How Tofu Is Made
Tofu is made from soya milk, so it is 100% plant-based! To make soya milk, dried soybeans are washed, soaked and ground to a pulp. The amount of water that is added determines how creamy the soya milk will turn out. The soya milk pulp is simmered for 15 to 30 minutes and then is drained through a piece of cloth in a sieve. The thick pulp that remains is squeezed hard so that all the nutrients end up in the final product: the soya milk. This milk is then heated on a low temperature and mixed with a water-soluble coagulant, like vinegar, lemon juice or nigari (boiled sea water) as they do in Japan, to curdle it.
The name tofu is derived from this process: to = bean and fu = curdled. Eventually a mass is formed of white cubes and yellowish whey. The white tofu mass is scooped into molds with the cheesecloth and covered with a weight that presses moisture out of the tofu. The weight and the time given for the tofu to drain determine the type of tofu, from silken to extra-firm.