Homemade Basil Flavored Soya Cheese (tofu)

I have wanted to try making tofu at home for a long time but feared it was a complicated time consuming project. I read a few articles on it and most of them discouraged the idea of taking a shortcut by using store-bought soy milk. All I have to say about that is, Don’t tell me what not to do!

I have made paneer using cow’s milk countless times. The last time I made it I added fresh basil leaves to the milk as it was heating to infuse the cheese with flavor. I was pleased with the results and employed the same technique in making tofu for the first time today.

I added basil leaves to the soy milk while it was heating on the stove. As it began to boil I removed the leaves and added sea salt.


I had on hand two of several commonly used options for coagulating the soy milk. I decided on lemon juice rather than epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). After the milk had come to a boil I drizzled in lemon juice mixed with water while stirring slowly.


I carefully transferred the curds into a colander lined with a few layers of cheese cloth. After letting the whey drain off for a minute I gathered up the cheese cloth, tied the curds into a bundle then cut off the excess cheese cloth.




I set a slightly smaller bowl inside the colander on top of the bundle and placed weights in and on top of the bowl to press the cheese curds into a solid mass.


After pressing the tofu for a couple of hours I soaked the bundle in ice cold water for a time before unwrapping it.

The results? It has a grainier, more crumbly texture which more closely resembles paneer than store-bought tofu. When using it in a dish I will be sure to avoid over-stirring. The flavor of basil was nicely infused into the cheese.

Keep in mind, this post (as is true of most of my posts) is not a how-to tutorial but merely a description of events.





5 thoughts on “Homemade Basil Flavored Soya Cheese (tofu)

  1. I love tofu, but my thyroid (or, more specifically, lack of thyroid) refuses to allow me to eat it. I’m still trying to screw up my courage to try the paneer!

    Virtual hugs,



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