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Home > Vegetarian Era > Delicacies > Handmade Tofu
Recipe Provided by Hsihu and Kaohsiung Centers, Formosa


(Pic. 1)
600g (21oz) Soybeans
20g (0.7oz) Edible anhydrous calcium sulfate (Gypsum), the portion may vary depending on
the purity of the calcium sulfate used.

Pic. 1

1. Cleanse the soybeans and soak in 2700ml water for about 6 hours in summer, when the room temperature is above 26 °C(80°F), or about 12 hours in winter. If you want to shorten the time, warm water can be used. Rinse the soaked soybeans, and drain the water out.

2. Blend the soaked soybeans in several portions with 4200ml water. (Pic. 2) (Note: the soymilk used for making tofu should be thicker than the one for drinking.)

Pic. 2
3. Use a piece of cheesecloth to filter the soymilk. (Pic. 3, 4)
Pic. 3
Pic. 4

4. Cook the soymilk in a pot over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the fragrance is noticeable. Turn to low heat and continue to cook until boiling. (Pic. 5) Since the soymilk contains a high percentage of protein, it needs to be stirred constantly from the beginning when cooking. Pay attention to stir from the bottom and stir fast so that the soymilk will not burn. Controlling the heat is a very important step in the process of cooking the soymilk. When the thickness of the soymilk is correct, and

the heat is applied timely, the soymilk will have a good smell, even before boiling. After boiling, simmer for 10 minutes over low heat and the fragrance will become stronger. If the soymilk is cooked well, the tofu made from it will retain the soya fragrance.

Pic. 5

5. Let the cooked soymilk cool down until approx. 85 °C (185 °F) to be ready for making soya pudding. (Pic. 6)

Pic. 6
There are two keys to making successful soya pudding.
First, the amount of calcium sulfate needs to be accurate:
The edible calcium sulfate has to be measured precisely. If a little more or less is used, the result would be different. 600g (21oz) dry soybeans require 20g (0.7oz) calcium sulfate. Calcium sulfate works as coagulator for protein. Even if you do not add correct portion of water when blending the soymilk, you can still make successful soya pudding because no matter how thick the soymilk is, 600g (21oz) soybeans contain a fixed amount of protein, which would coagulate perfectly with 20g (0.7oz) calcium sulfate. Of course, if the thickness is correct, the soya pudding will be more fragrant and look nicer.
Second, the way to mix soymilk and calcium sulfate needs to be followed exactly: Dissolve measured calcium sulfate into 250ml water. Shake it well because calcium sulfate tends to sink. The next step is called “flushing the soymilk” which allows soymilk and calcium sulfate to mix thoroughly in a short time. There are two ways to “flush”. The one introduced here is simpler and more suitable for making smaller portions. Use a deep bucket to prevent soymilk from spilling out when “flushing.” Place calcium sulfate and water mixture into the bucket, shake well and place the bucket on the table . Before the calcium sulfate starts sinking, hold the soymilk about 60cm (24”) above the bucket and quickly pour into it. (Pic. 7) The calcium sulfate will thoroughly mix with soymilk in a
short time. Very important: Do not move or stir the mixture at all. This method promises 100 percent success. As long as the amount of the calcium sulfate is accurate and the method for flushing is correct, the soya pudding will have nice light yellow color and smooth, soft and elastic texture when it is done. If the soymilk is cooked well and has a good aroma, and the soya pudding is made successfully, you will surely have delicious tofu.
Pic. 7

6. Soya pudding will coagulate within 5 minutes after “flushing”. Gently break it into pieces and place it into a mold lined with cheesecloth. (Pic. 8.) (The mold has to have the ability to drain water, the size is 30cm*30cm*12cm (height) ). Cover the top of the pudding with the cheesecloth and put on the lid. Notice that the lid must fit inside the mold and not rest on the top (Pic. 9, 10). Place heavy objects, weighing about 1.5 Kg (3 pounds), on top of the lid to hold down the lid for 30 minutes to make tofu (Pic. 11). You may use clean rocks, bricks, or a good size container filled with water. Make sure the objects are placed evenly to give a balanced weight. The softness of tofu depends on the time the weight is left on. Leave the weights on for 25 minutes to make soft tofu, 35-40 minutes to make hard tofu, 30 minutes to make perfect medium soft tofu (Pic.12). You may remove the lid and gently press the corners and the middle of the tofu to test the softness. If it is not ready, replace the lid and weights again.


Pic. 8
Pic. 9
Pic. 10
Pic. 11

Notes :
*. For people who have never seen soya pudding, soya pudding looks similar to any pudding. If the soya pudding made is soft and elastic like any other pudding, it means it is successful. You need to adjust the portion of calcium sulfate depending on the quality and purity of it. If the soya pudding is too creamy and sticky, it means there is not enough calcium sulfate; if the soya pudding is broken in pieces, and has water and protein separated, or the protein sinks, it means there is too much calcium sulfate.

*. To make tofu, the edible calcium sulfate should be used, instead of the industrial one. The edible calcium sulfate is used as a kind of Chinese medicine and is available in Chinese drug stores, Chinese shops, or other online stores. Calcium sulfate is also called Fibrosum or Gypsum in academic field. Anhydrous calcium sulfate contains CaSO4 , while hydrous calcium sulfate contains CaSO4.2H2O and is semi-transparent. If only hydrous calcium sulfate is available, you may fry it in a pan or heat it in a microwave to get rid of the water ( 2H2O ) .

*. The remaining soy from making soymilk can be used for making vegetarian hamburger.

*. The uncooked tofu can be soaked into water and stored in the refrigerator for a few days as long as the water is changed everyday.

*. One may use a basket to be
the mold to make tofu, and use some wood pieces for the lid. The heavy objects can be placed on top of the wood pieces. In order to have the weight spread evenly on the tofu, the wood pieces
need to fit the inside of the basket. (Pic. 13,14,15)

Pic. 13
Pic. 14
Pic. 15
Lemon Tofu
If calcium sulfate is not available, lemon juice can be used. 250ml lemon juice is needed for 600g dry soybeans. However, using calcium sulfate is easier to make successful tofu. If lemon juice is used, one should wait until the cooked soymilk cools down to 40 °C (104 °F ). And then quickly pour the soymilk into the bucket that contains 250ml lemon juice in it to have them mixed thoroughly. Very important: Do not move or stir the mixture at all. Let the mixture set for 5 minutes to coagulate into soya pudding, then continue to follow Step 6 in the directions.

Demonstration film: Homemade Tofu ( 340K, download)
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