Homemade Tofu

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Do not fear the Chicks with Knives.  That’s the name of a couple of women who run a supper club.  They host dinners around town and their focus is on a sustainable, organic menu.  In fact, they call their food SOLE food – Sustainable, Organic, Local and Ethical.  These four or five course dinners are original and really delicious.  For a recent special vegan dinner, Chef Rachael Narins made homemade tofu.  Here she shares the recipe:

How to make fresh, soft, tofu

1 cup dried, organic, soybeans
Nigari (magnesium chloride)

(Soybeans are available in bulk at Whole Foods. The coagulant, nigari, can be purchased at Erewhon market on Beverly or at Nijiya market on Sawtelle. It can also be ordered online.)

Soak the dried beans in 3 cups of room temperature water for 6 hours. Change the water at least twice.

After six to eight hours the beans will have doubled in size. Drain and rinse.

In a blender, combine the (now) 2 cups of beans with four cups of water. Process for two minutes until smooth. (Will look like a milkshake!)

Strain soymilk through a fine-mesh strainer, or cheese-cloth, in to a sauce pan. Bring to a gentle simmer for ten minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir (making sure the milk does not burn on the bottom) continuously. Skim off the foam as it rises.

Meanwhile, dissolve 1 teaspoon of nigari into 4 ounces of room temperature water. (You will need 1 tablespoon if you plan on making firm tofu.)

After 10 minutes, check the temperature of the soymilk. It needs to be around 140F.

Pour the warm soy milk in to a shallow bowl, then slowly pour ¾ of the nigari solution in to the warm soy milk, stirring gently. Let the tofu rest for 2-3 minutes. If there are any milky areas after 2-3 minutes, sprinkle in the last 1/4 of the coagulant. Let rest 10 more minutes and you will have fresh, soft, tofu! (To make it firm you just add it to a cheesecloth lined mold and let it drain for an hour or so…)