For some reason, about a month ago, I became obsessed with trying to make tofu at home. When I mentioned this to the Missus, she just asked me, "Why"? Good question, I really didn't know why. So I looked over a few tofu making recipes in books I own, and looked over some online resources like this one. They were all a bit different, and many of the recipes used vinegar, and or lemon juice, which I decided not to use.
So basically the recipe had three ingredients, soy beans, nigari, and water.
Nigari is the coagulating agent used to make tofu. Nigari (literally "bitter" in Japanese) is mainly Magnesium Chloride and a few other minerals. I purchased the bottle of Nigari, and the Organic Soybeans from Nijiya, and had them sitting around for a few weeks. Finally, one weekend afternoon I decided to finally try and make tofu.
I first placed 2 cups of soybeans in a bowl and completely covered with water. I soaked the bean overnight in the frig.
The next morning I brought a pot of water to a boil, and drained the soybeans. I poured 3/4 f a cups into the blender and covered with 1 1/2 cups of boiling water and blended into a finely. I poured this slurry into a pot, and repeated the process until I had processed all the soy beans.
I brought the pot to a boil, than reduced to a simmer stirring constantly. I let this liquid simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes I strained this liquid through a cheesecloth lined colander.
I drained the cheesecloth and set aside the pulp, also known as Okara, the very nutritious pulp. The Missus enjoyed a simple stir fry of okara and green onions. What remained was the soy milk.
I divided the soy milk into two portions; half for tofu, the other half for the Missus's drinking pleasure. I poured the tofu potion into a pot, and brought it up to about 160 degrees F, and removed it from the heat. Because I wanted a rather firm tofu I added 4 teaspoons of Nigari while stirring the soy milk. I than stirred the soy milk in a figure 8 pattern briefly, covered the pot and let sit for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes were up, I checked for "curd-age", and ended up adding another 2 teaspoons nigari, and covered the pot for another 5 minutes. Satisfied with the amount of curds, using a soup ladle, I strained the liquid through a cheesecloth lined colander(I don't have a tofu box).
I folded the cheesecloth over the curds, and placed some weights on the curds, and let the whey drain out for 15 minutes. Because I enjoy my tofu cold, and placed the tofu "dome" in a container of water, and chilled for an hour. After which I enjoyed the fruits of my labor.
I found that I enjoyed the extra "beany" flavor of the home made tofu, while the Missus enjoyed a glass of soy milk on ice. Though I don't know if I'll do this again in the future, it was a fun exercise. I've gained a measure of appreciation for that humble block of tofu.....