• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 1 servings


  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Vegetarian, Main Dish

 Ingredients List

  • 2 c Washed light-colored;
  • -(yellow or beige) dry
  • -soybeans, preferably from
  • -someplace with turnover;
  • -beans over a year old make
  • -for poor flavor and a low
  • -yield.
  • 16 qt Boiling water
  • Coagulant; (see below)


Cover beans with water and let soak 10-12 hours in a cool room, until the
beans, when split, have flat surfaces and break easily. They will be the
same pale color in the center as at the edgesif there are sunken yellow
spots, soak them longer. This is THE crucial step, so start checking
regularly at around 8 hours. Don't undersoak, and don't let them ferment
(bubbles rising).

Drain the beans. Bring 16 quarts of water to boil in a large deep pan. Turn
off heat.

Blenderize one cup of beans with 1 1/2 cups *hot* tap water till well
blended (or use 3/4 c. cold tap water and add 3/4 c. boiling water from the
kettle.) The resulting mix will look kind of like wet cream of wheat.
Continue to blend the beans 1 cup at a time and add the mix to the water in
the large pan. Stir.

Now you need two big (2-foot) squares of coarse, clean cotton cloth. Old
flour sacking works very well. So do 2 non-terrycloth kitchen towels sewn
together tightly. Don't use cheeseclothyou need a tighter weave than
thatbut be sure the cloth is coarse enough to poke a pin through easily,
or you'll greatly reduce yield. (If cloths smell even a little like scented
detergent or fabric softener, re-wash in something unscented and rinse

Line a large colander with one square of cloth (moistened), and park it
over yet another large pan. Canners work well. Pour the stuff from the
first big pan into the cloth, and when it's done draining, gather up cloth
to squeeze out ALL the soymilk. Squeeze very well, then mash bag even more
with a potato masher or the bottom of a sturdy bottle. You now have raw
soymilk and okara (what's in the cloth). Set okara aside or freeze it; it's
good in bread & muffins.

Put the soymilk back on the stove and over med-low heat bring it to a
simmer. This takes awhile, but you don't want to burn it. Stir often. It
will cling to the pan, and skin over on top just like milk does. Bring to a
simmering boil and boil for 7 minutes. (NOTE: If it gets a good "skin" on
top, remove it in one piece with a chopstick. This is _yuba_, used in Japan
as a meat substitute. Fried up in butter or oil, it resembles chicken

While the soymilk cooks, make up the coagulant: most commonly 2 teaspoons
epsom salts in 1 cup warm water, or (better) 2 tsp. of _nigari_ from the
healthfood store in 1 cup warm water, or (makes extra-delicious tofu) 1 1/2
c. clean seawater.

Take the soymilk off the heat and *sprinkle* about 1/2 the coagulant
solution *gently* over the soymilk. Cut throughdon't stirthe soymilk to
distribute the coagulant. Let stand for a few minutes. The curds should
begin to form (watching this is cool!) Sprinkle 1/2 the remaining coagulant
in the same manner. Repeat as needed (you may need to mix up more solution)
until you have white curds in pale yellow wheyno creaminess left.

Now take a colander (or, better, a Japanese-style pressing boxsee the
book cited below if you want to get fancy and build one.) Place this over a
large pan, and line it with the second square of moistened cloth. Drain off
as much whey as you can from the curds without disturbing them too much,
and save it.

Then gently ladle the curds into the colander or box. Cover the tofu with
the cloth, put a board or plate on top and weight it down with about a
3-pound weight for 15-20 minutes. Submerge colander or box in cool water
and invert carefully, letting wrapped tofu slide out. Gently remove the
cloth underwater and let tofu sit in water 3-5 minutes. Slip a plate under
it for support and lift out.

Store tofu in water in the refrigerator, changing water daily, or freeze it
for an interesting texture change. Tofu takes a little organizing, but the
results are great and it's CHEAP.

NOTE: Tofu whey is great stuff. It's good for your skin, gentle enough to
wash babies in (natural detergent + lecithin), makes good liquid for bread
baking, and is a natural wood polish and wonderful fertilizer. If you're
still with me, I'd suggest you go out and buy _The Book of Tofu_ by William
Shurtleff & Akiko Aoyagi; it's great.

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