Here's a unique Recipe of the Week - Homemade Tofu!
When we were at my parent's for Thankgiving, my sister wanted to learn how to make tofu and I sat in on the lesson. Little did I know I was as interested and I ended up helping quite a bit, due to my sister's "delicate condition." Quick side note - yes, my sister is pregnant with their first child and boy, is everyone excited! Our boys have been praying for their cousin, aunt and uncle; it touches my heart so.
This recipe is time consuming, but tastes so much better than what you'd find in the stores. Apparently, tofu in it's natural state is very perishable and commercially available tofu tastes plastic-y, according to my parents. I have also wondered what kind of additives and preservatives are in commercially available tofu to make them last on store shelves.
My parents double this recipe when they make tofu, but I don't think most of us have stock pots large enough to accommodate this recipe doubled.
Ingredients & Necessary supplies:
2 1/2 c. dried soybeans
2 T. Epsom salt
Large cotton bag with a narrow opening
Large muslin or poly piece of fabric
Large stock pot
Flat paddle-type spatula
Basket with drainage holes
Soak 2 1/2 c. soybeans overnight in about 10 cups of water. Rinse beans and water until clear.
Blend with two times as much cold water as beans. (1 ladle of beans, 2 ladles of cold water)
Pour bean mixture into a large cotton/poly bag. Repeat with remaining soaked beans.
Close the bag (or hold the opening shut) as you extract as much of the liquid as you can out of the cotton bag by squeezing and rubbing the bag. Remove extracted liquid into a large stock pot
Pour warm water into the bag and continue extracting liquid from the bag, then removing extracted liquid into pot.
When all of the liquid is extracted, the soybean remains should be dry and crumbly.
Bring the soybean liquid to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and turn heat off for 10 - 15 minutes. No peeking!
Dissolve 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in 2 cups of water.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of Epsom water over the surface of the soybean liquid. Stir once using flat-paddle type of spatula. Cover for 10 minutes. The Epsom water and heat will start to separate the soybean curd from the water. When you stir once, you will start to feel some resistance from the curd.
Repeat with all of the Epsom water. The water and soybean curd will start to separate, the water on top will be straw-colored and clear.
Ladle off as much water as you can. Moisten a large muslin or poly cloth, line your basket (we used an organizing basket with "latticed" sides for the excess moisture to escape) with the moistened cloth. Pour tofu into the "mold," then fold excess cloth over the top. Lay a heavy weight that fits onto the surface to drain out the rest of the water. Let sit overnight.
The next morning, invert tofu onto a cutting board, cut into portion sizes. Place tofu into a container and add enough fresh water so that it just floats. If tofu isn't prepared and eaten right away, drain and add fresh cool water every other day to keep fresh. Tofu will keep fresh with this method for 2 to 3 weeks.
Fresh tofu is hard work, I won't deny it, but the taste is so worth it.
Chal muh-guh-sae yo!