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Cookbook for making tofu

ethnicchower Nov 1, 2011 11:33 PM

I'm looking for recommendations for a good cookbook that explains how to make different kinds of tofu at home.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. w
    wattacetti RE: ethnicchower Nov 2, 2011 12:11 PM

    Andrea Nguyen's got one that's coming out on the topic.

    1. p
      paul balbin RE: ethnicchower Nov 2, 2011 03:12 PM

      "The book of Tofu", William Shurtleff, 10 speed press.

      1. e
        ethnicchower RE: ethnicchower Nov 3, 2011 04:33 PM

        Thank you both for two great answers. I will get "The book of tofu" for now, since it's available, and will keep the other one in mind for the near future (it's coming out in February, it seems).

        Paul - Have you tried any homemade tofu recipes from the book of tofu? Is there any one in particular that you recommend?

        13 Replies
        1. re: ethnicchower
          The Dairy Queen RE: ethnicchower Nov 4, 2011 08:56 AM

          The recipe for silken tofu in that book is my favorite because it's so easy (and you end up with slightly less by-product/waste). That having been said, this book is hard to navigate and feels very dated. I can't wait for Nguyen's book to come out.

          My biggest question when making tofu was what to do with all of the okara... The book provided some recipes, but they weren't amazing.


          1. re: The Dairy Queen
            ethnicchower RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 4, 2011 02:41 PM

            Thank you for your reply!
            I'm wondering if you have found better information about what to do with the okara elsewhere. Would love to get tips on that.

            1. re: ethnicchower
              sr44 RE: ethnicchower Nov 4, 2011 06:17 PM

              There are a number of things to do with okara suggested in Shurtleff's Book of Tofu.

              1. re: sr44
                The Dairy Queen RE: sr44 Nov 5, 2011 05:54 AM

                There are a number of them in the book. They just aren't that good, unfortunately.


              2. re: ethnicchower
                The Dairy Queen RE: ethnicchower Nov 5, 2011 05:55 AM

                I did a fair amount of googling and came up with some hits, but there's really not a lot out there that I could find. I'm hoping Andrea Nguyen saves the day. I trust her recipes.


            2. re: ethnicchower
              paul balbin RE: ethnicchower Nov 4, 2011 05:27 PM

              After many different experiments with tofu I found that I preferred a tofu which was coagulated with
              an acid instead of a base. I loved tofu made with Mexican limes. I used to use the okara for dish
              washing. As I remember Mr. Shirtliff suggested several uses. I do hope that you will let us join you
              in your journey and let us know how it goes. I was fortunate in finding ma po tofu on the menu in
              a restaurant in Leadville co. of all places yesterday, I thought of this post as I enjoyed my meal.
              Pablito el gordito

              1. re: paul balbin
                ethnicchower RE: paul balbin Nov 4, 2011 05:34 PM

                Thank you Paul! I will update this thread with my tofu experiments, once the book arrives! I'm so looking forward to it! :)

                1. re: ethnicchower
                  paul balbin RE: ethnicchower Nov 4, 2011 05:44 PM

                  You are more than welcome and I will be looking forward to your input. Here are some
                  pictures of my place in Guatemala which I hope you enjoy.

                  1. re: paul balbin
                    ethnicchower RE: paul balbin Nov 4, 2011 06:13 PM

                    Your place seems fantastic Paul! Maybe someday we'll come visit :)

                    1. re: ethnicchower
                      paul balbin RE: ethnicchower Nov 5, 2011 12:48 AM

                      You would be more than welcome and guest chefs stay free.

                2. re: paul balbin
                  The Dairy Queen RE: paul balbin Nov 5, 2011 05:57 AM

                  I don't think you used the okara for dishwashing--the okara is the mashed-potato-looking solids byproduct/waste product. I think you mean you use the liquid for dishwashing. I found the liquid too sticky for that. It's one reason I prefer the silken tofu because you don't have as much waste product.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    paul balbin RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 5, 2011 10:18 AM

                    You are perfectly correct. Thanx for correcting my mistake, I did mean the liquid. At
                    the time I was living in a little cabin which did not have a water system so I had to
                    haul the water and so I was frugal to a fault.

                    1. re: paul balbin
                      The Dairy Queen RE: paul balbin Nov 5, 2011 01:48 PM

                      Nothing wrong with being frugal. I admire it actually.


              2. BombayUpWithaTwist RE: ethnicchower Nov 3, 2011 11:50 PM

                I agree with "The Book of Tofu". I still haven't completely read through it yet, but it's pretty comprehensive. What kind of "different" tofus are you looking for? Are you asking for different type of dishes/recipes or to actually make the tofu itself? I've been having fun making the tofu and it tastes so much better than store bought :o)

                6 Replies
                1. re: BombayUpWithaTwist
                  ethnicchower RE: BombayUpWithaTwist Nov 4, 2011 08:51 AM

                  I'm looking to make the actual tofu at home. I have a good recipe for basic tofu, so I'm looking for a book that provides variations on the theme.

                  1. re: ethnicchower
                    BombayUpWithaTwist RE: ethnicchower Nov 4, 2011 10:53 AM

                    That's great! Keep us updated on what you come up with :o)

                    The only thing I've come up with is the firmness...lol

                    It seems like you can get more info if you google "homemade tofu" and there are some blogs out there that add veggies directly to the tofu or add turmeric to add color.

                    Good luck!!

                    1. re: BombayUpWithaTwist
                      ethnicchower RE: BombayUpWithaTwist Nov 4, 2011 02:46 PM

                      Yes, I will look online to see what other information I can find. There's just so much to learn when it comes to tofu, and it's so much easier if all that information is concentrated in a book.

                      I'm still waiting for my copy of "The Book of Tofu", so hopefully all my questions will be answered there. I've been wondering about the difference in results when using different coagulants (nigari, epsom salts, etc). I've also been wondering about the differences between tofu in different countries. I'm most familiar with Chinese tofu, but even within China there are so many different kinds. Between countries, I imagine, the differences are even greater. I'd like to understand all of that.

                      Anyway, hopefully "The Book of Tofu" will help. If not, I'll come back to chowhound with questions :)

                      1. re: ethnicchower
                        BombayUpWithaTwist RE: ethnicchower Nov 4, 2011 04:32 PM

                        My head has been spinning with all the info I have gathered too...lol I'm most familiar with Japanese tofu and have been using nigari. In one blog, I found that they used cornstarch with it, I haven't tried that, but wonder if that would really make a difference.

                        I'm actually making tofu now, waiting for the soy milk to be made now...I use a soy milk maker :o)

                        1. re: BombayUpWithaTwist
                          ethnicchower RE: BombayUpWithaTwist Nov 4, 2011 05:14 PM

                          Oh interesting - I just read about soy milk maker... I didn't know about it. It seems like it makes the process a bit easier.

                        2. re: ethnicchower
                          The Dairy Queen RE: ethnicchower Nov 5, 2011 05:58 AM

                          Yes, they do go through some discussion of the different coagulants in the book. I say experience and find what tastes best to you. The nigari's kind of a hassle to find, so it's not the coagulant of choice at my house.


                  2. m
                    MikeG RE: ethnicchower Nov 4, 2011 05:13 PM

                    The Book of Tofu is probably your best overall choice. It's not a cookbook, though it has recipes, it's an encyclopedic tome on the subject written for laypeople, really the only book of its kind. It at least touches on all of your expressed interests and questions. It is indeed ~35 years old, but hand-making tofu is hardly a new craft so I don't think it's much of a problem. (g) But if you want to know everything you didn't know you wanted to know about making tofu, the same authors later wrote another book specifically on tofu production (ISBN 1928914055). It's hard to find used and usually absurdly expensive, but cheap copies show up occasionally if you keep your eyes open.

                    PS: Shurtleff's and Aoyagi's book on miso is equally encyclopedic but readable, for whatever that's worth. (It's been reprinted and is probably still in print as a paperback.)

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: MikeG
                      ethnicchower RE: MikeG Nov 4, 2011 05:36 PM

                      Thanks for the info Mike! I'm very much a "why" person when it comes to cooking (and anything else, really), so I think I will appreciate the thoroughness of the book.

                      1. re: MikeG
                        MelMM RE: MikeG Nov 4, 2011 05:42 PM

                        Couldn't agree more. I used to make my own tofu, more years ago than I care to admit, based on their book. Homemade tofu is a revelation, just so much better than what you can buy. Especially back then, when a lot of the tofu in the stores was not terribly fresh. Their Book of Miso and Book of Tempeh are also seminal works that really helped introduce the Western world to these products.

                        All of them are books that have withstood the test of time, and there is still nothing out there that compares with them. Of course tofu, miso and tempeh have been around for ages, and the technology involved is ancient, so it makes sense that a well researched and well written book about them would not become obsolete.

                        1. re: MelMM
                          The Dairy Queen RE: MelMM Nov 5, 2011 06:01 AM

                          To be honest, I didn't really find the homemade tofu I made that much better than quality store bought tofu, except for the homemade silken tofu. It's a fair amount of work and there is a lot of waste-product, which I find distressing. I also have occasional access to fresh tofu made locally in the Twin Cities, so maybe I'd feel differently for that option. I'm glad I know how to make tofu, but I don't feel I need to make it all the time unless I'm going to color or flavor it or something.


                        2. re: MikeG
                          paul balbin RE: MikeG Nov 5, 2011 10:28 AM

                          My fondest memories of the book are the illustrations concerning the tiny ancient tofu shops
                          drawn by Ms. Aoyagi. I wonder what she is up to now days. If any one knows please enlighten

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