Pressing issues

3 07 2007

By popular demand, here’s how to make tofu.

You need:
2l soy milk
10g nigari (magnesium chloride, or in other words, a type of salt)

– Boil the milk for 5-10 minutes to sterilise (die, bacteria, die!).

– Let it cool for a bit, say, 5 minutes.

– Dissolve the nigari in a cup of warm water. Note: don’t taste the nigari “just to see”. It tastes AWFUL. No, really, don’t. Just take my word for it.

– Slowly add the nigari to the milk, stirring gently between each batch.

– When it starts to get chunky, stop adding the nigari.

– Make a cup of tea and go see what the chooks are up to (approx 15 minutes).

– When you come back, the curds will have separated and gone to the bottom, and the rest of the liquid will be relatively clear. If this hasn’t happened, add a bit more nigari and make another cup of tea.

– Tip the curds into some sort of rigid container with some holes in the side and bottom, that you’ve lined with cheesecloth, muslin or a clean chux cloth. I use my totally awesome tofu press which looks a bit like this:
(pic)
but in a pinch I’d use the same strainer and cloth in a bowl setup I use for making labna.

– Fold the cloth over the top of the tofu – avoid having too many wrinkles in the cloth if having a smooth block is important to you.

– Using the nifty lid of your tofu press, or whatever else is handy, put a weight on the top of the block to squeeze out the water. Depending on how hard you want your end product to be, add more or less weight and leave it for shorter or longer. For example, with a half-empty 1L bottle of gin water on top of the press, left for 30 min, it will be about as hard as the “firm” tofu you get at the supermarket.

– Unmould the tofu into some cold water. You can “wash” the tofu if you want by slowly running water into the container and letting it overflow into the sink for 10-20 minutes. In these water-challenged times I couldn’t bring myself to do that, so I just changed the water in the container 3 times in the hour after I unmoulded the block.

Yum!

Looking for more info? Who knew there were so many different types of tofu or that I wasn’t just imagining that Australian tofu tastes different? Wiki, that’s who. And here’s the best recipe I’ve seen on the net. Because I understand that not everyone can have their own small Japanese girl to instruct them. I’m nice like that.

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4 responses

4 07 2007
mangoman

Now I have no excuse. I have been told often that ‘we should really make our own tofu’. I know this is code for ‘ get off your backside and stop mucking about with fences, tractors, trees and have a go at tofu’ but I have ignored it to date.So is there a special way of making the silken stuff – which is the choice of the person who has taste buds in this house? Do you just not put as much pressure on?

4 07 2007
IHateToast

so where will i get this bad-tasting salt that you know i’ll taste just to see? and where do you get a press? don’t make me research!i didn’t realise there were so many recipes out there. thanks. i have to try this. do i need to get chooks?

4 07 2007
Sherd

mangoman, silken (kinugoshi) tofu is made by a different process to momen (cotton). The soymilk is more concentrated, and it’s not pressed and drained at all but set in the mold. The bad news is that it’s apparently really tricky. The good news is that I love that shit so I’ll be experimenting with it and I’ll let you know. I think you could easily fit it in between making a fence and planting a tree, though. greatykaty, you can get it from Asian supermarkets. I’ll check out Formosa in Mary St, KozMart in Elizabeth St or the one I don’t know the name of on Vulture St just up from the Boundary Rd intersection, and let you know (I’m in all those places pretty regularly anyway…). You can try to substitute “greyhounds” for chooks, if you like. But if the recipe doesn’t work, that’d be the first thing I’d look at.

5 07 2007
lil shaz

thank you!now all i need is a dang tofu press (because all that sieve-muslin talk made me think too hard).it can wait a couple of weeks… :)and yes, i used a smiley.

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