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.