Started by riha, July 25, 2009, 11:49:10 PM

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Not really a cheese, but close enough!

I had some fun making soy milk and tofu yesterday. The whole process was surprisingly simple, at least after some experience in cheesemaking.

Soy milk

500g dried soy beans
5 liters water
some more water for rinsing and soaking

  • Rinsed the beans, soaked them overnight and then rinsed again with first cool and then boiling water.
  • Put the beans into a blender with some water and blended into smooth paste
  • Poured the paste and the rest of the water into a kettle and boiled for 20 minutes
  • Poured the milk through a cheesecloth collecting all the soy pulp (okara) into a cloth bag, then squeezing the bag strained the rest of the soy milk

That's it. Soy milk I got. Pretty tasty for a soy milk. It took ages for my milk to heat to boiling temperature so I might have kept the kettle on fire a bit too long. Also, it was lots of work squeezing all that milk from the paste. Perhaps a looser cloth would be in order. I ended up with a bit under four liters of milk.


The fun part was making the tofu. I tried to find some calcium sulphate or nigari (traditional coagulants making tofu), but couldn't find any from here, so I made it from not-so-traditional-but-working vinegar. This is actually very similar if not identical to making paneer.


3 liters soy milk
30 ml vinegar

  • Heated up the milk until 80C, took off the heat and added the vinegar stirring well
  • Let it stand under a lid for 15 minutes, very good separation
  • Poured it all to a mould lined with a cheesecloth. Added a follower and manually pressed out most of the whey. Added 2 kg weight in the form of a Pepsi bottle (my press is still not finished) and let it drain for 30 minutes
  • Took it out of the mold and unwrapped. Ready to eat!

This was very much fun since I had never made any soy stuff before. I'm not a huge fan of soy milk but I like tofu. This didn't really end up being any cheaper or better than sop-bought tofu, but we had a good time making it.

The tofu ended up being nice and firm but still juicy and not at all rubbery or hard. It fried very well and made an excellent wok with some Hoi Sin sauce and vegetables.

And the pictures:


Just a few more pics  ;D

Finished tofu cut in pieces and the Hoi Sin Tofu showing the tofu fried.

Cheese Head

Great posts and snaps, I always wondered how it was made, I like Tofu but sadly my family doesn't.


I made queso blanco (vinegar cheese) once and thought it had a very similar texture and usability to tofu. 

My family didn't care for either one, so I won't bother again.

Thanks for sharing your process and pics.


Thank you for posting this recipe


Thank you, time for me to find some soybeans


Nice thread. I have never developed a taste for tofu but I have often wondered if cheese could be made from soy milk. Sure looks like cheese to me!


That's really great looking tofu. And your hoi sin looks good too!

John, since you say your family doesn't like tofu, I have to share this:

I really hate tofu myself, but a friend once convinced me to try making it myself. If I compare commercially available tofu to the one I made myself, I wouldn't recognise it to be the same product. The home made tofu is delicious!

riha, you can find nigari in the asian food stores in Helsinki, almost each one has it.


Funny, I couldn't see very much difference between my tofu and the one I buy from asian food stores. Mine was a bit denser and a bit more full of flavor.

I thought they'd have it, but didn't know where to look. I have never seen it and vinegar worked perfectly anyway :)


Deb as far as I know you can't make cheese from soy.  One is a milk product and the other is a plant product.


Soymilk is very close to animal milk in terms of its fat and protein contents, but the types of fats and proteins are different, so you can't use rennet for soy milk. However, you can use other coagulants like magnesium sulfate. The resulting mass, tofu, is essentially a vegetable-based cheese because you're doing the same thing as with milk/rennet, coagulating the liquid, and then expelling water trapped in the matrix.

If you used a combination of animal milk and soy milk, you could use rennet and make a hybrid cheese. Likely need to adjust calcium content.

I like tofu with small bits of dehydrated vegetables added in; it flavors the curd.


Well thank  you for the answers to the soy mystery. I have a riend at work that is lactose intolerant and wanted to know. Funny thing is she eats my cheese and my yogurt and it doesn't upset the apple cart.