View Full Version : Making tofu

21st April 2002, 17:59
Does anyone know what bittern is? I thought that tofu was just made from soaking and boiling soybeans but then I found out that it requires something to solidify it. I asked the guys at a grocery store but they are dumb and had no idea what I was talking about.
Or is there anything else I can use?

John Lindsey
21st April 2002, 19:03
I think gypsum works but not as traditional as sea brine..

Joseph Svinth
22nd April 2002, 03:42
Some recipes. (I haven't tried 'em, but they should get you going in the right direction.)


John Lindsey
22nd April 2002, 04:13
BTW, has anyone ever tried tempeh? I prefer it to tofu and it tastes great. I think it is better than tofu for you...


22nd April 2002, 17:29
Tempeh is great. It contains vitamin b12 amongst other things which tofu doesn't. Has a nice nutty flavour at times. BTW you can make tempeh at home if you build a little incubator.

The tofu which I have made in the past is amongst the best I have tasted. Nothing beats homemade tofu for freshness! The main drawback is that it is very time-consuming and labour intensive for the amount of tofu that you produce, especially in light of the inexpensive cost of store bought tofu. I live in an area where a large number of stores carry quality organic tofu. Maybe some of you don't have that luxury!

Keep an eye out for THE BOOK OF TOFU and THE BOOK OF TEMPEH (also THE BOOK OF MISO). These explain it all, with great pictures to boot. I would love to make my own miso someday.


23rd April 2002, 11:38
Would that make the tofu taste salty?
Is gypsum sold in grocery stores?
And lastly would kuzu root starch work? It says that it is used to thicken things up. I still have a bowl of soy milk in the refrigerator and dont know how to make it into tofu

23rd April 2002, 18:17
Hello Glen,

It's been awhile (meaning that I can't remember) but I think that the special salt is sometimes called "nigiri." Mine came from a health food mail order company (maybe you can find one on the internet). You will also need a pressing box and a piece of cheeseclothe-like material. I'm sorry that my memory is so foggy. Perhaps you could drink the soymilk and try again when you get the rest of the materials? Soymilk can be flavored if you don't like it plain.

The tofu does not taste particularly salty.

I don't think that kuzu would give the right effects.


24th April 2002, 01:48
I don't know if straight sea salt is used traditionally in Japan or not. I recall somebody telling me the leftovers after a certain process are used, I believe this is what makes up "bittern."

Commercial tofu is curdled using calcium sulphate. This is the same thing as the mineral gypsum. I wonder whether using pharmaceutical/food-grade gypsum is overkill. Garden-grade gypsum used to help break up clay soils, as a lime substitute, or to add calcium to the soil is (relatively) cheap and many of us have a sack of it sitting around. The concern won't be sanitation but impurities.

But then again I wonder how bad such impurities could be. This stuff is mined, not synthesized.

-Ben Kalafut

18th May 2002, 22:20
I would'nt suggest making your own tofu. The quanities are about the same, and so is the price(about $2 for 2.5 cups of beans, and alittle over $2 for pre-made). Plus, handmade tofu tastes like play-doh. However, you can made it alot firmer than pre-made, by keeping weight on the curds for about 1/2 hour. Oh, and for the coagulant, epsom salt[aka nagiri], lemon juice, or vinegar can be used. I use the epsom salt, because it is flavorless. Once you make the soy milk, just keep 2 cups in there and add 2tsp of epsom salt. Or 1/2 cup vinegar, if you prefer. Just make sure the temp is above 185 when you do this, then stir it in. Place the lid on the pan and let it sit for about 7 mins. Take off the lid and you will notice the curd sitting on the bottom of a bunch of yellow liquid(whey). Just strain the curd through a cheesecloth and put a weight on it. Then after you're done, put it in a bowl or tupperwear, fill it with cold water, and you can preserve it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Or you can try the recipes from iga ninja 5(forgot the url, but you can look it up on www.google.com)
Some day I am going to try making tofu from black soy beans.