TOFU AND SOYMILK
Although the highest quality protein is found in animal products (meat, milk, eggs and fish),
these products are expensive and often exceed the financial capacity of people in the developing
world. The soya bean is high in nutritional value and provides a satisfactory alternative to animal
products. It belongs to the grain legumes (also called pulses) and contains good quality protein,
oil, vitamins (from the B-group) and minerals (iron and calcium).
The production of tofu consists of two main steps:
the preparation of soymilk
the coagulation of soymilk to form curds which are pressed to form tofu cakes
Soaking the soya beans
Soya beans are soaked in cold water overnight or in very hot water for 2 to 3 hours, using 3 to 4
cups of water for each cup of dry soya beans. When the beans split open easily and are flat on
the inside, they are ready to be drained. After the water is discarded, they should be washed in
Grinding and cooking the soya beans
A grinding rock, hand mill or meat grinder can be used to grind the beans into flour. When all
the beans have been ground, boiling water (for each cup of dry soya beans about 8 cups of
cooking water are used) is gradually mixed to the pulp and then it is left to simmer on the fire for
20 minutes. The soymilk is stirred regularly to avoid burning.
Straining the soymilk
The cooked milk is now sieved to extract the soymilk from the pulp using a filtering cloth. It is
placed into a sieve which is positioned over a pot, lined with a filtering cloth. The cloth should
be made from nylon or porous material - either a flour or sugar bag can be used. The sides of
the cloth are held in each hand and moved up and down to roll the pulp back and forth so it
forms a ball. The cloth is twisted tightly and held over a clean container while pressure is
exerted onto it to extract the milk.
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