Thursday, May 24, 2012

Making Your Own Organic Soymilk & Tofu

So we have been working hard for the past several months to bring you a new product line of products and kits to help you make your own soymilk and tofu. We have a great soymilk maker, that is easy to use and inexpensive.  It has very thorough instructions and makes great soymilk for under $0.25 per gallon.  A little flavoring like agave, vanilla, ginger, etc... and you will have soymilk every bit as good as commercial soymilk.

What was really a challenge to research was making tofu. As it turns out there are several different techniques, and we could not find a good, clear, easy to follow recipe / process anywhere.  We ended up making about 20 different batches in order to really understand the process, and we created a series of tofu kits and other tofu supplies.  But for us the real key is the clear instructions included in our tofu kits.  At some point we will do some tofu and soymilk videos for our youtube channel.  The bottom line is we looked at every other tofu kit we could find, and we think ours is the most complete, easy to follow and common sense of the lot. We also include organic soybeans, which is a huge plus.

One of the biggest issues that might confuse most about making tofu is the coagulant. Different websites and authors recommend using very hard to find and expensive coagulants like japanese nigari, or food grade gypsum (which we offer).  But the truth is that you already have two great coagulants in your kitchen already: lemon juice and vinegar. We did side by side comparisons of many coagulants and lemon juice is every bit as good as the more exotic coagulants. So we made the decision to not include any of the fancy coagulants in our kits, and simply recommend lemon juice or vinegar. 

As a quick overview of the tofu making process, you simply make soymilk (either with a soymilk machine or with a blender) from soaked soybeans.  You pour in lemon juice (or other coagulant) into hot soymilk (185 degrees fahrenheit) and it will start to curdle immediately.  Let stand for about 15 minutes and transfer to your cheesecloth lined tofu mold (included in kits) and press.  The longer you press the tofu, the firmer it gets. In other words, the complete ingredients for tofu are water, soybeans and lemon juice coagulant.  You will need a wire mesh strainer, some large bowls, measuring cups, a large cooking pot and a blender.  It is really fun to make your own.

If you are a fan of tofu, fresh, homemade tofu will amaze you. If you aren't a tofu fan, fresh tofu might just convert you.  It's nothing like store bought tofu, which seems stale and rubbery by contrast.  Here are some shots of tofu dishs we made.
We made the two slabs on the bottom are softer and made with the wooden press.  The slab on top is quite firm and made with the plastic press.

Above is grilled tofu made from yellow and black soy. You could definately fool a carnivore! We marinated for about 4 hours in lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, pepper and dried italian herbs, then grilled it. 

We served it with a mediterranean salad made from several types of diced olives, crushed garlic, onions, tomato, cucumber and some herbs. 

We did lots of fried tofu, but didn't shoot any pix unfortunately.  We'll put that on our to-do list.  While we are on that topic, you absolutely have to try fried soft tofu!  We pressed a batch for only about 15 minutes and it was very soft.  It held together pretty well, but threatened to crumble it was so soft.  It was incredible fried. Vastly better than frying firmer tofu.  We hope you'll check out one of our tofu or soymilk kits.