Food Preparation: How To Make Tofu

If you like tofu, you can make it and enjoy it anytime you want.

Tofu was first made in Asia hundreds of years ago, and it is still today a staple in daily diets there. Today, it is a popular food in the United States as well. It's made of either soy beans or soy milk. Tofu is high in protein, and it also contains iron and B - vitamins. It does not contain cholesterol, so it is a suitable food for anyone who is consuming a low fat diet.

The first step to make tofu is to purchase a pound of soy beans at your local grocery store. Rinse them in cool tap water, then measure out a cup and a half and place them in a large bowl. Add six cups of water to the bowl and allow the soy beans to soak overnight, about ten hours. Then, drain the water and rinse the softened beans again.

The second step is to pour two quarts of cool tap water into a large pot. Place the pot on a stove top and heat the water on medium heat until it comes to a boil.

The third step is to puree the soy beans in a blender, a little at a time. First, put half of the beans, one cup of lukewarm water, and one cup of boiling water into a blender container; puree. Pour the contents of the blender container into the pot of boiling water. Turn the stove heat off and cover the pot.

The fourth step to make tofu is to puree the remaining soy beans in the same manner. Then, pour them into the pot also. Stir the pureed soy beans and the water mixture.

The fifth step is to place a colander inside a large glass mixing bowl. Fold a large piece of cheese cloth in two, and lay it over the colander so the ends hang over it all the way around. Slowly pour the hot puree into the colander. Pull up the sides of the cheese cloth and carefully squeeze the milk out of the soy beans out into the mixing bowl. Keep squeezing until the soy beans are relatively dry.

The next step is to pour the soy milk into the pot and place it back on a stove top. Heat the milk on "high", stirring frequently, until it comes to a boil. Once it begins to boil, turn the heat down and let it simmer for six minutes. Then, turn the heat off.

The seventh step to make tofu is to dissolve two teaspoons of magnesium chloride in a cup of cool tap water. Stir the soy milk in the pot a few times, then pour a third of the chloride over the soy milk. Stir the soy milk a few more times. Repeat this process with another third of the magnesium chloride. Then, cover the pot and wait a few minutes before you check it. The soy milk should have started to curdle. Continue to stir the curdling soy milk. Pour more of the chloride over any place in the pot that hasn't curdled yet. Then, cover the pot and wait a few more minutes before you check it again. Mix up an additional batch of the magnesium chloride if you need to.

The final step is to carefully drain any remaining liquid off of the soy bean curds; discard the liquid. Place the curds into molds that have been lined with cheesecloth. Cover them with cheesecloth too. Place a heavy weight on top of each mold so the liquid will be pressed out.

Let the molds set for about a half an hour, then remove the tofu from the molds. Rinse the tofu and store it covered with water. Be sure to change the water every day in order to keep the tofu fresh for up to one week.

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