My friend Bee Yinn Low posted a recipe on how to make sweet tofu pudding on her site, RasaMalaysia.com. She asked me to give tips on doing it well because she had a little trouble with her sweet doufu hua recipe. Among the comments that Bee received were ones about what to use for coagulating soy milk to produce tofu. People were very confused and I fielded their questions. Obviously, they didn’t have my book but more importantly, clarification is needed. So here we are.
To make tofu you need 3 ingredients: soybeans, water and coagulant. What are your coagulant options and how to choose and get them? I hope to answer your questions here.
What does a coagulant do to soy milk? It solidifies the protein and oil in hot soy milk.
Can you use agar agar or gelatin to coagulate soy milk? No, unless you want to produce soy milk gelatin. “Almond tofu” is gelled with agar agar or unflavored gelatin but it’s more of a jelly than a tofu. The term tofu is often used in China and Japan to denote many jelled things. Tofu is really a different animal. It’s not thickened with a starch or gelatin type of ingredient.
What can be used to coagulate soy milk for tofu: Many things, from everyday vinegar, lemon juice, and recycled/fermented whey to gypsum (calcium sulphate), Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate), nigari (magnesium chloride), and glucono deltalactone (GDL).