Clara Casal Georgiou, Nadja Nolte

Okara as a by-product of Tofu making

Make your own Tofu from one batch of Soybeans

Why not savour the amazing qualities of soybeans by making tofu at home! 

Did you know that soybeans are largely indigestible? This is due to the presence of an enzyme inhibitor called protease trypsin inhibitor, which interferes with protein digestion. Soybeans also contain anti-nutritional factors such as phytic acid.

The processing of soybeans is therefore an important and necessary step to inactivate this enzyme inhibitor and allow for us to utilise the high protein content of soybeans. 

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Curdling soy milk for tofu - Filippo Iannone

To make tofu you will need the following:

  • Soybeans 1kg
  • Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 4 Tbsp
  • Food processor / blender
  • Cheese cloth
  • Pots and plates

The method consists of seven simple steps:

  1. Soaking: Let the soybeans soak overnight for about 18-20 hours.
  2. Blending: Blend soybeans with abundant amounts of water until smooth.

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    Blending soyabeans - Filippo Iannone

  3. Straining: Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth into a pot.

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    Straining soy liquid through a cheesecloth - Filippo Iannone


    -> Step 2 and 3 and can repeated to extract more soy milk from beans
  4. Heating: Place pot on medium heat and simmer the soy milk until it reaches a max of about 82C, making sure to keep stirring while it heats.
  5. Curdling: Add the gypsum into the milk - the amount depends on how much soy milk is extracted in Step 3 (roughly 4 Tbsp for every 2L of soy milk). The gypsum is used to curdle the milk, so do not stir as this will impede the curdling process. Moving the liquid slowly with a spoon along the edges will help you see if the curdling is working. Be patient, it may take a while!
    Lemon juice, vinegar or Epsom salt have also been used in other recipes as an alternative to gypsum.

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    Adding gypsum to soy milk - Filippo Iannone


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    Curdling soy milk for tofu - Filippo Iannone



  6. Pouring: Once you see most of the liquid has curdled, pour gently into the cheesecloth / mould and press with a weight (for example, a heavy pot) to release the liquid. As you can see below - this can be easily made at home without the need for a shop-bought press.


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    Pressing the tofu with chopping board and weight - Filippo Iannone



  7. Pressing: For silky soft tofu - press for 10-12 minutes. For harder, more chewy tofu - press for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Gently remove the tofu from the cheesecloth and voilà! You're homemade tofu is ready.

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    Tofu - Filippo Iannone

Important to note: The leftover soyabean pulp in the cheesecloth is called okara. This nutritious byproduct should not be discarded as it has amazing properties. It can be used for biscuits, tempeh, burgers and much more. Check out our own Okara Tempeh recipe here.

       

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Fresh okara - Filippo Iannone