The Art of Making Homemade Tofu

When it comes to tofu, many commercial brands just don’t hit the mark. They can have a chalky taste and an unpleasantly spongy texture. But fear not, because making your own tofu at home is not only easy, but it also yields a clean and delicate flavor that melts in your mouth.

To make your own tofu, you’ll need to start with the right ingredients. Not all soy milk is suitable for curdling, especially the ones you find in mainstream supermarkets. They often go through additives and heat treatment to increase shelf stability, rendering them unable to curdle properly. So, unless you have access to freshly made soy milk from an Asian supermarket or health food store, it’s best to make your own.

Begin by soaking 8 oz of dried soybeans in water overnight. By the next day, the beans will have doubled in size and turned a pale yellow. After draining and rinsing the beans, blend them with three cups of water per cup of soaked beans. The mixture should be milky and mostly smooth.

Transfer the blended beans to a dutch oven and bring them to a boil. Then, simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. This step gives the soy milk a richer consistency and makes it more digestible. Remember to keep an eye on the pot to prevent boiling over, and stir occasionally to remove any fibrous bits of soybean.

Once the soy milk is ready, strain it through a colander lined with butter muslin or cheesecloth. Twist and squeeze the pulp to extract as much liquid as possible, using tongs to avoid burning yourself. After straining, you should have about 8 cups of smooth and silky soy milk.

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Now, it’s time to coagulate the soy milk and transform it into tofu. For this recipe, we’ll use nagari, a salt derived from seawater. Dilute 2 tbsp of nagari in half a cup of water. Bring the strained soy milk to a boil and stir it in a figure-8 motion to create a gentle churning effect. Pour in half of the nagari mixture and let the milk sit for 2 minutes. Then, sprinkle the remaining nagari over the surface of the milk and stir gently to avoid breaking up too many curds.

Cover the pot and let it sit undisturbed for 20 minutes. After this time, you should see white fluffy curds surrounded by clear yellow whey. Line a tofu mold with butter muslin or cheesecloth and place it in the sink. Gently transfer the soy milk curds to the mold, trying not to break up their structure. Apply gentle pressure using a weight, such as a box of chicken broth, on top of the tofu.

The pressing time will depend on how firm you like your tofu. For soft tofu, press it for about 20 minutes, and for firmer tofu, press it for up to 50 minutes. Once the tofu reaches your desired texture, remove it from the mold and submerge it in cold water for 10 minutes. This will help firm up the block of tofu, making it sturdier and easier to slice. You can store it in the refrigerator, submerged in water, for up to one week, changing the water daily to keep it fresh.

Now you have homemade tofu that surpasses any store-bought version. The process may seem a bit involved, but the result is well worth it. So why not give it a try and elevate your culinary skills to a new level?

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The Art of Making Homemade Tofu
The Art of Making Homemade Tofu

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Q: Can I make tofu with any type of soy milk?
A: Not all soy milk is suitable for making tofu. Mainstream supermarket brands often go through processes that render them unable to curdle. It’s best to use freshly made soy milk from an Asian supermarket or health food store, or make your own at home.

Q: What can I do with the leftover pulp (okara) after making tofu?
A: Okara is rich in fiber, calcium, and protein. Many cooks like to save it and use it in recipes such as quick bread, stir-fries, or cold deli-style salads.

Q: How long can I store homemade tofu?
A: Homemade tofu can be stored in the refrigerator, submerged in water, for up to one week. Make sure to change the water daily to keep the tofu as fresh as possible.


Making homemade tofu is a rewarding experience that allows you to enjoy a clean and delicate flavor, unlike any commercial brand. With a few simple steps and the right ingredients, you can create tofu that surpasses any store-bought version. So why not take the plunge and explore the world of homemade tofu? Your taste buds will thank you.

Check out the official website of Hook’d Up Bar and Grill for more culinary inspiration and recipes: Hook’d Up Bar and Grill

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