Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tofu making

In an attempt to clean out the cupboards as well as become more self sufficient I have started making tofu. My parents-in-law grow soybeans and bought a special machine which makes soy milk from the soybeans that they never use and therefore gave to me. It has been sitting collecting dust for too long now and so I decided to try making tofu - two times, two successes which just goes to show it is not a very difficult process!
For anyone interested the basic procedure is:
  1. Take a cup full of dried soybeans and soak them overnight.
  2. Put them into the machine and let it do its stuff. Or if you have no machine you can boil the beans, put them through the blender then through a cloth to separate the milk off (far too complicated for me!).
  3. Let the soy milk cool till exactly (or approximately in my case) 75 degrees then add a couple of tablespoons of a special salt brine that curdles the soy milk. Stir it then leave it for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add another couple of tablespoons of the salt brine - this time do not stir it! Leave for another 10 minutes.
  5. Scoop out the curdled bits (not such a nice job after the recent memory of sick children....) and put them into a wooden mould lined with gauze.
  6. Put a can of pineapple on top (I'm sure any can would do!) to remove any excess water and ... voila - fresh tofu.

We had another day of quite heavy snow today so it was a nice activity to do with the children. Tomorrow we are going to try using black soybeans..... the joys of living in the countryside of Japan never cease!


  1. Wow. Do you end up with momen or kinu type? and can you do anything with the whey?

    I had Caspian yoghurt going during the summer but it's too cold to do now. :(

    If you're feeling particularly patient (2 years to grow the potatoes) konyaku is pretty amazing to make, too.

    LOVE your snowman!! We get really dry powdery snow so not really snowmanable. :(

  2. To thefukases,
    I really don't know what kind of tofu I end up with.... I think it is probably the momen type, but it is a bit hard to tell! Today I squashed too much moisture out of it so it would have been great for tofu hamburgers etc., but not so great for eating just like that.
    I think you can probably do things with the whey, but for now it goes down the sink. I do use the remains of the mushed up beans for cooking though. Any ideas for using the whey would be greatly appreciated!
    We still make Caspian yoghurt every day - I just make it directly in the milk cartons and put it against the hot water pot... it works perfectly right through the winter.
    Konyaku.... might be worth a try!

  3. God, make your own tofu! Very rural Japan. I'm am going to have to get more creative, especially now that I have a lot of time on my hands due to ignoring of children all day ;)

  4. Yes, gaijinwife, you'll be able to separate the milk yourself, and chop and collect your own wood in the forest, no worries with an ombo-hime or two.

    My girls will be insanely jealous if I show them that snowman.