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Monday, August 07, 2006 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

How is tofu made?

I picked a link to the Tofu and Miso Homepage, an introduction to tofu (also known as bean curd) for Americans. On the site I found a step-by-step summary of the lengthy process that turns soybeans into soymilk, soymilk to slurry, and slurry to curds and whey. The curds are then skimmed off the top of the whey and pressed into a forming container lined with cheesecloth. This "cheese" of the soybean becomes tofu, and, traditionally, the pigs get the whey.

A second web page match led me to the U.S. Soyfoods Directory and an informative tofu entry, where I learned that tofu was used in China around 200 B.C.

According to Chinese legend, the first batch was a happy accident that resulted when nigari, a traditional coagulant that occurs naturally in ocean water, was added as flavoring to a batch of pureed soybeans. The rest is culinary history.

Finally, I typed "how to make tofu" into the search box, and found precise instructions for making tofu at home, descriptions of the many types and textures of commercially available tofu, and abundant recipe suggestions.

Tofu-making is a time consuming process -- if you work at home and enjoy baking your own bread from scratch, you might enjoy making your own tofu. If not, well there's always the local grocery store.

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