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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.

STEP 1: Make Your Soy Milk

Making your own tofu requires homemade soy milk as most store bought soy milks contain additives like preservatives and stabilizers. Alternatively, you may be able to find freshly made soy milk that only contain soybeans, water and (optional) salt at your local Asian grocer if you're lucky!


1 cup dried soybeans

2 quarts filtered water for soaking 

2 quarts filtered water for blending 

Soak soybeans in 2 quarts of water overnight. Strain and rinse soybeans. Add softened soybeans and 2 fresh quarts of water to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture a nut milk bag. Save the soy pulp, aka okara, for use in baking!

Heat the strained soymilk in a heavy-bottom pan to 212ºF (100ºC). Remove any yuba (tofu skin) from the surface of the milk (and save/eat the yuba - it's so good). Hold this temperature for 20 minutes, using a thermometer to monitor. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

STEP 2: Make Your Tofu


2 quarts homemade soy milk

1 cup of filtered water

If you have taken a break after making soy milk, reheat the the milk to approximately 165-170F. Or let your freshly made soy milk cool to that temperature range. Remove any yuba (tofu skin) from the surface of the milk (and save/ eat the yuba).

In a small bowl, mix together 1 tsp of Nigari coagulant with 1 cup water and stir until dissolved.

Once soy milk reaches ~165F, pour the prepared nigari solution slowly into the soy milk, stirring gently in a figure 8 pattern for about 10 seconds. (Do not over mix or stir in a circular motion as it will result in poor curd development). You should notice the soy milk beginning to curdle. 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.

Homemade tofu block

Image by: Jenny Hones

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