Tofu or tokwa made from soybeans has been a long time favorite of Filipinos which was introduced by the Chinese. This has became a part of the Filipino staple diet aside from rice, root crops like camote or sweet potatoes, monggo beans and others which I can’t remember. Tofu making is also a long time industry here. Below is a procedure on how to make tofu or tokwa at home. Very simple and only needs very basic utensils. But the only utensil that is a little hard to find and a little expensive is the cooking dial thermometer. I think you can substitute it with a glass candy / deep frying thermometer which is cheaper and easier to find.
1 kg soybeans
110 grams food grade calcium sulfate (CaSO4)
5 L water
Tools, equipment and utensils needed:
Stove, pot, weighing scale
2 pcs – 1-yard cheesecloth
Tofu wooden press (8 inches x 11 inches x 3 inches)
Select newly harvested and good soybeans. Good soybeans are spotless, smooth, and free from infestation. Wash them, then soak them overnight or for at least 6 hours. After soaking the soybeans, wash and clean them; by then they would have expanded to three tames their original size. Remove the beans from the water and peel the hulls.Blend the soybeans to be turned into tofu into a puree. When grinding the beans, add just enough water to help the process along. After grinding, put the puree for tofu into a bowl gradually add the 5 L of water while mixing it with a basting spoon to come up with a creamy consistency.
Dissolve the CaSO4 in 100 ml of water. Set aside for the meantime. Boil the soy milk in a pot for 10 minutes in low fire, this will remove its beany flavor. While boiling, continuously stir the milk to prevent scorching. When the 10 minutes is over, remove the pot from the stove and let the milk cool down to about 55° C to 60° C. To hasten the cooling, you may put the pot in a bowl of cold water. Watch the thermometer so that the milk does not cool down to below 55°C.
Add the dissolved CaSO4 . You shouldn’t add the CaSO4 when the temperature drops to lower than 55° C, otherwise, the soy milk wouldn’t curdle or solidify well. Adding CaSO4 results in the formation of whey, which is the watery part of the milk that separates from the curd.
Line the wooden press with cheesecloth and put it on a basin or on the sink. To strain the whey, pour the curdled soy milk onto the wooden press.
Cover the curd with another piece of cheesecloth, and press it for an hour; use a weight for this purpose if necessary. The thickness and fineness of your tofu will depend on how well you press it. After an hour, remove the tofu from the press and slice it into your desired sizes. A kilo of soybean will yield about 24 pieces of 4 x 4 inch tofu. If refrigerated, the tofu would last up to two weeks.