Making tofu at home is easy, it takes only two ingredients: soy milk and a coagulant, and it does not take long provided you already have soy milk ready. Coagulant is the chemical agent that causes soy milk to curdle, thus separating solids from the liquid. Those solids when compressed into a block become tofu.
So do you have soy milk ready? If not, here is the quick and super easy recipe for making soy milk without presoaking the soybeans: How To Make Soy Milk Without Soaking The Beans
Which Coagulant To Use
The proper way to make tofu at home requires Magnesium Chloride (Nigari) or Calcium Sulfate (Gypsum), which produce tofu with a smooth texture (so I am told). I live in India and finding food-grade Magnesium Chloride or Calcium Sulfate here is a challenge. Imported Nigari is available online but it is too expensive. Therefore, I use the cheaper and readily available alternative: lemon juice.
Of course, lemon juice results in a tofu with a slightly grainy texture. That is ok with me. It resembles the texture of cottage cheese (paneer) which too is made in India by using lemon juice as a coagulant.
In this article I will show two ways, one where tofu is made using lemon juice and the other where tofu is made using Nigari.
A. Making Tofu With Lemon Juice
- 8 cups (1.89 liters) of homemade soy milk
- Half cup of plain water
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- Bring soy milk to a boil, and then turn off the stove.
- Let the soy milk cool for 3 minutes.
- Mix half cup water and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
- Add half of this water-lemon mix to the soy milk.
- Stir the milk a few times.
- Add the remaining coagulant mix.
- Stir again a few times. You will notice solids forming.
- When the solids are noticeable, stop the stirring and leave the pan for 10-15 minutes.
- You will see the solids have separated and the liquid is now almost clear, like water. If the solids did not separate fully and the water is not clear, you may need to add more lemon juice.
- Use a cheese cloth to strain the water and separate the tofu.
- Pour tofu solids into a tofu press or just wrap it in the cheese cloth and keep something a little heavy on top of it to give the tofu the shape of a block.
- About 30 minutes later, tofu will be ready to use.
B. Making Tofu With Nigari
The process of making tofu with Nigari is the same as making tofu with lemon juice. Here, instead of lemon juice, Nigari (magnesium chloride) is dissolved in water and is added to the just boiled soy milk. For 8 cups of soy milk, use one tablespoon of Nigari.
Youtube Video: Making Tofu With Nigari
Please click this link for the Youtube video: How To Make Tofu At Home
It does not matter if you use Nigari or lemon juice. Pick the one that is readily available. You will love the taste of homemade tofu. It is much better than anything you can buy in a store.