If you're the proud owner of one of our Raw Rutes Tofu Presses and you're using it mostly for pressing store bought tofu blocks, it's time to take things to the next level: Make your own tofu from scratch! It's not as hard or scary of a journey as it sounds, and we'll even hold your hand the whole time.
As you're probably aware, tofu is derrived from soybeans. Somewhere between being soybeans and being tofu, it needs to be soy milk. Yes, that's right. In a way, You're basically making a block of soy cheese.
For our purposes, we are going to keep it simple for this first time. Get yourself some dried soybeans... Organic, if possible. Soak 4 cups of soybeans
Now that you've got the milk, you're going to need a coagulant. What? Why? To make the soy milk curdle and set up. Don't worry. It sounds weird, but it's not. There's lots of ways to do it, but here are schools of thought:
Salt Based Coagulant:
Calcium Sulfate - A naturally occurring mineral also known as gypsum. Yes, gypsum. It's the chalky stuff used in the making of ceramics. But you're going to be using a very pure, food grade version of this mineral in tiny quantities. Brewers use it, food producers use it, and you can use it too without any worries.
Calcium Sulfate is a great choice for making a firm, homemade tofu. It makes the soymilk start to solidify, so that you can press it into a block. It actually adds calcium too.
It actually adds calcium to your tofu and is probably the most popular coagulant used in store bought tofu. We sell it here too.
For this recipe we're going with this coagulant.
Alternately: Acid Based Coagulants:
Lemon Juice - Very Convenient. Though it can impart a different texture and taste in the tofu. It can also be a little touchy to use. On the other hand, Some people, native tofu eaters and otherwise find this to produce a very satisfactory tofu.
In any case. Here we go!
How to make one medium sized tofu block:
Soak 1 1/2 Cups organic soybeans overnight in 4 1/2 Cups Filtered or Spring water overnight.
Blend the beans and liquid into a fine, fine slurry in a blender or food processor. It'll be a foamy milkshake.
Next boil 5 cups of Filtered or Spring water to a boil and add the soybean slurry. Reduce the heat to medium-low and keep that stuff simmerin'! Right around 8 minutes. You'll notice that it starts foaming up toward the end.
Line a strainer with cheesecloth and strain this mixture through into a bowl. Push or squeeze as much liquid out as you can. The resulting liquid is fresh, unsweetened soymilk and the solids can go right to your compost pile.
Now mix 1-2 tsp of calcium sulfate (gypsum) or 1-2 tsp nigari flakes (magnesium chloride) in one cup of Filtered or Spring water and stir to dissolve.
Rinse the cooking pot, pour the soymilk in, and bring the temperature up to right around 150 degrees. Use a thermometer if you have one. If you don't, just guess. Don't boil it!
Turn off the heat, and add half of the coagulant mixture you made to the pot. Stir it around and around eight times, like a witches brew. ( In fact, feel free to put on your Hogwarts related garb for this.) Now stop stirring and let it settle. Then add the rest of the coagulant, and start gently stirring again. Eight times. Cover the pot and let it sit for half an hour.
It's going to separate. It's kind of like vegan curds and whey. Lets put it into nursery rhyme form: You're playing the part of Little Miss Muffet. But instead of eating your curds and whey, you just need the curds.
There's going to be a lot of liquid (the 'whey') draining out. (It's best to load your press up in the sink for easier cleanup!). Once the press is loaded up and the drainage slows to a trickle, you can set it on one of our grooved cutting boards on your counter top.
Press it for right around half an hour.
Then flip that press over, pop the tofu out and throw it in the fridge for a few hours to firm it up even more. Use it fresh or store it submerged in water in the fridge for up to 5 days.