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HELP! There's a VEGAN Coming For Dinner!


Soft Tofu

I’ve had a few trials making soft tofu, having discovered early on that lemon juice is great for making firm tofu but won’t work for soft tofu. It coagulates the protein too quickly, resulting in lumpy curds separating out from the whey. This recipe uses gypsum as a coagulant, which is available from home-brewing shops. Specifically ask for FOOD GRADE gypsum (also known as calcium sulphate), not the grade used as a disinfectant.  

I have a huge steamer (a throwback from my days as a silk belly-dance veil maker), so I make soft tofu in a glass loaf pan, about 5” x 9”. You can use any size of heat-proof (not plastic) container you have which will fit into your steaming basket, but try not to fill it to more than 2” deep. Steam for about 6 minutes per 1” depth of tofu, and don’t worry if you leave it in there for an extra couple of minutes. I find 20 minutes is fine for my loaf pan.  

When the tofu is set it will it wobble when you shake the mold, and a toothpick inserted into the center will leave a tiny hole on the surface.


3 cups  soy milk (with at least 5g fat and 8g protein per cup / 250ml)

1 ½ tsp food grade gypsum (calcium sulphate) mixed with 2 tsp water


1.         Fill the bottom of a steamer pan with water. Bring to a boil.

2.         When the steamer is boiling, mix the calcium sulphate and water into the soy milk. Pour into the mold / molds and put into the steamer basket.

3.         If it’s safe to do so (I don’t recommend this on gas hobs!) place a clean tea towel over the top of the steamer before replacing the lid to reduce the amount of condensation dripping onto you tofu.

4.         Steam for 6 - 10 minutes per 1” depth of tofu.

5.         Turn off the steamer and remove the lid. Allow the tofu to sit for 5 minutes before transferring the pot(s) to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before covering ad putting into the fridge for at least 4 hours, or up to 3 days.

6.         To serve, tip the tofu out of the pots(s) and allow the liquid whey to drain away.