Tag Archives | tutorial

How to Make Tofu Using Morinaga Make-Your-Own Kit

fresh tofu

I’ve been a little under the weather this week, so it’s taken me longer than anticipated to share my experience using the Morinaga tofu kit that I posted about in the weekly giveaway on Tuesday. However, in the spirit of better late than never, here we go!

tofu kit ingredients

You start with a carton of soy milk and one small packet of nigari. The directions say that it’s best to chill these ingredients to ensure proper setting, so I left mine in the fridge overnight before starting my tofu making process.

pouring soy milk

When you’re ready to make your tofu, you pour the chilled soy milk into a saucepan and set it over medium heat so that it slowly comes up to a simmer (no need to stir). You don’t want the milk to boil, instead you want to heat it until it beings to form a skin.

curdled soy milk

Once you see that skin forming, pull the pot off the heat and stir the nigari in briskly and thoroughly (the instruction sheet specifies that you need to integrate it within three seconds).

tofu mold

While the soy milk sits and curdles for five minutes, set up your tofu mold. Set the bottom part of the mold in a baking dish or a shallow bowl. If it’s the first time you’re using the cheese cloth, rinse it in water and then line the mold with it.

pouring curdled soy milk

Once the five minute rest period is up, pour the soy curds into the lined mold.

draining tofu

Fold the cheese cloth over the nascent tofu, position the top of the mold in place, and set something heavy on top of it. I happened to have a can of coconut milk on my counter, so it was called into action.

unmolding tofu

You can drain the tofu for as little as ten minutes, or up to two hours, if you prefer a firmer finished product. Whenever you decide that you’ve drained yours enough, fill a bowl with cold water, gather up the cheese cloth bundle, and submerge the tofu to unwrap it (this helps prevent the cloth from sticking to the tofu).

tofu corner

There you have it! Fresh tofu to use in soup, a stir fry, or however else you like it!

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Canning 101: How to Use One Piece Lids

one piece lids

I find myself functioning within the “better late than never principle” more often than I like to admit. My frequent delays bedevils many in my life (particularly my punctual husband), but as I built this career as a writer/teacher/canning crusader, I find that there is nearly always more for me to do than there is time in which to do it. So tasks back up, I take days to answer questions and I don’t always do everything I promised within the timeframe I had hoped.

Like this post on canning with one piece lids. I had intended to write it the week I posted the Fillmore Container giveaway, but it just didn’t happen then. Happily, it’s happening today. Better late than never, right?

different lid styles

So. When it comes to home canning, the USDA and the National Center for Home Food Preservation recommend that we use mason jars with two piece lids. These two part lids are recommended because they are easy to use, known to seal reliably, and it’s easy to tell if the jars sealed (remove rings and grasp edges of lid. If it holds fast, it is sealed).

One piece lids are a little bit more mysterious. For a first time user, there’s not a lot of information about which one piece lids are right for home canning, how to prepare them for canning and even how tightly you should turn them to ensure a good seal.

covering with water

When you buy one piece lids for canning, you want to get ones that are lined with plastisol, have a button in the center (to better show that it has sealed) and are expressly designed for boiling water bath canning (do not order the ones that are for hot fill only). You don’t want to use lug lids, as they don’t fit mason jars.

When you’re ready to can with these lids, place them in a small saucepan (just like you would with your flat lids), cover them with warm water and place on the stove.

boiling lids

Bring the lids to a gentle boil, reduce the temperature and simmer the lids for approximately 10 minutes before applying the lids.

removing from water

When you’re ready to close your jars, use a jar lifter to pull the lids out of the water, one at a time. Make sure to have a towel or hot pad handy so that you don’t burn your hands while tightening down the lids. When you screw this lids on, you only want to tighten them to the point when you feel the rim of the jar make contact with the sealing compound. Don’t go any tighter or the air won’t be able to escape and you will have compromised your seal.

processing

Place capped jars into your boiling water bath and process as you would any other jar. When the time is up, turn off the heat, remove the lid from the pot and let the jars remain in the hot water for an additional five minutes. This extended heat exposure helps reduce siphoning and gives the sealing compound just a little bit more time to soften and develop a relationship with the rim of the jar.

sealed one piece lids

Remove jars from water bath and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. Don’t hover over your jars, give them some time to create their vacuum. These lids often take longer to seal than their two piece┬ábrethren, so don’t start panicking if they take an hour or more to finally pop.

When jars are cool, test seals by pushing down on the lid of the jar. If the lid is firm and the button is concave, they are ready to be stored in the pantry. If you have any doubts about the quality of your seal, place the jar in the refrigerator and use the product promptly.

 

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