Test Kitchen tips: Homemade tofu


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In 2009, Food did a story on fresh tofu in Southern California. We included a recipe for fresh, homemade tofu -- very light in flavor, this delicate tofu is almost like a custard with its creamy texture.

The method is simple: Combine some cold soy milk with nigari water (a brine used to set the soy milk) and steam the milk until it sets up like a custard. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.


If you’ve never tried homemade tofu, give it a try! It makes a great weekend project.

You can find the recipe after the jump below.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you’d like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at


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Homemade tofu Total time: 15 minutes

Servings: 5 (3-ounce cup) custards

Note: Adapted from Sona’s Kuniko Yagi and Meiji Tofu. Nigari water is a brine used to set the soy milk. It is available at Japanese markets. Serve with grated ginger and soy sauce, or with a chiffonade of herbs, such as shiso or mitsuba, and yuzu.

2 cups cold soy milk (must contain more than 12% soy)

1 teaspoon nigari water

1. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, stir together the soy milk with the nigari water. Pour the liquid into 5 ramekins; each should hold about 3 ounces.

2. Place the ramekins in a stove-top steamer, cover and steam just until the tofu is set on top, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the heat, type of nigari and soy concentration in the milk. (It will jiggle when tapped, like crème brûlée.) Remove from heat, cool until just warm and serve. Or cool to room temperature and chill; serve within two days.

Each serving: 46 calories; 3 grams protein; 4 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 2 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 64 mg. sodium.