Supplied by Sam* (Senior Guide)


2 cups of dried soy beans, soaked overnight and drained

2 teaspoons of nigari OR

3 tablespoons of lemon juice


Prep Time: 1 hour + overnight soaking


Makes one 10oz


Use immediately or Submerge in fresh water in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Replace water daily.


Soak. In a large bowl, let the soybeans soak in water overnight, 8 to 10 hours and changing the water at least once. After the first couple of hours soaking you can also begin to remove any skins that separate and float to the water's surface. When ready to make the tofu, drain the soy beans well.

Heat. In a large pot, bring 7.5 cups of water to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Blend. In a high-speed blender, purée the soybeans in 2 batches (or more, depending on your blender's capacity) with 3 cups of cold water for each batch, about 2 minutes per batch. Add the puréed soybean-water mixture to the pot with the simmering water. Stir constantly, bringing the soybean mixture to a gentle boil. Be careful not to heat it too rapidly, as the liquid has a tendency to boil over suddenly.

Strain. Strain the soybean-water mixture through a nut milk bag or a fine mesh sieve lined with a double layer of wet cheesecloth and into a second large pot or container, pressing out all excess liquid. Discard the soy pulp (okara) or reserve for later use. You should have about 3 quarts of soy milk.

Boil. Return the strained soy milk to the pot and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly, again being careful because it can boil over quickly. Reduce the heat and gently simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.

Coagulate. Dissolve the nigari in 1 cup of cold water or combine your 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to one cup of water. Slowly stir one-third of the mixture into the hot soy milk. Cover the pot and allow it to stand for about 3 minutes, or until the milk has separated into soft white curds.

Add half the remaining coagulate, stirring, and cover for about 3 minutes, then repeat with the remaining mixture. The soy milk should now be completely separated into curds and whey.

Pour. Pout the mixture through a clean nut milk bag or cheesecloth, squeezing out as much liquid as possible (discard the liquid). Transfer the curds to the cheesecloth-lined tofu mold, folding over the extra cheesecloth on top of the curds. Press the curds down with a 2 to 3lb weight (such as cans of beans) until the curds are firm and solid, 25 - 30 minutes.

Notes: Don't use old beans. Ideally buy beans that have a manufacture/packing date or expiry date on them, or buy from a source where you are reasonably sure of the freshness of the beans. If you over soak the beans it seems to effect how well the milk coagulates too.

This delicious recipe is already 100% plant-based!
Dried soybeans can be purchased loose and in bulk from a bulk store or bulk section of your supermarket and you can use your own jars and bags. Check out some of the stores in the Sea to Sky, Vancouver area and more here.
Support local small businesses like the Green Moustache in Whistler and Squamish, and The Grounded Grocer in Squamish, who sell dried soy beans package-free.
Liquid Nigari is produced by Vanvouver Island Sea Salt whose products can be found at Camp Lifestyle and Coffee in Function Junction and Whistler Kitchen Works in the main village.
Most of these ingredients can be bought year-round in dried/preserved forms without the need for refrigeration.

*Adapted from The Complete Vegan Cookbook's - Homemade Tofu

Photos by Keir Atkinson and Polina Tankilevitch