Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

making tofu

on my last day in Niigata I asked the host mother there if I could help out with her tofu making group. she and some of the other ladies in town make tofu at the local onsen. she asked the other ladies if it was alright, and after some initial hesitation I got the green light.

you start with your clean soybeans

you then run the beans though this machine which creates a pulp of it all

you then put that pulp into a vat of boiling hot water.

stir it around a bit to reduce the head

you may be able to see how the head has smoothed out. this is from the stirring.

after it's ready, you pump it into a cheese cloth like bag over a machine. the bag catches the more firm parts and the other liquid parts are run through the machine into a bucket for use later

the bucket collecting the soymilk

what's left after the machine presses out the milk

then you hand squeeze the bag to get as much out as possible

you then take the hot soy milk and let it sit for about 25min. when it's done you scoop up the top part for a soft tofu

yours truly with some fresh scooped soft tofu

these are molds with a cheese cloth liner for the next portion of work involved

the rest of the tofu is poured into molds

next we measured the height of the tofu to make sure the distribution is even all around.

when ready the cloth is put on top to keep the curds in and to get the liquid out

you then weight down the lids to really press the liquids out and to help create that tofu firmness

a container of the soft tofu.

sadly, I had to leave before the firm tofu could be packaged. but I got a general idea of what happens next. Also, the leftover dough like part of the soybeans are used for various cooking techniques as well as organic fertilizer.

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