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How To Make Tofu

As a part-time herbivore, and a woman who tries to lead a low-carbon lifestyle, I rely heavily on tofu for my source of iron and protein. When bought in store though, tofu almost always comes in non-recyclable plastic wrapping.

Reducing plastic waste and reducing CO2 emissions, while eating tofu, can be achieved, it turns out. After endeavouring to find planet-friendly packaged tofu, I was led around in circles and eventually to the kitchen.

Making tofu seemed daunting at first. However it turned out to be a lot simpler than what I had first anticipated. Here's how to do it.

Equipment:

1 large casserole dish

2 clean cheesecloths or clean woven fabric. (I used 2 clean undyed pieces of scrap fabric that I had in my sewing kit. Make sure they're big enough to wrap a 10x15cm block of tofu).

2 tofu presses

1 wooden spoon

1 large pot

1 slotted spoon

Ingredients:

2 litres soy milk (I bought soy milk from an Asian grocery store. Make sure to buy soy milk which includes only soybeans and water. A lot of soy milk is packed full of sugar and therefore not suitable for tofu. Instead of buying it from the store, you can also make your own soy milk.)

1 Tablespoon Epsom salt (you can also use Gypsom or Nigari)

NB. use additional Epsom salt for firmer tofu.

Method:

  1. Place tofu presses in casserole dish and line with cheesecloths or fabric and set aside.
  2. Pour soy milk into a large pot and bring to boil on high heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Dissolve Epsom salt in half a cup of warm water.
  5. Remove soy milk from heat.
  6. Add half of the Epsom salt mixture to soy milk while gently stirring.
  7. Use your wooden spoon to stop the soy milk from moving, then add remaining mixture while stirring gently in a figure 8 motion.
  8. Once the mixture curds (it will appear gluggy, similar to curdled milk) cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
  9. Use a slotted spoon to lift out the curds (it is now tofu!) and place in lined tofu presses.
  10. Cover with cheesecloth or fabric, place a heavy flat object on each and let sit for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove weighted objects and carefully place wrapped tofu in a bowl of cold water.
  12. Carefully remove cheesecloth or fabric and voilĂ ! You've made tofu!


NB. You can use leftover Epsom salt from your tofu to fertilise your plants or have a relaxing bath. Just read the package for instructions.

So, you've made tofu, now what? Here is our guide to cooking the perfect tofu. Make sure to also check out our delicious tofu recipes including tofu scramble and our beetroot tart with marinated tofu.

Read this next: 5 plant based lunch box recipes

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