Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tofu - recipe #2

Softer. Thats the word that designates this from the first. The process included 18 hours in the fromagerie (cheese maker) which keeps it at a warmer temperature (its this difference in temp that designates cheese from yogurt, by the way). The end result was smoother, much softer tofu with a lighter white color. I went ahead and drained the tofu to see how "firm" it would get, but I think that was a mistake. Seeing as it never really got firm, I am not sure what to do with it. It would dissipate in a soup, wouldn't hold together to stir fry, and isn't a nice enough texture to eat alone.

Conclusion: this process would be perfect if you stop after the aging, sprinkle it with sugar, and eat it as the soft "brain tofu" desert we used to eat in China.

The other lesson: your choice of soymilk is important. If you dont like the flavor of the drink, you won't like the flavor of the tofu.

To make:

Heat 1/2 liter of soy milk to just warmer than warm. Dissolve one heaping tsp of Nigari in 4 tsp of water, stir into the soymilk, and pour it all into the filters that come in the fromagerie (if you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry about it. It will be clear if you take the plunge with the fromagerie).
Set it to 18 hours on the cheese setting and do whatever it is you do for the 18 hours of the day that you are not making tofu.

Gently remove the filters from their cups, and you will see a whey left behind that is so clear that it looks like water, and a very, very soft tofu inside the filters. This was really where I saw the difference between the two tofus; the whey of the first, faster version retains a yellowish coloring and isn't completely clear. This time there was a complete separation of whey and tofu, meaning there was a much cleaner whey and a lot more tofu!

Place the filters on a plate (it will continue to drain, so the plate is to keep you from having a huge mess on your counter) and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain as much as you'd like through a cheese cloth, but I would suggest just letting it gently strain on its own, without too much squeezing to allow it to keep the soft, jelly texture. Sprinkle with sugar or find some other cool use and tell me about it! I need ideas!

Theory: this would be of great use in vegan recipes because of its texture...

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