Roasted Soybeans and Firm Tofu: A Soybean Beginners Manual Vol. 2

For this portion of my series about soybeans, start by refering back to Volume 1. The rinsing and soaking process is the same for each recipe and for firm tofu the recipe is the same until you strain the milk from the cooked, ground beans.

Roasted Soybeans

-1 cup dried soybeans

-lots of water for rinsing and soaking

-oil, salt, spices to taste

First of all you’re going torinse and soak the beans overnight. Rinse them again in the morning and pour them into a colander to dry for a little while.

Preheat your oven to 350 F and spread them around on a cookie sheet. Lately I’ve been using one from Chicago Metallic and I’ve been very pleased with it.

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Place the sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Make sure to shimmy the pan every five minutes or the beans will stick. Roast for about 30 to 40 minutes. There are a lot of factors determining how long it will actually take, but you want them toasty looking, not to dark. If you’re not sure if they are done, eat one. We want crispy, not squishy. When they are crispy and golden, toss in bowl with a wee splash (one teaspoon) olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Try other spices and salts, too. I tossed these bad boys in some Old Bay. It’s alright. Maybe Lawry’s next time.

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Firm Tofu:

-1 cup soybeans

-4 cups water, plus more for rinsing and soaking

-2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Follow the instructions on soymilk from my previous post until you reach the point that you’ve seperated the okara from the soymilk. You’re not going to have anywhere near the quart of liquid you started with, this is normal.

Replace the milk into a pot and let it almost come to a boil over medium heat. When you start to see little bubbles around the edge of your pan swirl in the lemon juice in big, wide strokes.

Remove from heat, put a lid on it and wait 10 minutes. By then you should see a clear seperation of solid from liquid. Ideally you will have as few soy curds as possible, if you’re lucky you’ll have one big one. If seperation has not yet occured, add 1 more Tablespoon lemon juice and wait 5 more minutes.

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Strain the curds in the same manner as earlier (you can re-use your cheese cloth, but make sure to rinse it first) and give them a quick, gentle rinse to remove the lemon flavor.

Leaving the solids in the fabric, fold into a rough square and place on a cookie sheet that is propped up at an angle. Use a large, flat bottomed item to press the tofu block for about 45 minutes. I like my Dutch oven for this. The resulting tofu should weigh about a quarter of a pound and be firm enough that you can cut it into cubes or strips, or crumble it up onto a salad.

Taste of homemade tofu is something divine, so don’t miss this opportunity to just have some on it’s own, or sprinked with a little tamari.

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