When I was researching for egg tofu recipe, I stumbled across this firm tofu aka taukwa recipe. However, it took me such a long time to try out the recipe because I cannot get hold of the relevant apparatus to prepare the taukwa. I cracked my head where to buy the tofu making box in Singapore and if not, how can I self prepared one..
For taukwa or tofu recipe, in general, you need a special box which is rather common in Japan. But where to buy the box in Singapore? Is it worthwhile to invest in a box? It must be costly if it is imported from Japan? Is there any home alternatives? Last week, while thinking hard about the solution, i saw some microwavable boxes that usually come with the packed food from the hawker stores on the table. It suddenly sparked my mind that this should be a good alternative if I can pierce some holes on the plastic box . I will then be able to use another box to put on top of the box with holes. It will fix exactly and the cover on top allows me to put something heavy so as to compress the taukwa.
I got hold of one metal chopstick and put it on top of the hot stove. When the chopstick is hot enough, i pierced into the box and have my self invented tofu box within 5 minutes. Therefore, if you are serious into trying this recipe and not willing to invest in a tofu box, you can try this way and the box can be used for future attempts.
I am happy with this very first attempt, the taukwa is firm enough possibly because i used very heavy mortar to place on top of the taukwa. The only disappointment is it is too thin to my liking. Well, I have only set aside 3 cups of soya bean milk and therefore, to get very thick taukwa, one will need at least 10 cups of soya bean milk. Since kids really loved homemade soya bean milk, i thought I will just try this recipe in a smaller scale.
Taukwa is very easy to prepare. What you need is a coagulant agent. There are many recipes in the internet that uses different coagulant agents. Coagulants will help to make the milk curdled and hardened become tofu like structure. Among the common ones are
- Nigari or magnesium chloride which is commonly used by the Japanese
- Gypsum or calcium sulphate (石灰）of which traditional Chinese tofu manufacturer used this for the production of tofu. This is the food grade of calcium sulphates and not the industrial type of gypsum.
- Epsom salts or magnesium sulphate that can be easily available in supermarkets
- Lemon juices will help to harden the soya bean milk just like making cheese or paneer from cow milk
- Dissolving egg shells into vinegar
This is the simplest recipe using vinegar that most households have it in the kitchen. It is fast and easy to prepare and will definitely help those overseas readers who have no assess of store sold taukwa. I have used the distilled vinegar that is used by Chinese kitchen, I made a presumption that any other types of vinegar such as apple cider vinegar can be used too..
This recipe starts from the preparation of the soya bean milk. As I do not have a soya bean milk making machine, I have used a regular blender to prepare the milk. As for the soya bean milk residue, do not throw or use as fertilizer, i have used it to churn out lots of dishes especially the vegetarian dishes. I made it into bread too and the bread has a fantastic texture. If you are interested in the soya bean bread recipe using soya bean residue, you can refer to this post: Old Fashion Pull Apart Butter Buns (古早味牛油餐包） or click on the picture above.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings : 4-6 adult servings
Soya bean milk
- 300 grams of soya beans
- 2 litres of plain water
- 100 grams of white sugar
- 6 pieces of pandan leaves
- 1 piece of cheese cloth or cheese cloth bag (preferred)
- 5 cups of soya bean milk prepared above
- 3 tablespoons of white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 homemade tofu box (as explain above)
- 1 piece of cheese cloth
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Soak the soya beans overnight with water about 5 cm above the beans. Drain and set aside.
- Put the soya beans in a blender, add one litre of water, blend until as fine as possible. Transfer the blended soya beans to the cheese cloth bag, squeeze out the soya bean milk and keep the soya bean residue for future cooking if preferred.
- In a big pot, pour the soya bean milk, add the pandan leaves and the remaining 1 litre of water. Bring to boil. If there are foams on top of the soya bean milk, scope out and throw away. CONSTANT STIRRING is required throughout the boiling process. Otherwise, the bottom of the pot may get burn. In addition, it will flow out of the pot when it starts to boil. Once it boils, off the heat, set aside 5 cups for the firm tofu recipe, add the sugar, stir until sugar dissolves and the soya milk is ready .
- Put a piece of cheese cloth on top of the box with holes. Place this box in a large basin. Set aside.
- Put the salt in a bowl or container. add the 5 cups of soya bean milk followed by the adding the vinegar. Stir until it coagulates. If it refused to coagulate, add a bit more vinegar.
- Once the soya bean milk coagulates, pour the coagulated soya bean milk onto the holed box with cheese cloth. Water will start to flow out from the holes of the box.
- Fold the sides of the cloth inwards to cover the top part. Put another box of the same dimension on top of the cloth. Cover the lid and put a heavy object on top of the box cover. Let it rest in this position for about 15-20 minutes and your firm tofu will be ready.
In the region, firm tofu or taukwa is easily available at supermarkets at a reasonable price. However, this recipe will help those overseas readers who are craving for firm tofu. If you do not wish to prepare soya bean milk at home, you can always get the soya bean milk from supermarket. But remember to choose those that are unsweetened type of soya bean milk.
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