Monday, March 25, 2009
I tried making tofu a few months back and it was a total failure. I used Mark Bittman’s recipe from his vegetarian cookbook. He offers several options to curdle the soy milk and produce tofu including vinegar. I chose to use Epsom salt. It is used in a very small quantity and leaves no taste. Well, the soy milk was heated and the Epsom salt was added and…nothing. Not even a single curd! I was pissed and though maybe the recipe was just this bad, then it occurred to me to review the ingredient list of my “all natural”, Organic, “Plain” flavored soy milk. Well, it included stuff like stabilizers, sugar and preservatives. Stabilizers! I did not need the dam thing stabilized and I sure did not want it to be sweet. I needed it curdled.
Fast forward to this week. I picked up a gallon of real soy milk from a local Asian grocery store. Ingredients: Soybeans, water. This one worked great and in no time produced more than a pound of fresh tofu. I had no proper mold (aka an old cube shaped Tupperware with holes in it) ready, so I just used a regular strainer with cheese cloth. Then I weighed the tofu in the strainer with a round Tupperware top and some heavy cans.
The resulting dome of tufu was stored in a pot of cold water in the fridge. What did I do with it? The tofu was what I would call semi-firm and delicious, a bit nutty with a smooth texture. I made a small simple salad with some of it to taste the fresh flavor (cilantro, sesame oil and soy).
For dinner I braised some with a mixture of soy, caramel sauce, ginger, garlic, herbs and Thai eggplant. I served it with soba noodles sautéed with cabbage. Very good stuff.