Building resiliency in the kitchen: Make your own tofu

As an ER doctor, I haven’t gone anywhere but to work for 16 days and counting. I’m self-isolating because I know that because of my exposure to sick patients, I am at risk of infecting others if I go to public places, including the grocery store. Of course, I could also become sick from public contact, making me unable to work during this crisis.

Two weeks and two days ago, I went to the store for the last time for three months. By then, I’ll likely need a few more bags of rice, beans, coconut milk, nuts, flour, and frozen berries. But I’m good until June.

This level of self-sufficiency in my kitchen allows me to stay at home unless I’m at work. I stay well-fed and stay safe during quarantine, reducing my risk of becoming sick or making others sick when I’m not working in the ER. The only additional groceries I’ll be getting during this time are the usual box of veggies I have delivered from a local farm every other week. As for oat mylk, bread, tofu, and more, a few key recipes allow me to make it myself and eat well through quarantine, which I’ll be working on sharing with you over the coming weeks. This tofu is perfect for a breakfast scramble and just the right texture for stir fries and sweet potato tofu tacos, as shown in the photos below.

Let’s lessen the psychological effects of isolation and fear by trying our best to build self-sufficiency, abundance, and gratitude into every one of our meals.

Here, I share with you how I’ve learned to make my own tofu, a relaxing and beautiful process. You can buy the two ingredients you’ll need on amazon:

Nigari, a magnesium chloride salt made from seawater (a 1/2 lb. bag here on amazon is $9.99)

Dried soybeans (a Non-GMO, organic 5 lb. bag here on amazon is $29; good for 10 batches of this recipe!)

Enjoy this recipe and as always, reach out with any questions or beautiful creations to share.

With love + plants,

Anna

Homemade Tofu

1 1/3 c. dried soybeans (8 oz.)

6 1/3 c. water

1 scant tsp. nigari 

  1. Soak the soybeans: Cover with water overnight at room temperature.
  2. Make the purée: Drain the soybeans, and then transfer to a blender with 3 cups of water. Purée at high speed until smooth.
  3. Line a metal sieve: Using a clean tea towel or tripled-up cheesecloth line your sieve, and place over a glass or metal large bowl.
  4. Make your soymilk: Boil 3 c. of water in a large pot, then add the soybean purée and bring it to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid burning the bottom of the mixture. Then pour into your lined sieve to strain the mixture, gathering up the tea towel and squeezing out as much soymilk as you can. Discard the solids and rinse the tea towel. Line the sieve again, as we’ll use it to set the tofu later.
  5. Coagulate the soymilk: Pour the soymilk back into a pot and heat to about 185F. If you don’t have a thermometer, this is just below simmering, but too hot to touch. Then, in a large heatproof glass bowl, add the nigari and 1/3 c. water, stirring to dissolve. Then add the hot soymilk to the bowl, stirring briefly to combine. You should begin to see the edges coagulate.
  6. Set the tofu: Let sit for about 5 minutes. Take your tea-towel lined sieve and add the tofu. Gently squeeze or use a weighted plate to press out the excess water until it’s the perfect texture for you, up to two hours. Ready to eat as is, or cook as usual.

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