- Place the soybeans in a large bowl. Cover with water and soak for 12 hours at room temperature. Add more water to cover the beans, if needed. Drain and rinse. Set aside.
- Line a colander with eight layers of cheesecloth, letting it hang over all sides, and place over a large pot. In a small bowl, dissolve the Epsom salts in the water. Set aside.
- In a blender, purée half of the soybeans with 2 cups (500 ml) of the boiling water for 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the colander. Repeat with the remaining beans and 2 cups of the water. Pour the remaining water into the colander. Strain for 5 minutes. Gather the cloth and twist into a pouch. Using a potato masher, press the pouch to extract the maximum amount of milky liquid possible, about 8 cups (2 litres). Discard the soy solids.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the soy liquid reaches 194°F (90°C), about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat. Gradually add the Epsom salts mixture while slowly stirring in an S-formation. Do not overstir. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes without stirring to allow the soy liquid to coagulate.
- Line a tofu mould or sieve with four layers of cheesecloth and place over a deep bowl. Using a skimmer ladle, gently scoop out the soy curds and place in the mould. Fold the cheesecloth over the curds. Weigh down with a small board or plate and a 2-lb weight (a large can of tomatoes works well) to press out excess liquid. Let rest for at least 30 minutes. Discard excess liquid as it drains and do not allow the bottom of the mould to sit in liquid. The longer the tofu is pressed, the firmer its texture.
- Gently remove the wrapped tofu from the mould and submerge in ice water for 5 minutes to firm up. Remove the cloth. The tofu will keep for 5 days in cold water in an airtight container placed in the refrigerator. Change the water daily.
There’s a recipe within this recipe: Follow the first three steps and you’ll have your own soy beverage! It’s a great stand-in for the grocery-store variety, but since it’s preservative-free, be sure to drink it within a few days.
Find Epsom salts in natural food stores.