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tofu/soymilk recipe

hello all!

i've received a couple requests for the recipes for tofu and soymilk, although
no one seems to have the answers yet to my original post! :)

i'm doing this from memory, so the measurements may not be quite right, though
it is not an exacting recipe anyways, so don't worry...


1 lb or ~ 2.5 c dried soybeans
LOTS of water
2 t epsom salts or nigari

a 2.5 gallon soup pot
a colander
cheesecloth or a muslin bag (1.5 ft X 1.5 ft)
a blender (food processor)


soak the beans overnight in plenty of water.  do NOT heat at all during this
step...it doesn't work!  drain the beans and cover with boiling water. place
1.5 c beans (use a slotted spoon) in the blender and start processing.  add 1 c
boiling water to the mixing beans through the top of the blender.  puree, then
pour into your soup pot (to which you've added 2 cups of water which has
already been brought to a boil).  process the remaining beans in a similar
manner till all the puree is added to the pot.  bring the puree to a boil
(careful here:  the puree will boil over FAST (anyone ever made beer?  same
thing!) so stir constantly and do not turn your back once it starts to steam at
all.  as soon as it's been brought to a rolling boil, reduce heat to a simmer,
cover and simmer for ~ 30 min.  stir as necessary to prevent the bottom from
burning (it'll give the product a burned flavor!).  
meanwhile arrange a colander in another big soup pot (about 1.5 gal is
convenient at this point) and line with your cloth bag.  when puree has cooked,
remove from heat and pour into the bag, collecting the resulting milk.  (this
is messy and not as easy as it sounds;  remember the liquid is HOT;  if you
have the patience, let the liquid cool before doing this, or add some ice (~ 4
c wouldn't be unreasonable).  squeeze the remaining liquid out of the fiber
left in the bag (BTW-  the fiber also has a name and is used in asian cooking. 
i won't get into that though).  Pour a cup of cold water into the bag to rinse
out the last of the milk.  repeat if you wish.  

the strained liquid is your soymilk.  the less water you use in the process,
the richer the milk, but the harder it is to work with, and the less you'll end
up with.  reserve as much of the milk as you wish for drinking/cooking.  the
rest can be converted to tofu.  

hopefully you've kept track of how much water you've added to this point. 
(about 10 c to the cooking point, maybe 4 more to strain...if you've removed
some milk you need to figure out approximately how many cups of beans were used
in the milk, and how many cups were allocated for the remaining tofu.  dilute
the milk down to about 22c water for 10 c beans (i think, i should double check
this, but again, it doesn't make that much of a difference anyway!)  bring the
watered-down milk to a boil (stir, stir, stir!) and remove from heat.  dissolve
the epsom salts (or other curdling agent (there are lots to choose from!) )  in
about 1 c water.  pour about 1/4 c into the hot liquid and stir well.  cover
and let rest for ~ 5 min.  take a look then and see if the curds have started
to settle out.  if not add another quarter cup of salty solution.  stir gently
and let sit ~ 15 min.  when all the curds have settled and the whey is a clear
yellow (not milky any more!)  gently pour off the whey through several layers
of cheesecloth (or muslin).  gently pour the curds into the cloth, and drain. 
gather up the cloth around the curds, and set a heavy weight on top of the
bundle for ~ 15 min.  this is your tofu!  once it has been pressed, transfer to
a container with water to cover and refridgerate up to a week.  change water
daily for freshness.  

i've found several books that publish this process.  one i know is The Book of
Tofu.  sorry i can't be more specific on the references, but just check out
your library or interlibrary loan...you'll find it, i'm sure.  the process may
even be listed on the web, just test those search engines!

it's a bit of a tedious process, but it's like making fresh bread for me; i
find it rewarding, and relaxing.  try some fresh soymilk from an asian market
first to see if you like the taste...it's very different from those processed
soymilk products.  i think you can flavor it with sweetener and vanilla to
approximate the commercial products.  

happy tofu/soymilk making to all.  feel free to email me with questions!