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Sunday Kitchen #58 Tofu
step one: soak the beans
step two: weigh the beans
And now I know that there’s 45 pounds of beans … ready to go. I keep track of … these little letters are the type of tofu we make. This is regular and firm.
step three: grind the beans
step four: transfer the beans to the pressure cooker
Open up a valve here. Sometimes the vacuum needs a little help. If you know anything about physics. It cools down a little bit. Eventually you’ll see this goes down below zero. You see it’s got a negative pressure in, in, in there now, right. And it’s drawing it in from here and out this way.
step five: filter out the okara
There’s a foot valve here. And it opens this one. And I, I open it up. I’ve already closed the other valve. If you want to stop it you put …
And yeah, it starts to come through here. And make sure this is turned down.
See, so the soya milk is coming through. And the bigger okara is here. And the finer there. There’s not much of that just fine, fine.
In order to create a vacuum here, I open the valve here. And you can see this gauge going up. That’s what I watch. This pressure gauge. And then when it hits about .07 here, I just hit this again. Whatever, just, whatever is left in there gets sort of forced out. And then I shut the valve and I’ve got a vacuum there. You’ll see in a second. And sort of shake the bag down a bit. It’s full of beans and water.
And there’s a plate in here. You can see the handle it’s sitting on. Close the thing down and I turn it on and I adjust the lever for it to rise. So it’s slowly rising and it’s going to press it in there. And you’ll see this, usually it hits the top there’ll be a stronger flow comes out and it’s pressing the milk out. Yeah, see it’s hit now, so it’s pressing it up.
So this is the okara, right, that’s been held back in this bag. And then I’ve got the last bit of okara, that’s finer. Right. So it’s kind … you know, it’s, it’s, it’s basically, you know they call it bean curd, or it’s a kind of soy cheese, so these is just the two levels, in this particular process, of screening.
You can see this is, this is almost like a sports shirt.
I try to get as much out of it as I can. And give it a rinse. And what you’re looking at there, that is pure soy milk. That’s all it is, soy beans and water, pure. You can drink it, like it’s straight up. It’s, you won’t … nothing added, but water and beans.
step six: add the nigari
This is a mixture of nigari and hot water. They’ve been diluted to specific proportions, as a coagulant. Stir it up. And make a bit of a vortex. And I pour the nigari down. The idea is that I get it … up and down all the way through. And I do it a second time. I stop the motion. You do a kind of a, a waterfall along … to get it along the sides.
Because this is firm tofu, you’re supposed to agitate it fairly firmly, strongly. We’re going to really … mix it. It likes that. Because with firm tofu, we’re looking for smaller curds. So they press … closer together. So that’ll sit for a bit. And I just kick it up.
That’s to help make sure that the all of the soy milk gets exposed to the nigari. You can see it’s curdling.
step seven: final filtering
And what I’m going to do here is the last bit of filtering, or screening, if you will.
There’s a colander in here with holes in it, you can see it.
And I place it in here. Wrap it around. And you can see that ah, none of the been curd’s going to come through.
step eight: pour it into a mould
You can see it’s like a, just a square box. With the bottom … it’s all loosely fitting so it can be taken apart and put back together.
All of these cloths and even these aprons are all made locally
So it’s going to take … it takes a bit of time to like, sort of press through it.
step nine: check it
So I hit the (numadic?), it comes up. See if this one’s done or not. Pull the form off. Yeah, that’s not. I can tell it’s not done because I’m trying to make firm tofu. But at least I’m going to see how much it weighs. It weighs about 30 pounds so it’s definitely way big for a firm. So what we usually like to do in that case, is flip it over.
step ten: weigh the tofu
step eleven: cut it
step twelve: cool it down
artist: Matthew Tyas
album: Music for the movies vol1
from: Oloron Sainte-Marie, France
album: For The Stilling Of Volcanoes
track: Bossarim Quatro
from: Boonton, United States
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