With a little practice, you can make excellent tofu at home.
Swampy's quick tofu recipe.
1c dried soybeans (get these from your local yuppie health food vendor)
1T gypsum (get this from a hobby shop, or mail order)
You'll also need some equipment:
3. weight (Swampy used a sour cream container full of water)
4. a diary thermometer to measure the liquid temperature accurately below boiling point
5. If you have a fascination with square tofu, a tofu mold
6. A clean kitchen (the first time Swampy made tofu he made a mess -- once you are used to working with the ingredients it becomes much cleaner).
Soak soybeans for 6-12 hours, until they are tender to taste.
Put soybeans and enough water in your blender for a little under 1 qt.
Blend, starting on low, up to high. Blend until you can't see any more large bits of soybeans, and the water is whitish. Takes the resulting liquid, and strain it through your strainer, then through cheesecloth. Squeeze the liquid out.
Throw away the pulp (or use it to fertilize your garden).
Now, you have soymilk! You can cook it and add some sugar and just enjoy, or you can continue.
Put the soymilk on the stove and gently heat it until it reaches 180 degrees. In another pan, heat up 1T gypsum in 1/4 cup water.
When you are ready, remove the soy milk from heat, pour in the gypsum, and give it one and only one stir (this is really important, you need to keep everything still or it won't coagulate!)
Let the mixture sit 20 minutes. Now you have soy pudding.
Pour the pudding into a cheesecloth lined strainer and drain off the liquid. Gather the tofu into the cheesecloth -- or use your tofu molds. Weight the cheesecloth in the strainer or mold and wait 2 hours.
There are several other ingredients you can use to coagulate. The only difference is the temperature in which you need to heat the soy milk. The advantage of gypsum is that it goes straight to your bones, its like taking a calcium supplement.
An interesting (additional) note...the leftovers from the soymilk is called okara. It turns out that there are a number of recipes that use it. One enterprising person adapted falafel to use okara rather than chick peas. Swampy might try it when he has some next time.
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