Making home made tofu is surprisingly easy and fun but when it comes to making tofu at home, using fresh soymilk is preferred over shelf-stable soymilk for several reasons:
Texture and Consistency: Fresh soymilk contains a higher concentration of soy solids than shelf-stable soymilk, which helps in achieving a firmer and more cohesive tofu curd. It provides a smoother and creamier texture to the tofu.
Coagulation Properties: The coagulation process, where a coagulant is added to the soymilk to form curds, is a crucial step in tofu making. Fresh soymilk generally coagulates more effectively and consistently due to its natural composition and freshness. Shelf-stable soymilk often goes through processes such as ultra-high temperature (UHT) treatment, which can alter its protein structure and affect its ability to coagulate properly.
Preservatives and Additives: Shelf-stable soymilk is typically treated with preservatives and stabilizers to extend its shelf life. These additives may interfere with the coagulation process and affect the overall quality of the tofu. Using fresh soymilk allows you to avoid these additional ingredients and enjoy a purer, more natural tofu.
Nutritional Content: Fresh soymilk retains a higher nutritional value compared to shelf-stable versions. The processing methods used for shelf-stable soymilk can lead to some nutrient loss, particularly heat-sensitive vitamins and antioxidants. By using fresh soymilk, you can ensure that your homemade tofu retains a higher nutritional profile.
Last but not least: Flavor!!
Fresh soymilk has a richer and more authentic flavor compared to shelf-stable varieties. It has a natural sweetness and a delicate nuttiness that enhances the taste of the resulting tofu. Shelf-stable soymilk often contains additives and stabilizers that can affect the taste and texture of the tofu.
It's worth noting that if fresh soymilk is not readily available, you can either make your own soymilk or still experiment with shelf-stable soymilk for tofu making. However, the results may vary in terms of flavor, texture, and coagulation. If using shelf-stable soymilk, it's recommended to choose a variety with minimal additives and stabilizers for the best possible outcome. If possible, opt for fresh soymilk to enjoy the best homemade tofu experience.
Watch our brief video with Chef JJ making tofu in minutes using our Nigari and the microwave method: https://www.seasaltsofhawaii.com/collections/deep-ocean-magnesium/products/nigari