June 25th marked 100 days since my Ba Ngoai's funeral. On the 100 day ceremony or "End of Tears" the family got together for what turned out to be a fairly wild day that featured all you can eat buffet birthday madness, a run in the with police and bible trivia during mass. As interesting as that may story might sound, prepare to be regaled about an event that took place the day before.
My cousin Mai Vy had the opportunity to make tofu with Ba Ngoai and was able to take notes in her pretty notebook as best she could.
|The secrets lie within!|
So from that, we decided to meet a day before the 100 day and make home made tofu. My cousin Mai Vy took charge of the kitchen and got myself and her little brother Ben to work squeezing the soy milk. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon while Mai Vy told me about the cooking process with Ba Ngoai. We laughed about her bowls of measurement and how she would feel her way through a recipe that seems to be so touchy. If the recipe that follows appears to be a little vague, then at least you know why.
Ba Ngoai's (Grandma's) Tofu, taught by my cousin Mai Vy
Printable Recipe including the notes I took.
2 1/2 rice bowls (or cups) of soy beans
Tofu cloth, like a bag or a net with very fine holes in it.
A Tofu block
A Blender or food processor
|A home made tofu block by our Uncle Rob|
In a large bowl (They are going to expand!), cover soy beans in water (about 1 inch above) , and soak over night.
|Soaked Soy Beans|
Blend 2 rice bowls of water and 1 rice bowl of soy beans until it looks fairly liquified.
|One rice bowl to rule them all.|
Place a tofu cloth into a bowl and pour the contents of the blender into the cloth.
Lift the tofu cloth and squeeze the soy mush dry.
|Ba Ngoai would tell us you can always squeeze more!|
Pour the soy milk that comes from it into a pot. Once it appears to be dry, dip the soy paste back into some water, let the excess water drain and squeeze it some more until what's left in the cloth is dry and chalky. Repeat with the remaining soy beans.
Cook soy milk at medium heat. Skim foam.
Fill a small bowl with water (maybe 3-4 cups of water). Add about a 1/4 cup of vinegar and taste to check if it's not too sour.
|This exact size of bowl. Very specific!|
Add 200 ml of the vinegar mixture and then cover.
Check after 5-10 minutes, it should have started to curdle. "Stir" slowly, try not to break the curds.
Add another 200 ml of the vinegar mixture. Let simmer for a few more minutes. If you feel it could curdle some more, add about 50 ml more of the mixture but not too much, presumably to not to affect the flavour of the tofu.
Now comes the complicated part. Place the tofu block over your sink or something to catch the excess water. Put a clean tofu cloth in the tofu block.
|We had to turn the cloth 90 degrees so it could fold over correctly.|
Pour the contents of the pot into the tofu block, the water should mostly drip through. A trick to make this easier is to scoop out the water from the pot and just leave the curds, but be careful not to break them. Try to make sure the curds are even in the block. Press the tofu in the block, use a pot full of water to hold it down and let it cool.
|The shape wasn't perfect but it|
tasted great and fresh!
|It can also be turned into something like this.|
|Mai Vy's home made human size Tofu Man.|
we are family...