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Recipe: Firm Momen-style tofu

tofu recipe

Tofu is so basic, you only need three ingredients, says chef-author Peter Berley, who’s offering a tofu tutorial at his North Fork kitchen studio in mid April.

You’ll need soybeans and water to make milk (no, a carton of vanilla Silk won’t do) and a coagulant. “It tastes best when you use nigari (magnesium chloride, from sea salt), which you can buy in crystal or liquid form,” he says. Although you can use Epsom salt, too.

Here’s how to make Berley’s Firm Momen-style tofu, so you can wow your dinner guests with your gumption. We won’t tell them how easy it is. —Alia Akkam

Here’s what you’ll need

A colander, cheesecloth, small bamboo steamer basket, and medium stainless steel bowl


2 cups organic soybeans, soaked 10 hours
12 ½ cups water
2 teaspoons Nigari or Epsom Salt


1. Line colander with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Set aside.

2. Line steamer basket with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Place in metal bowl. Set aside.

3. Heat 7 ½ cups water in a large pot over medium-high heat

4. Combine ½ of the soybeans with 2 cups cold water. Puree in a blender (about 3 minutes). Add puree to heating water.

5. Repeat step 4 with remaining beans and 2 cups cold water. Add to heating water and stir.

6. Stirring constantly, bring contents of pot to boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Pour mixture into lined colander set inside a pot—let cool a few minutes.

8. Gather corners of cheesecloth and twist closed. Press firmly to extract soymilk.

9. Bring soymilk to a boil, reduce heat and gently simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.

10. Remove pot from heat. Dissolve nigari or other solidifier in 1 cup cold water. Add 1/3 of solidifier mixture slowly to hot soymilk.

11. Cover and allow to stand 3 minutes or until milk has separated into soft white curds.

12. Remove lid and add 1/3 more of solidifier mixture, while gently stirring in a figure 8 motion.

13. Replace cover and wait 3 more minutes.

14. Add remaining solidifier. Let sit a few minutes more. Soy milk should be all turned into curds.

15. Ladle bean curd into steamer basket lined with cheesecloth. Weigh down 35-40 minutes. (Use a heavy cookbook on a cutting board.)