There's a great store in Brighton called Infinity Foods (well, they're great when they have things in stock, anyway) and I used to buy really firm and flavour-packed tofu from them whenever I was in town. They were packed with herbs and spices that made these blocks of bean curd into ideal picnic basket additions, lunchtime snacks, or sneaky delights on that midnight fridge run. That, combined with the fact that it's nearly impossible to find decent, fresh tofu around here, is what eventually lead to the idea of purchasing a Soyquick machine and a tofu kit.
The Turkish tofu flavours
So here's one of the experiments, a Turkish style tofu, made with aromatic cumin, garlic, and zesty Za'atar (a vibrant mix of spices that is also great with nothing more than olive oil and a nice bread). The tofu is made by a standard method of straining and pressing the bean curd, only the spice mixture is added before pressing.
Fresh bean curd
Bean curd mixed with Turkish spices
I realise not everyone makes their tofu in the same manner. Some of you probably make your soy milk from scratch and others are probably picking their jaw up off the filthy floor due to the fact that I am undoubtedly not doing this "right." (I am open to suggestions, seriously). But the end result was delicious, and that's what I'm all about!
I used this particular batch in a Middle Eastern inspired Sunday roast.
Broad Bean, Oven Roasted Tomato, and Arugula Pasta Salad
- First make the spice mixture which will in the end flavour your tofu. With a pestle and mortar, grind the za'atar, garlic, extra sumac, cumin, and salt into somewhat of a paste. Set aside.
- Make the soy milk and coagulate into curds. Nigari is my coagulant of choice because it makes a nice, firm tofu. There are several different coagulants, such as calcium sulfate (used to make soft tofu, so not completely suitable here). Leave to sit for a few minutes.
- Strain the curds through a piece of clean, thin muslin, inside of the tofu press (which in turn is a good idea to set in a colander of some form in order to drain). Once most of the liquid has drained out, add the spice mixture and mix through the curds.
- Press in the tofu kit to push away as much liquid as possible. Place a heavy object on top of the press if necessary. Leave for at least one hour before use.