soaked in liquid and widely available in supermarkets. This kind of tofu makes a great meat substitute and is great for grilling, pan-frying, and as a salad topping. 
  • Firm tofu holds the sweet spot between the other two kinds in terms of texture and is ideal for pan- and stir-frying.

Vegan Mapo Tofu. Image credit: @foodpassionical. Click on the image to see the full post on Instagram.

The coagulants used in tofu making can be divided into three main groups: 

  1. The first is salt coagulants, including gypsum and also nigari salts (either crystallized or liquid forms of it are used). 
  2. The second group is acid coagulants and GDL (aka glucono delta lactone), which are often used as coagulants for making Tau Fu Fa (soy pudding) and silken tofu. 
  3. The third is vinegar or lemon juice – natural, easily accessible coagulants that are also able to make soy milk become solid. They are commonly used to make tofu at home and are pantry-friendly. 

Sweet and Spicy Five Spice Glazed Tofu. Image credit: @foodpassionical. Click on the image to see the full post on Instagram.

In this recipe, I used lemon juice rather than a coagulant that may be harder to get a hold of. In fact, I prefer the lemon version to the one that I made using gypsum because lemon gives the tofu a fresh and slightly citrusy flavor. 

homemade tofu

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homemade tofu

Ingredients

Scale
  • 500 g soybeans 
  • Juice from 1 lemon 
  • 4 tbsp water 
  • 1500 ml water for blending 
  • 1500 ml for adding to soybeans

Equipment:

  • muslin cloth or cheesecloth
  • high-speed blender
  • tofu mold or colander

Instructions

  1. Soak the beans overnight or for at least 12 hours. Drain out the water and discard.
  2. Add in the soaked soybeans and 1500 ml water into your high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. (I blend in three batches, each time with 500 ml water for blending) 
  3. Next, use a muslin cloth or a cheesecloth to collect the soy pulp, squeeze as much milk out of it as you can.
  4. Place the milk into a pot and bring to a boil. Take off the heat and strain through a cheesecloth for a more smooth result.
  5. Pour the strained milk into a large pot, along with 1500 ml water. Simmer for around 15 minutes, stirring frequently. It will foam easily, so watch it carefully and don’t let it boil. Lower the heat when the foam rises up. Remove the foam off the top and discard it. Simmer for another 10 minutes and turn off the heat. 
  6. Pour the resulting 2000 ml of soy milk into another pot. Heat it up until it’s almost boiling, and turn off the heat. 
  7. Juice the lemon and mix it with 4 tbsp water. Slowly pour it into hot milk and mix gently. Do not stir too much. Let it sit for 15 minutes to let the curd separate from the liquid.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare a tofu mold (I used a bamboo steamer): place it over a bowl or a pot, and line it with cheesecloth. Slowly ladle the curds into the mold. Cover it with the remaining cheesecloth and place something heavy on top for firmer tofu. Leave for 1 hour to set. 
  9. Take the set tofu out of the mold and soak in water for another 30 minutes for a firmer texture (Don’t unwrap it yet). 
  10. Slowly remove the cheesecloth. The tofu is ready to use! Cut the tofu into your desired shape and enjoy. To store, soak it in water and keep refrigerated, changing the water often. 

Notes

Find more of Moon’s recipes on her Youtube channel.

Article & Photography by Moon | Food Passionical.

Watch the video recipe for homemade tofu:

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If you loved this homemade tofu, you might also like…

Culture Tuesday: an Exploration of Japanese Cuisine

Vegan Cauliflower and Tofu Korma

Teriyaki Tofu Balls

Or click here for more ideas on how to cook your fresh homemade tofu!

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