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soymilk recipe

Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 09:28:13 -0800


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!

kwvegan vegan