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Tofu, Homemade (P, TNT)
Source: Adapted from "The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook"
Serves: Varies

4 cups soy flour
14 cups cold water
2-1/3 cups water
1/4 cup vinegar

First I get a square (or whatever shape you like really) disposable storage container and I use an ice pick to poke holes all over it, about 1" apart. This will be your tofu press. You could also just use a colander in your sink :-)

Measure the soy flour into a large pan and whisk in 14 cups cold water. Add only enough water at first to make a smooth paste, then whisk in remaining water. Soak for at least 30 minutes.

Take a pot of at least 2 gallon capacity and grease the sides and bottom well with oil. This will make cleaning easier after the cooking process. Set a colander over the pot and line it with a nylon or lightweight cotton cloth (doubled cheese cloth is what I use). Put the soaked mixture through the cloth and strain into the pot beneath.

Now place the cloth with the flour into a bowl and add 2-1/3 cups of water. Knead cloth again under water to remove any additional milk from the flour. Squeeze thoroughly and add this milky liquid to the pot.

Bring milk to a boil, lower heat. Stir the milk and pour in half the vinegar. If milk hasn't formed curds after a few minutes, stir in more of the vinegar. Simmer for 20 minutes. You should have large curds floating in yellow liquid (whey).

Line your press with cheese cloth and scoop the curds with a strainer into your press. Fold the cloth over the top of the curds and put a heavy weight on it (I use a dessert plate with a mason jar filled with gravel :-) ). Press until desired firmness and use as you would store bought. This tofu is much firmer than the store bought, I think, and is better for use in slicing and frying and also making flavored crumbles.

For a softer (more dessert type silken) tofu it's essentially the same process except you would use unflavored soy milk, skip the straining process in the beginning because you're not using flour, and then when you get the pressing part, press only for 20 to 30 minutes.

Poster's Notes:
For soy flour, you can buy this at most health food stores or grind your own.

I wanted to mention that it's very difficult often to find the type of tofu I want for a recipe in these rural parts, so I've learned to make my own pretty easily.

For firm (for a meat substitute) you make it with soy flour (called farmers tofu) and for silken you make tofu with soy milk and cook less. It really is easier to do than it reads:-).

Posted by Karen Oros

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A