Monday, December 7, 2015

DIY Tofu Kit!

I've always wanted to make my own from-scratch tofu. But the process seems a little intimidating. You have to make soymilk from soaked soybeans, and then you have to strain them. And then there's the issue with the tofu press. I have one designed to press water out of store-bought tofu, but I've no idea if it would work for homemade tofu. One homemade tofu recipe on the Food Network's website actually starts with these instructions for creating your own tofu press: "Build a wooden frame from finished 3/4-inch thick lumber."

Seriously. I'm a cook, not a carpenter. So that recipe is out of the question. But that's okay because Morinaga has come out with a Make-Your-Own Tofu Kit that takes all that hard work out of making tofu. They sent me the supplies to review, and it's so simple! Only two ingredients.

If you order the kit, it comes with a momen, a special tofu press. But they didn't send one with the sample kit because you don't need a momen to make silken tofu. No special equipment is required. Well, you'll need a small ramekin or two. But that's something many people already have.

To start, you pour the soymilk (the stuff in the white box) into a bowl, and then you add the nigari (the stuff in the clear packet). Nigari is another name for magnesium chloride, which acts as a coagulant. 

After stirring to combine, you pour the milk mixture into a large ramekin (or two small ramekins). I went with one large ramekin. I considered using my Tofu Xpress press, but the receptacle has to be heat-resistant, and my press is plastic. So that was a no-go. My ramekins are heat resistant though.

As you're pouring the liquid in the ramekin, you'll notice that it's already thicker than the soymilk you started with. The nigari instantly gets to work. But the next step — steaming — really seals the deal. You place the ramekin in a pot with a little water in the bottom, making sure the water level isn't high enough to seep into the tofu. Then you cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

When it's done, the tofu will appear pretty firm in the ramekin. You can touch it lightly, and it'll spring back. But remember — it's silken tofu, so if you poke it, you will stick your finger in it.

Then you just let it cool for awhile, turn it out onto a plate, and voila! Fresh, homemade silken tofu.

You can do all sorts of things with silken tofu — add it to creamy sauces, make it into vegan omelets, toss it in smoothies, or lightly bread and fry it. This tofu is really soft, so it's probably best for using in creamy applications. But I was craving miso soup last night, so I cubed the silken tofu and added it to a pot of Vegetable Miso Soup. Since the tofu is very soft, some pieces did fall apart. But for the most part, they held their shape, as you can see here.

The homemade tofu has an amazing flavor. It tastes more like fresh soybeans than storebought tofu does. Some storebought silken tofu doesn't have a taste at all. But this stuff is far superior. I'd definitely make this again. It's so simple and the flavor is worth the extra effort.

1 comment:

Cadry's Kitchen said...

How fun! I love science experiments that culminate in dinner.