First, soak the soy beans in water. Wash the beans like when you wash rice for 2 to 3 times, and soak in 950 ml water for more than 10 hours.
It takes longer in the winter than in the summer, When the surface of the beans is smooth when you break the beans, then it is ready.
It will double in size and the round soy beans will expand to an oval.
Blend into a puree. Add the leftover water from soaking in 2-3 doses in between.
Once the the beans and water are well blended, add water for cooking and blend. This will smooth out any lumps.
Heat the mixture in medium high heat. It will easily burn because it's a thick soy milk. So always keep mixing! Scoop out the bubbles too.
When scooping out the bubbles, Ifeel like I throw out soy milk so I use a spatula, which reduces waste.
When it starts to boil, turn down the heat to low and keep mixing for 8 minutes.
Turn off the heat after 8 minutes. Prepare a bowl with a colander on top and cover it with a gauze.
Pour the soy milk into the colander using a ladle. Wear rubber gloves to squeeze out the remaining beans from the gauze as it is extremely hot.
Use tongs to squeeze out the water if you don't have rubber gloves. The liquid that seeps out is soy milk. The remaining gritty beans is okara !
This is okara. You can use it for cooking.
Strain the soy milk once more. The smooth texture is important for silken tofu!
There should be about 700 ml of soy milk ready. The milk in the picture weighs 1200 ml but with the ingredients amount it will be about 700 ml.
The amount of nigari needed is 1.1% of the soy milk but I prepare 1.5%. The amount in the picture is a little more than usual.
Chill the soy milk in the refrigerator. Make sure to chill until it becomes cold ! If the soy milk is warm, it'll become hard when you add the nigari and you will mess it up.
Fill a container with chilled soy milk.
Add the nigari you measured carefully and mix it well slowly without making bubbles. Cover it with a wrap and set it on a steamer.
Set the soy milk filled container on the steamer first and then turn on the fire. When it starts to boil and starts to steam, turn the fire into medium heat and steam for 20 minutes.
The soy milk should be solid after 20 minutes. If the soy milk is not solidifying at this point, you probably didn't add enough nigari.
If so, steam it a little more. Chill in cold water once it's done. Be careful not to break it!
When it is well cooled, it is ready! Enjoy it however you like.
If the tofu breaks after steaming, pour it in a gauze like in step 9.
Although it won't be silken tofu, you've made colander tofu!
Perhaps it's difficult to find soy beans abroad? Here's a comparison of beans that are GMO and non-GMO.
If the germ is black, it is genetically modified. If it's white, it is not genetically modified.
Story Behind this Recipe
I couldn't find tofu in my neighborhood as I'm living abroad, and when I did find it at an Asian supermarket, it was huge and expensive! And also hard and tasteless. So I had to make it myself. You can buy gauze at a pharmacy or buy at the baby section (I found it at a bib section).
You can buy nigari overseas at the pharmacy, look for Magnesium that's ok to be ingested and make a 30% concentration. Or you can use clean sea water. Boil down to 1/10 and the remaining white salt crystals is nigari.