I love my home made tofu; I obsess over it and would eventually like to consider marrying my Soyquick. I love trying different combinations of flavours in my tofu, but those flavours are always things I add after the coagulation process. That is I wait until the curds are separated from the whey and I then mix any additional ingredients into the curd. I have no idea how you are supposed to go about the process of flavouring bean curd. Is there a way you're supposed to do it? I fear die-hard tofu fans would shout "yes! yes! There is a way! It's called no extra flavour!"
Please don't get me wrong because I love my tofu in all different shapes, sizes, and flavours. I adore it plain with a splash of tamari. I savour it smoked and served alongside a Sunday roast. I enjoy it heavily loaded with herbs and eaten raw as a picnic snack. But what I love the most is experimenting with soy in order to find new and also yum-tastic bean curd combinations.
...so I got the bright idea to add the flavours to the soy milk before adding the coagulant to curdle the milk. I feared it might not work, a worry which took me fast down the road to anxiety city. Why so nervous? Simple. I had only soaked one lot of soy beans, so if this experiment were to go belly up then that would have meant no tofu for me! A serious tragedy, I can assure you.
I didn't attempt anything exciting. I simply added a stock cube and a tablespoon or so of liquid smoke flavouring to the water to make a very light broth. In that water I ground the beans (using the Soyquick machine) and immediately added nigari as a coagulant once the process was finished. I simply pressed the curds in my tofu press after that, and voila! Tofu!
The result? Very good. The flavour was subtle: a sweet and smoky bean curd fit for a king (though not a lion king, perhaps, for the cats didn't seem too keen).