Tofu and tofu pudding are made by mixing cooked soy milk with a coagulant, causing the proteins in the soy milk to react with the coagulant and solidify. The resulting consistency varies depending on the type of coagulant used.
By combining cooked soy milk with a coagulant, the heated soy protein particles are suspended in water. The protein in the soy milk carries a negative charge, while coagulants such as gypsum or salt contain positively charged ions such as magnesium, calcium, and iron. As the temperature rises due to catalytic reactions, the mixture solidifies into a delicate and smooth tofu pudding. The coagulant used affects the final outcome of the product. Today, I will be using four different coagulants to make tofu pudding. Tofu pudding only three indgredients: soybean, water and coagulant. Choosing the right type of soybeans and water is crucial for taste, and the aroma and variety of soybeans used contribute to the freshness of the final product. I prefer using the non GMO Dongnong 690 sprouting soybeans, as their ability to sprout indicates their freshness.
The ratio of soybeans to water for making soy milk should be 1:10. If using store-bought soy milk, make sure it is unsweetened and contains more than 3g of protein per 100ml, which can be measured with a soy milk concentration meter. The soy milk concentration for making tofu pudding should be 5 degrees or higher.
The water content of the soy milk, its concentration, the proportion of coagulant used, heating temperature, and solidification speed all affect the smoothness and firmness of tofu pudding. Regardless of the type of coagulant used, whether it is mixed or stirred, it is important to mix the soy milk and coagulant evenly.
The concentration of the soy milk directly affects the firmness of the tofu pudding. A ratio of 1:8 soybeans to water produces harder tofu pudding, while a ratio of 1:10 results in a softer texture.
The longer tofu pudding is left, the more water it will release.
Homemade soy milk can be made with a stone mill or a soy milk maker, but it is important to strain the residue so that the resulting tofu pudding is smooth and delicate. I have a video demonstrating how to make soy milk with a stone mill that can be revisited.
【Gypsum Tofu Pudding】
The chemical component of edible gypsum is calcium sulfate, which is relatively insoluble in water. When added to soy milk, it solidifies slowly but evenly, leaving behind a significant amount of water. Starch, such as cornstarch or tapioca starch, is often added when using edible gypsum to create a more tender and chewy texture.
【Nigari Tofu Pudding】
Bittern or nigari, is the salt solution formed when halite (table salt) precipitates from seawater or brines.
Nigari is a common ingredient used to make tofu pudding, primarily consisting of magnesium chloride and calcium chloride, which dissolve easily in water. When added to soy milk, it acts quickly to solidify it. A ratio of 2ml of Nigari to 400ml of soy milk is commonly used. However, if the salt is not fine enough, using too much can result in a bitter and sour taste.
【GDL Tofu Pudding】
Glucono delta-lactone (GDL) is a natural food additive used to increase the acidity of soy milk, which causes it to solidify. This hydrolysis and solidification process occurs slowly, resulting in a silky and smooth texture similar to that of silk cloth. GDL tofu pudding has a high water content, but if more GDL is added, it can become firmer with a texture similar to Japanese silk tofu.
【Gelatin Tofu Pudding】
The last type of coagulant is gelatin sheets. The principle behind using gelatin to make tofu pudding has nothing to do with positive or negative ions. Gelatin is an animal-based protein that dissolves into a sticky substance when heated at high temperatures and mixed with water. As it cools, the activity of the protein molecules weakens, causing them to bond together and form a mesh-like structure that traps water and creates a jelly-like texture. Gelatin sheets have a more glossy and elastic texture than gelatin powder, which makes them more suitable for making tofu pudding.
【Homemade Soy Milk】- 1 liter of soy milk
Organic Soy Bean – 100g
Water – 1100ml
Please refer to the blog posts “Stone-milled Tofu” and “Soy Yogurt” below for the recipe of homemade sugar-free soy milk.
【Gypsum Tofu Pudding ♦ Ingredients】
- Homemade unsweetened soy milk – 1000ml
- Food-grade gypsum powder – 1 teaspoon
- Cornstarch – 2 teaspoons
- Room temperature drinking water – 2 tablespoons
- Tofu pudding insulation wooden bucket – 18cm in diameter with a 14.5cm inner diameter
【Gypsum Tofu Pudding ♦ Method】
1. Measure the weight of the gypsum powder accurately.
2. Add cornstarch or tapioca starch to a container, along with room temperature drinking water, and stir to form a thin paste. To ensure that the soy milk and paste are mixed evenly, the thin paste should completely cover the bottom of the container.
3. Heat the soy milk to 96°C. Do not leave the soy milk unattended while heating, because it boils quickly. The higher the temperature, the faster the coagulation reaction. If the temperature is too high, the tofu pudding will be coarse and not smooth enough. If the temperature is too low, the tofu pudding will not coagulate. Since the foaming reaction is different for each type of pot, it is not recommended to guess the temperature based on the foaming reaction alone. Please use a thermometer to measure the temperature accurately. Once the soy milk reaches 96°C, remove it from the heat immediately.
4. Shake the paste again before pouring the soy milk into it to prevent the starch and water from separating.
5. Slowly pour the 96°C soy milk from a distance of about 30 cm above the container into the thin paste. Each time the liquid is transferred, the temperature drops by about 2°C. Once the soy milk is poured in, the temperature should be 94°C, and any foam on the surface can be ignored.
6. Let it sit for 30 minutes without covering it. Once it coagulates successfully, remove the foam from the surface. If you prefer a softer and tender texture, enjoy it while it is still warm. If you prefer it cold, refrigerate it in the fridge, which will make it a little firmer.
7. Pour the ginger black sugar water to keep warm, sprinkle a little homemade brown sugar powder (beanpanda.com/145723), made by grinding homemade brown sugar in a grinder.
【Nigari Tofu Pudding ♦ Ingredients】
- 400 ml of unsweetened concentrated soy milk at room temperature
2 ml of liquid Nigari
【Nigari Tofu Pudding ♦ Instructions】
1. Use a 3ml syringe to measure the liquid Nigari . If you don’t have suitable equipment, it is recommended to use a larger amount of soy milk to reduce the error, such as increasing the amount to 1 liter of soy milk with 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of salted brine.
2. Measure the cooked soy milk at room temperature or refrigerated. Slowly drip the salted brine into the soy milk while stirring. Do not stir for too long.
3. Immediately pour the mixture into a container. A heavier ceramic bowl is preferred for steaming. Put it in the steaming pot with boiling water and steam for 10 minutes over high heat. The steaming time depends on the size of the container. The larger the container and the more soy milk, the longer the coagulation time.
4. I made versions with and without a lid. A covered version coagulates too quickly due to the higher temperature, resulting in bubbles in the finished tofu pudding and a less tender texture. An uncovered version coagulates more slowly and allows steam to escape, reducing the temperature, resulting in a tofu pudding without bubbles and a chewier texture.
【GDL Tofu Pudding ♦ Ingredients】
- 500 ml of unsweetened soy milk
1 g of glucono delta-lactone
【GDL Tofu Pudding ♦ Instructions】
1. Glucono delta-lactone is a tasteless white crystalline powder that dissolves in drinking water.
2. To make lactone tofu pudding, heat the soy milk to 75-85°C. Due to its slow coagulation speed, the soy milk can be heated directly in an electric rice cooker. My rice cooker can heat up to 76°C, and after 12 minutes with the lid on, the temperature of the soy milk has reached 89°C and small bubbles can be seen.
3. Keep the rice cooker on and stir the soy milk. Slowly pour in the glucono delta-lactone solution, cover it, and let it sit for another 20 minutes. The heating temperature of each rice cooker is different, so the time needs to be adjusted if the amount of soy milk used is changed. Therefore, the combination of temperature and time needs to be tested by oneself.
4. Once the tofu pudding has successfully coagulated, it can be scooped out and tasted.
【Gelatin Tofu Pudding ♦ Ingredients】
- 1000 ml of unsweetened soy milk
- 5 sheets of gelatin, weighing 6.5 g
【Gelatin Tofu Pudding ♦ Instructions】
1. Weigh the gelatin carefully as the weight may vary by brand. Cut the gelatin sheets into small pieces and add them to room temperature drinking water. Separate the gelatin pieces that are stuck together so that each sheet is in contact with water. After soaking until soft, drain the water and set aside.
2. Heat the cooked soy milk in a pot to 70°C. Once the temperature is high enough for the gelatin to dissolve, add the gelatin pieces and stir until completely dissolved.
3. Pour the mixture into a clean container, remove any foam, and refrigerate for at least four hours until completely solidified.
4. This proportion produces a very tender and smooth texture. If you want the tofu pudding to maintain its shape after demolding, increase the amount of gelatin.
5. Gelatin tofu pudding can only be eaten cold, as gelatin may melt when exposed to heat, turning back into soy milk.