#FoodieFriday: Slow Tofu DIY Kit

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More than a meat substitute, tofu can also be eaten as a light yet protein-rich snack. The stuff you find at the supermarket is not so tasty right out of the container, but fresh tofu is aromatic, semi-sweet, and altogether delicious by itself or lightly seasoned with toppings such as scallions and black sesame seeds. If you don’t live nearby an authentic Asian restaurant or local tofu factory, it may be hard to find ready-made tofu that hasn’t been sitting around in a plastic container. But, with the right supplies, you can make this vegan delicacy at home from just soy milk and a setting agent.

If you don’t live nearby an authentic Asian restaurant or local tofu factory, it may be hard to find ready-made tofu that hasn’t been sitting around in a plastic container.

To make your own tofu, you will need a fresh soy milk and a tofu coagulant. Organic soy milk with no flavoring is best, and handmade varieties curd more easily than boxed options. Good places to look for fresh soy milk include Asian groceries and health food stores. Additionally, if you want control over the entire process, you can even make the soy milk yourself by soaking, steaming, blending, draining, and cooking organic soy means. Once you have your desired soy milk, you will need to decide on an agent to activate the formations of curds. There are many options, ranging from epsom salts to apple cider vinegar. What you choose will depend on how you want to shop and how you want your tofu to look and feel. A chemical coagulant such as nigari creates a firm tofu with a slightly bitter taste, for instance, while a natural alternative such as fresh-squeezed lemon juice and distilled water makes for a soft tofu with a tangy bite.

With a kit such as the minimalist conceptual design Slow Tofu, you can make a healthy treat with a portable bundle of elegant tools. Slow Tofu is the final project for designer Weiwei Wang’s Bachelor’s studies at Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. Simplifying the tofu-making process, Wang’s design fits practically all of the handwoven baskets, ceramic bowls, and metal implements that you could need and desire into a wooden box with a steel lid. The perforated lid doubles as a prep surface that lets the tofu curds drain as you work. The durable surface provides a place to hold a warm saucepan, plus room for straining and molding the tofu in baskets, each handcrafted by Chinese artisans. Once the tofu has its shape, it can be gently flipped over into a ceramic bowl, sliced with the accompanying wire-cutter, and served with a special fork. In short, dig in.

Slow Tofu was presented at Salone del Mobile as part of the Satellite exhibition for up-and-coming designers. Wang suggests that the kit be used in food classes and other workshops teaching the art of Asian cooking.




Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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