Monday, August 9, 2010

Tofu or Not Tofu?

Proper tofu custard from Hibino — YUM!!

The Plan:

• Tofu custard


After taking a tofu-making class back in June, I’ve decided to give it a go at home. I really love tofu custard which is a little easier (um, well) to prepare than regular tofu. Of course, as I sit here typing this, I don’t really know if it is going to work. I screwed up a million little times and I’m pretty sure all of my measurements are wrong. Too many steps? Yeah, probably.

The short of it:

Soak beans, purée, boil with water and then strain through a cheese cloth. That makes soymilk. The milk is then mixed with a coagulant (nigari). Then you pray. If you’re not religious, you think good thoughts at it.

I made milk!

Lesson #1

You have to soak the soybeans (bought in bulk at WF’s. Cost $.75. Organic.) for 10 hours before you make the soymilk that becomes tofu. So my batch will be ready at 9pm? Oy. Next time I’ll do that part overnight. Then I panicked that it was going to go rancid and stuck in the fridge to make the next day. Might’ve just messed everything up right then and there.

Lesson #2

Save the water that you soaked it in. I read that line after I tossed my water. Might’ve just messed everything up right then and there.

Lesson #3

Pay attention in school. My math is really bad. I suspect this is a bit like baking and needs to be exact. Might’ve just messed everything up right then and there.

I think this is actually really easy to make but you need to plan a little better than I can manage these days. And then I was improvising a bit using this recipe plus what I got from the Tofu making class at Brooklyn Kitchen. I will try again if this batch doesn’t work...

A Final Word:

It sort of came out. It looked really gross. I should tell you that in the class only 3 out of 30 portions came out right (mine was one of them!). We ate with dashi, scallions & wasabi.

JA’s opinion:

It looks like curdled snot but tastes delicious, clean, fresh and delicate. I hope Feral tries again.

The Verdict:

I’d rather have someone else make it for me. I haven’t been but I hear that EN Japanese Brasserie makes a really nice one, like, every hour. I thought the one at Hibino in Brooklyn was delish, hot or cold. But I think any upscale-ish Japanese place should do it well.


  1. Perhaps we can take the class together. I'll pay attention to the parts you don't! Penny