Item to be used up: Dried Soya Beans, Apple Cider Vinegar
Cookbook: I am going to hand all credit to the following site which is extremely comprehensive with photographic illustrations all the way:
For a complete tofu novice, this site certainly held my hand, step by baby step. I did find that I had to keep scrolling through the images to find where I was up to each time, so for my purposes here I am keeping it extremely simple.
Recipe: Okara, Soy Milk, Whey and Tofu – in that order.
Yes this unassuming bag of beans sure packs a mighty punch in your house as it your kitchen explodes into a montage of pots, pans, food processors, colanders, muslins. Simultaneously your work surface shrinks to nothing and you find that ‘balancing’, ‘teetering’, ‘clutter’ and ‘on the brink of disaster’ are words that spring to mind. But at the end all trepidation melts and you find that little special gift, wrapped in muslin bringing a smile to your face. Also you have not one, but 4 versatile products to enjoy – and all from that bag of beans.
- Soak the beans in water overnight in about 2 litres of water, then rinse and drain.
- Split into 4 batches. (I found it easiest to weigh them into 300g as I had about 1200g).
- Liquidise each batch with 1 litre of water for 3-5 minutes (you may need to give your liquidiser a rest halfway through – mine did this itself and started some kind of weird disco thing with its lights as it cut out). This is where you may have some fun. It was at this point that I had milky liquid streaming from the spout, up through the hole in the lid and even out the bottom of my liquidiser. You may wish to go with smaller quantities rather than get through the tea towels that I did.
- It was at this point that I had to rush out and buy a muslin cloth. I chose one that is used for butter making as it looked like the ones I had seen used on the internet.
- Scald your muslin with boiling water and without burning your hands too much wring it out and place inside a colander that is then placed inside a large stockpot, or the largest saucepan that you have.
- Pour the liquid into the muslin and leave for 10 minutes.
- Pour the ‘milk’ that has strained through into a large saucepan or stockpot, leave the white mass inside the muslin, repeat with the other 3 batches.
- Give the last batch a real squeeze to get all of the milk out.
- What you are left with in the muslin is Okara (Product number 1). Remove it and store it in the fridge. It should be used as soon as possible as it only lasts a couple of days. Can be used in bread making, burgers, dumplings, or vege/nut loaves. It can also be made into tempeh.
- Put the ‘milk’ on to the hob and bring gently to a boil, on a medium to high heat, stirring to prevent sticking and burning. I read that this should take up to 40 minutes, but for me it seemed to only take about 10 minutes.
- When the milk starts to boil fast and rises rapidly there is a real chance that it will overflow. This is why the stock pot is advised. I managed to catch mine just right to prevent huge volcanic eruptions over my stove. I took mine off the heat for a few seconds and put it on a very low heat. Boil to cook for 10 mins
- It is important to cook soy products to ensure digestibility, this 10 minute boil is it seems enough (if anyone knows differently please advise).
- (Product Number 2) Soy milk can be used now, or continue on to make tofu.
- Leave the boiled soy milk to cool for 5 minutes.
- Then add 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar.
- Immediately coagulation should take place.
- Leave for 10 minutes (no more) for the curds to thicken
- Prepare your muslin again by cleaning (anyone know how? – apart from scraping the bits off and rinsing- can you put them in the regular washing machine? – or is this strictly no go?) and by scalding with more boiling water and wringing. Place into the colander and a large pan again.
- Strain the curdled milk through the muslin.
- Weigh the top by twisting the muslin firmly (yes it is still boiling hot) and resting the twist in the centre. Put a plate or assortment of water filled pots and pans on top- this is where things may become unstable and cause untold damage. Leave for 15 minutes.
- Jar up the watery whey that has strained through into the pan. It is very nutritious and can be used to soak grains, drunk in smoothies, added as liquid to make bread or even used to get your whites whiter in the wash. It will store for several weeks in the fridge.
- Finally unwrap the muslin and…my goodness when you see the perfectly formed curds that actually look like they should, I can tell you that it is worth the slog.