Tuesday, September 8, 2009

La Fuji Mama's Tofu (From Scratch!)

I've never given tofu much thought. I'm one of the few of my generation who never flirted with vegetarianism or veganism so I'm not intimately acquainted with tofu and its many iterations. But then last week, I suddenly became very interested in tofu. One of my favorite bloggers, La Fuji Mama, wrote about making it from scratch and explained that in Japan, there is a huge selection of artisanal tofu. Most markets have a huge tofu section much like we have cheese departments. Cool, huh?

So, I decided to try La Fuji Mama's from scratch tofu recipe and see what I've been missing. The great thing about making tofu, is it's a fun, inexpensive science experiment with a tasty ending. You just need a few ingredients: dried soybeans, water and nigari, which is essentially concentrated ocean water.

While the organic soybeans were local, I couldn't find nigari at my markets so the hubby, baby girl and I went over the river to Mitsuwa, a huge Japanese supermarket. It's like a mini Japan says my friend who goes there whenever she's homesick. Most labels are in Japanese so I begged several people to help me find nigari and when I told them what I was up to, they exclaimed, "Tofu from scratch. So difficult!" But it wasn't. Time consuming, yes. You need to put aside 2-3 hours. But difficult, not really. And the payoff is a delicate, white mound of delicious, healthy protein that is like a chameleon in the kitchen, taking on nearly any flavor and lending a lovely deep, dense texture to a dish.

La Fuji Mama's recipe is an excellent one. My only recommendation is that you double the recipe as I got just about three servings from a double batch. Just follow this link to La Fuji Mama's lovely site and check out her other wonderful posts while you're there: La Fuji Mama's From Scratch Tofu Recipe

Tune in tomorrow for a report on what I actually made with my handmade tofu: Rice Bowl with Ginger & Lemongrass. It's delish! Meanwhile, check out the beautiful process of tofu making in pictures below:

Making Tofu: A Story in Pictures

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  1. Wow! I never thought about how tofu is made or that you could make it at home.

  2. This is so interesting. I've never considered exactly how tofu is made and it's brave of you to take it on. I have a block of tofu(store-bought!)in my fridge, waiting to be cooked...so I'm looking forward to your rice bowl recipe tomorrow.

  3. This is so cool! I, too, had not once considered making tofu from scratch. I look forward to tomorrow's recipe.

  4. I plan to read this very carefully -- and hope that maybe I can develop a love for tofu, too. I know it's great for you, but something about its name has always deterred me.

  5. I know! I too was always deterred, but it's so much more delicate and fun when you make it yourself. The other stuff is filled with stabilizers and who knows what.

    Thanks everyone!

  6. Congrats! Your tofu looks fabulous! I wish I could double my recipe, but when I make it as written, the foam goes to the of my pot!

  7. Oooh-I love a good kitchen-based science experiment. I'm putting this on my MUST TRY list!

  8. Very cool. I admit I'm a bit intimidated but this is something I'd like to try!!

  9. Thanks so much everyone!!

    You know, I was intimidated too, but it really isn't too bad. Just have everything at the ready and you'll be fine:)



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