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Join Daniel and Mirra from The Perennial Plate as they show you the homemade tofu recipe they learned during their trip to China.

Homemade Tofu


  • 4 1/2 cups dry soybeans

  • 4 cups of water + 10 cups of water + 1cup of water

  • 1 teaspoon gypsum (available at most health food and brewing stores)

  • Some sort of press/mold lined with cheesecloth (I used a strainer with a bowl on top)


  1. Soak your soybeans overnight in lots of water (twice as much water as beans).

  2. In the morning, strain it off. Blend the soybeans with 4 cups of water.

  3. Put the blended beans in a pot and add 10 additional cups of water.

  4. Bring the soy mixture to a boil, stirring the whole time. A frothy head should appear at the top of the pot (sort of like beer). Once this happens, turn the heat off, and strain out the mixture through cheesecloth.

  5. You will be left with solids (in the strainer) and liquid in the bowl. For the purpose of making tofu, you dont need the solids (also known as Okara)… but keep them on hand for a number of other uses in other recipes.

  6. Put the liquid into a pot and simmer for 10 minutes.

  7. In a separate bowl, mix together 3 teaspoons of gypsum with a cup of water. Slowly add it to the soy milk while stirring constantly. Once it has all been added, stop stirring and let the soy milk sit for 20 minutes.

  8. At this point the soy will have started to coagulate and firm up slightly.

  9. You can either pour into the mold you are going to use, or ladle it in.

  10. Set something heavy on top and let it sit for 2-3 hour or overnight depending on the consistency of tofu you prefer (the longer it sits, the more firm the tofu).

  11. Remove the tofu and use however you see fit.

Homemade Tofu

Sauteed Cabbage


  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, minced

  • 2 small shallots, minced

  • 1 cup of cubed tofu

  • 1/4 cabbage, chopped into small strips

  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon honey

  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar

  • 1 Tablespoon each of crushed peppercorns and coriander seed

  • 2 Tablespoons oil or butter


  1. Saute the garlic, shallots and ginger in the oil on low heat until they have softened, about three minutes.

  2. Add the honey, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. let simmer for 2 minutes, then turn the heat to high and add the cabbage and tofu.

  3. Fry for a minute, before adding 1/3 of a cup of water and letting it all meld together.

  4. If the liquid has all evaporated, add a touch more soy sauce and vinegar. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Sauteed Cabbage




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- [Daniel] This is Mirra. She's the camera girl. - [Mirra] This is Daniel. He's the chef. - [Daniel] We travel the world making videos about sustainable food. When we get home, we cook some of our favorite dishes inspired by these adventures. This is The Perennial Plate In the Kitchen. Oh my gosh. Cooking videos. We're at our neighbor's house, and we just got back from China. We ate a lot of tofu. We saw how tofu got made, so we're going to try to make it in the home kitchen. Is that okay? I think I have to be more enthusiastic. - [Mirra] No, no, don't be cheesy. - Eating tofu from the store in a block in my opinion really sucks but when you eat it fresh and you've made it yourself, it's one of those things that is better homemade. First step, soak your beans. Soy beans. Put it in a bowl, cover them with water and stick it in the fridge. It'll be ready the next day. And the way that you know that they're done basically, the bean should split apart. So first thing to do is straighten out these soy beans. Are you recording? - [Mirra] Yeah. - We have to make soy milk. Four and a half cups of soy beans, four cups of water. Blend thoroughly. Doesn't work. Dull knife. Alright, so we're going to straighten it out with this. - [Mirra] It goes right through. Have you tried this already? - Oh. Quick, grab me that, grab me that one right there, Mirra. See that one? Yeah. Seriously, quick. Forget about the cheese caught and strained through here. Oh. This show can be called, like, Daniel Doesn't Know How to Cook. - [Mira] Or, like, He Seems Drunk, But He's Not. - Disaster. - [Mira] Stop! So, what would you recommend people don't do at home? - Okay. The error here, you blend the soybeans with the water. That was correct. But then, you don't try to strain it out right away. You pour it all into a bowl, with water, and cook it first, and then strain it out. That was the trouble that I was having. Yeah, man, I'm an idiot. Comments? I just messed up the whole thing, and you have a great opportunity to make fun of me. - Because I would rather make fun of you when you least expect it. - Okay, I know so far this seems like making tofu is really difficult. But I swear, it's not. Once you have blended your soy-milk, you pour it into the pot, and get it on the stove. And you add water to that. Ten cups of water. It is going to puff up like beer once it gets hot. Then you want to turn off the heat. And you wanna keep stirring it all along. Wait a couple minutes, let it cool down, and then we'll strain it. This is the right way to do it. After you've cooked it, you pour it over, not before. We're going to put this back on the stove and bring it to a boil, and then simmer it for maybe five to ten minutes. What we're going to add is gypsum, three teaspoons with a cup of water. And then, add it in two batches, stirring this well to make sure that it mixes together. And you can see it's starting to coagulate. Woah, look at this tofu! You wanna try now? - [Mira] Okay. - It's basically like whey, with making cheese. People would say ladle this in, but I've found that just having it poured right in works extremely well. Fold the cheesecloth over it. I'll take this other bowl. Press it down. And then, we're going to wait. Obviously the longer you let it sit, the more liquid comes out of it, and the more dense it becomes. A little bit of maple syrup. Or not. - [Mira] How about some honey? - Yeah. Tofu. Alrighty. Garlic, shallots, ginger, soy sauce. Vinegar, coriander, black pepper, and honey. Good tofu! Hot tofu got made!

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