The protein sources available to vegans (and vegetarians) are often limited. Tofu is certainly a good source of protein, and it is really versatile when it comes to preparation in the kitchen, whether as a main dish or as an addition to other dishes.
If you have visited some tofu processing facilities, you may have found that tofu is often prepared in small factories or even backyard outfits, in less than hygienic conditions. Plus the fact that most soybeans available in the market are GMO, it really means that preparing tofu at home is not an option, but a necessity to reap the full benefits of tofu.
Making tofu at home is clearly a labour of love. It is not difficult, but you must be willing to spare a couple of hours to complete the process. It starts with obtaining home-made high quality soy milk(Recipe here).
The soy milk has to be boiled and nigari (magnesium chloride, basically concentrated sea salt) is added to coagulate the soy milk. Next, the mixture is poured through a cotton or muslin cloth in a tofu press to remove the watery part and shape the tofu. I use a cypress wood tofu mould for this purpose. It is available in certain health food stores and is a worthwhile investment to get good tofu.
After half an hour of setting in the tofu press, the tofu is ready to be be used in cooking. The tofu may also be refrigerated if you are not planning to cook it immediately. Just place it in a container filled with water and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. There you have it: home-made tofu for your plant-based protein. And you never need to buy a commercially prepared tofu again!
1. Prepare nigari mixture for the coagulation process. Mix nigari with water. For every 4 cups of soy milk, you need 1/2 teaspoon of nigari and 1/4 cup of water.
2. Prepare cypress tofu press.
3. Bring soy milk to a boil.
4. Once soy milk boils, add half the nigari mixture to it. Keep stirring the soy milk until it curdles.
5. If the soy milk doesn't curdle after 3-4 minutes, add the remaining nigari mixture and stir for a few minutes more. The solids should clearly separate from the liquid.
6. Pour the soy curds immediately into the tofu press.
7. Use a weight over the tofu press to make firmer tofu.
8. After 30 minutes, remove the tofu from the tofu press and cut into small pieces.
9. Keep the tofu in a container with water covering it. Keeps for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.