Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Homemade Tofu

So, being that I love all things tofu, some of you are probably wondering if I've ever made been adventurous enough to make my OWN tofu, or if I have a recipe for such?

Well, the answer is YES, I have made my own homemade tofu, and have several great recipes to share!
Fresh, still-warm homemade tofu incredibly delicious, and like many of you, I certainly prefer the "processed" foods in my kitchen to be those I "process" myself; but honestly, finding bulk soybeans is not possible in my small town, and the process, while fairly easy, is more time consuming than is usually feasible for my schedule.

Straining the
Even so, it really is worth the time and effort. Every time I make a batch, I think, "I really need to do this more often" but then another year or two goes by before I again have the time, supplies and inclination all at the same moment.
I admit I don't often make my own bread, pasta or ice cream either, and I can hear many of you saying "But why? It's so EASY and tastes so much BETTER!". I agree.
And for those of you who have the time, space, interest and passion for making your own foods, I ABSOLUTELY recommend you try it -  it is TRULY AMAZING stuff!

Blocks of firm, homemade 
tofu. (Most of mine is 
usually softer and 
creamier; this batch, 
not so much.)
OK, granted, homemade tofu may not appeal to everyone -  first, you have to actually like tofu, (which, I assume, if you've read this far, you do) which, for some, can be an acquired taste.
Learning what to DO with tofu can be an acquired skill.
 Just the idea of tofu or, bean curd (doesn't THAT sound appetising!?!), can make even the most adventurous eater wrinkle his nose in disgust.
You have to look at tofu as its own delicious entity, not a "fake meat" product. If you put cubes of jiggly, plain white tofu in your stir-fry, hoping it will magically resemble chicken, you're sure to be disappointed. Enjoy it for what it is.
Hopefully in the next few weeks, I can share some tofu-friendly ideas that will make you love this versatile product as much as I do.

So, back to homemade tofu. If you're a fan of the stuff, it's worth trying and you just may become hooked. If I had the time, I wouldn't ever go back to store bought. Since these recipes are not mine, I can only provide links, but here are the three I've had the best success with:

Most delicious thing ever!
Homemade tofu (using recipe #1)

lightly breaded with Panko,
oven browned and served with gravy.
You knew there had to be gravy...
1.) Homemade Tofu from the lovely ladies over at the Soundly Vegan blog.
This recipe is by far my favorite in flavor and texture, and the only one I would make again - it is just a wee bit trickier and uses natural calcium sulfate (gypsum) as a coagulant, which is slightly harder to locate (easy to find online). They have a variety of variations to this recipe on the blog too, which are all delicious!

2.) Homemade Tofu from the "Kitchen Window" column on NPR:
The recipe is spelled out more explicitly, making it slightly easier to follow; The tofu is coagulated with vinegar or lemon juice which is easier to find, takes slightly less time and while it doesn't affect taste, I think the texture is just slightly less creamy.

3.) Homemade Tofu from the "professionals" (?) at Food Network:
This is the recipe I first tried, as it was (and still is) the first thing that comes up in a Google search. I'm surprised the opening instructions "Build a wooden-frame tofumold from finished 3/4-inch thick lumber..." didn't scare me away for life!!
(I had been given a tofu mold many years ago, sort of as a joke. It's come in handy, BUT you do not need a mold to make tofu!)

Now that you're armed with options, give it a try!


coldandsleepy said...

Thanks for sharing, I've never tried homemade tofu and now I'm wondering why...

I think if I had all the time in the world, I'd make most things at home. Definitely bread! But alas, I don't, so homemade stuff like that is an occasional project/treat.

Mel said...

I've been trying to hunt down calcium sulfate for making tofu for so long and I finally found some today at a local home brewing shop! I really want to try this method so the tofu contains calcium. Thanks for the links, I'm looking forward to the rest of your mofo posts about tofu!

JL Goes Vegan said...

I gave you a shout-out on my Week 1 Vegan MoFo round-up post today!