Silken tofu in Vietnam is the equivalent of our german pudding, but made from a relatively rich soy milk. It is eaten with a ginger-sugar syrup cooked from palm sugar.
In other Asian countries, however, it is often eaten with savory accompaniments, such as in Japan.
Quite classically, you don’t need a real binder to make the silken tofu firm, but this is achieved by adding a mild acid or just a little other coagulant like nigari. But for this, as mentioned, the concentration of the soy milk must be high enough. Ready-to-drink soymilk from a tetrapack does not achieve this satisfactorily, and the consistency of the silken tofu would become very watery, if it became solid at all.
In modern food technology, people often use glucono-delta-lactone (GDL), which is formed by slowly heating gluconic acid, as a coagulant for silken tofu. Gluconic acid is present in many fruits and wine as fruit acid. The advantage is that GDL only becomes really acidic when it is heated and when the environment is alkaline. It can therefore be used to acidify in a very balanced and targeted manner and to control the coagulation of the silk tofu. You can get GDL relatively well as an additive e.g. for molecular cuisine in mail order.
- 150g dried soybeans
- 1L water ( extra water for soaking)
- 2g GDL (glucono-delta-lactone) 2 tsp cold water
- 100g palm sugar or brown sugar as an alternative
- 30g ginger
- 100ml water
- Rinse the soybeans and let them soak overnight in a mixing bowl or blender jar, covered with plenty of water.
- The next day, check if they are already soft enough: they should then be easy to split in half with your fingers. This usually takes about 10 – 15h, depending on the variety and how dry the beans are.
- Tip away the soaking water and add about 400g of water (from the 1L). Using a strong blender, puree the beans on high speed to a very fine paste. It should look something like a milkshake. For us, this takes about 3 min. Finally, blend in about half of the remaining water to make it thinner.
- Put the pureed beans into a large pot. Rinse the blender jar with the remaining 300ml of water and add this water, and with it the remains of the bean mixture, to the pot as well.
- Bring the bean puree to a boil on the stove and simmer for about 10 min, stirring constantly. Be careful, never leave it unattended, it likes to boil over very easily! It also produces a lot of fine white foam, so the pot must be a little larger. The foam doesn’t bother you though, you don’t have to remove it and it disappears later.
- After simmering, pour the milk over a second pot through a nut milk bag or straining cloth and squeeze to remove any solid bean residue. Pull off any skin floating on the surface with chopsticks. Cool the soy milk to about 80°C.
- Mix the glucono-delta-lactone (GDL) powder with about 2 tsp cold water and pour into the bowl for the silken tofu. Swirl the bowl to spread the GDL solution on the inside of the bowl. Then immediately pour in the hot soy milk and let stand for about 30 min to allow the silken tofu to set. To prevent it from cooling too much in the process, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and wrap it in a kitchen towel.
- In the meantime, put the sugar in a saucepan with about 100ml of water and bring to a boil. Peel the ginger and cut it into thin slices. Add to the sugar solution and simmer for 10 min.
Using a tablespoon, remove flat layers from the silken tofu and carefully place in dessert bowls. Top with a few spoonfuls of syrup and enjoy.
- You can, of course, simply branch off some soy milk during normal tofu production as described in our article and use it to make silken tofu.
- Silken tofu can also be used cold as a substitute for cream in vegan recipes.
Enjoy the preparation!