Tofu #1

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
Dry soy beans
Water
Nigari (a salt by-product; available at natural food stores)

Step One: Sort the dry soy beans. Measure out about two cups for two blocks of your tofu end-product. Wash the beans, then cover them with about 3" of water and refrigerate overnight.

Step Two: Using your blender, add about 1 cup of beans with about two cups of water (you can use some of the water from the soaked beans, then make up the difference with ordinary tap water). Grind the mixture in the blender until the beans are about the texture of coarse coffee grounds. Line the strainer with cheesecloth, then put the strainer over the pot. Pour the mixture into the strainer, then squeeze until dry. Reserve the grounds, which will become your okara. Repeat with remaining beans.

Step Three: Put the pot containing the strained milky mixture on the stove and stirring constantly as you bring to boiling. Watch this carefully, as this has a tendency to boil over very quickly. Reduce heat and keep at a low boil for about ten minutes. Step Four: Add nigari--about 1-½ teaspoons--to the pot, and stir well.

You'll see the milky mixture forming curds. When the mixture seems to have curdled (about a minute), remove from heat.

Step Five: Line strainer with a clean piece of cheesecloth, and pour in the curdled mixture. Discard the water. Wrap up the curdled mixture in the cheesecloth, and squeeze tightly to remove any remaining water.

Step Six: Let the curdled mixture (your tofu) firm up as it cools, about 20 minutes. Once cooled, you can remove the cheesecloth and store the tofu in water in the fridge until it's ready to be used.

Step Seven: To prepare the okara, spread the soy grounds on a cookie sheet, and bake for about 20 minutes in a250-degree (F) oven. Check it to make sure it turns a nice golden brown color and doesn't burn.

Note: This recipe makes a super-firm tofu that's great for stir-fried recipes, when other types of tofu would break up into unrecognizable pieces. I like this tofu especially for tostadas -- I stir-fry onions, peppers, tofu, turmeric, cumin, garlic, and oregano for the filling.

JMORLEY@...

(JANICE MORLEY)

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