Monday, August 1, 2011

Homemade Tofu

A chef friend of mine said, "You don't like processed food, right? But you like tofu?" I said, "Yeah, but no one makes their own tofu." Just as soon as I said it, I knew that I would. I'm not one to back down from a challenge -- that was a challenge, right? -- so I set out on a journey to make my own tofu.

I hit the books. Once I stared to read about the process, it immediately seemed familiar. It's exactly like making homemade cheese, but with one huge extra step...first you have to make the milk. As if they could somehow read my mind, Food & Wine magazine included an in-depth recipe in their July issue about how to make soy milk form dried soy beans and then transform that milk into tofu skins, silken tofu, or firm tofu.

I have to admit it: I'm terrible at following recipes. I just get sidetracked, I guess, or maybe I just like to be adventuresome in the kitchen, or possibly it's because I never ordered some strange key ingredient in tofu making called nigari (magnesium chloride). Whatever the case may be, I used 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar in place of the nigari when making my firm tofu and, lo and behold, it worked.

What did I do with my precious, hard-fought, homemade tofu? I kept it simple. I grilled slices of tofu that had been sprinkled with a little Old Bay seasoning and sea salt. When they came off the grill, I squeezed a lime juice on them and drizzled the tofu filets with olive oil. The homemade grilled tofu made for delicious "fish" tacos with purple cabbage, avocado, and chipotle sour cream.

Was it worth it? I think so. It was messy, and it was time consuming, but it was fun and it was a success. The resulting tofu had a ton of flavor. Will I be making my own tofu again soon? Probably not, but you just never know...

6 comments:

JL goes Vegan said...

I bought the soybeans and a tofu making kit and then I just let it sit! LOL It felt so daunting! Now I really want to try! Your tacos look ridiculously good!

Tender Branson said...

Awesome post. I didn't think this could be done. I am impressed...

AnderBeth said...

I didn't even know this was possible! I get side tracked in the kitchen, too, and I'm often impatient--buttt, I'm gonna try this out! I love your pictures, too! It'd mean so much if you'd heck out my health/food blog: http://eatsimplylivehealthy.blogspot.com Keep up the awesome work :)

Dani said...

Nice! I used to make my own paneer, same process without making the milk indeed.

I wonder if the taste of the home made tofu is really different from the tofu bought in stores?

The Yogi Vegetarian said...

I used to make tofu for a small business who supplied wholefood shops and cafes; I have fond memories of spending nearly a whole day at a time on it: in the morning I would start off with a 25kg sack of organic soya beans, and by about 2pm I'd have a batch of pressed firm tofu ready for delivery... we used a mincer for the beans and a gigantic cauldron for the milk. We didn't use nigari either, but white vinegar. To press the tofu we used plastic drainpiping with holes drilled into the side to produce cylinders of tofu- great for slicing into tofu burgers! (The recipe is on my blog.)I love the sound of the meal you made with your tofu...I feel inspired to make some. Did you know you can take a shortcut and make tofu with bought soya milk? The unsweetened kind is best. It's not as good as when you make it from scratch, but it does work.

All Inclusive Health said...

Your pictures are amazing! You seamlessly flow between amazing representation and pure art.

Can't wait to try some of your recipes!

Thanks for sharing.