A classic tofu coagulated with Nigari (produced by removing salt from seawater). It's a slightly sweet tofu with a firm, yet still tender consistency and a slightly bitter aftertaste. It's best enjoyed pressed as a firm tofu.
1 cup dried soybeans
STEP 1: Make your soy milk
Soak 1 cup of dried soybeans overnight. Strain the soaking water. Puree the strained, softened beans with 2 quarts of water until smooth in a blender. Strain out the solids using a nut milk bag (save the "okara" solids, you can use it for cooking or baking).
In a large saucepan, heat the liquid to 212°F. Hold at this temperature for 20 minutes, using a thermometer to monitor.
STEP 2: Make your tofu
If you have taken a break after making soy milk, bring the milk back to 212°F. While heating, mix together 1 tsp of nigari with 1 cup water and stir until dissolved.
Once soy milk is simmering, turn off the heat and let the temperature reduce to 160-175F. Pour the prepared nigari solution slowly into the soy milk, stirring gently in a figure 8 pattern for about 10 seconds. When you notice that the soy milk is beginning to coagulate, cover the pot and let it sit undisturbed for 15 minutes. (The soy milk will separate into small white curds of tofu and an amber liquid aka whey).
Transfer the curds using a slotted spoon into a tofu press, or other creative strainer, lined with muslin cloth (a tight woven cheese cloth). Place a follower lid on the forming container, followed by small weight of 3-5 pounds (a jar of water or canned good can serve as the weight). Allow to sit for 20 minutes or so.
Empty the resulting block of tofu into a tub of cold water and allow it to sit for another hour, then store the tofu in the refrigerator and change the soaking water daily.
Image by: Jenny Hones