How to make tofu cheese

Finished tofu cheeseIt takes about two days to make this tofu cheese, but it’s well worth the wait. The method couldn’t be easier, and the finished product can stand in for blue cheese in this iceberg wedge salad, feta in this spinach salad as well as fish sticks in vegan fish tacos.

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One of the coolest things about starting a food blog is that it opens up your world to new people, people you probably would never meet otherwise. One of these cool people is a San Diego musician, voice-over actor, and vegan named Jeff Smith. Learn more about Jeff on his website.

After running into Jeff at Trader Joe’s (in the tofu aisle, where else?) Jeff told me that he was fond of making “cheese” from their super-firm tofu. After trying it a couple of times to make sure I understood the process, I’m sharing his recipe with you. Jeff’s wife Sally has a great recipe for vegan tartar sauce here, with some more suggestions on how to use the tofu cheese.

Suitable for:

vegan, gluten-free, reduced-sugar diets

Not for:

low-sodium or migraine diets

Tofu Cheese, Step 2
How to make tofu cheese
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Servings Prep Time
16servings of 1 ounce 10minutes
Passive Time
3-5days
Servings Prep Time
16servings of 1 ounce 10minutes
Passive Time
3-5days
Tofu Cheese, Step 2
How to make tofu cheese
  • 1
  • 2
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Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
16servings of 1 ounce 10minutes
Passive Time
3-5days
Servings Prep Time
16servings of 1 ounce 10minutes
Passive Time
3-5days
Ingredients
  • 16ounces tofusuper-firm or extra-firm, pressed
  • 1/4cup misoany color
Servings: servings of 1 ounce
Units:
Instructions
  1. To make your tofu cheese, buy the firmest tofu available. If you can't find super-firm, then wrap the block of tofu in a clean kitchen towel and press the tofu under a heavy weight for 30 minutes to remove more of the water, or use a TofuXpress.
  2. The tofu's firmness depends on the type of coagulant used and how it is pressed.
  3. Slice the block of tofu lengthwise into thirds.
  4. Spread a thin layer of miso paste on all sides of each piece, and then lay them in a container with some space between them.
  5. Let sit out on the counter for 24 hours. In hot weather (above 75F/24C), the cheese may be ready in one day. In cooler weather, it takes two or three days.
  6. The miso paste, a fermented product generally made from soy beans, ferments the tofu, changing its texture and color a bit as well. The way to check for doneness is to taste it. If it no longer tastes like tofu, but instead has a crumbly, feta-like texture and taste, it's ready.
  7. You may get some mold growing on the outside, which is natural. If you look closely at top slice in the first photo, you'll see there is some mold on it. Simply scrape or wipe off the miso and discard it. Refrigerate it with the container covered when it's done, and use within a few days. Scrape off the miso marinade before eating. If it gets slimy, just rinse off the slime, but eat it up right away.
Recipe Notes

Per 1-ounce serving:

  • 31 calories
  • 2 g fat
  • 0 g saturated fat
  • 1 g monounsaturated fat
  • 0 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 0 g cholesterol
  • 157 mg sodium (will be lower, but no way to calculate)
  • 37 mg potassium
  • 2 g carbohydrate
  • 0 g fiber
  • 1 g sugars
  • 3 g protein
  • 1 Weight Watchers Points Plus

I have to admit that I was a little scared to try making this, because I've never made fermented foods. But Jeff assured me that he's been making fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickles for many years, has never gotten sick, and the health benefits of these vital and energized foods are very great.

Another blogger has provided a link to making tofu-misozuke, which is the version of this that is made in Japan, except it's fermented for at least two months to create a creamy product with the consistency of blue cheese. I have now made this as well, and it's worth trying: my recipe for tofu misozuke.

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Comments

  1. Julia says

    Maybe this is a totally silly question, but do you wipe the miso off before eating, or leave it on (assuming there’s no mold)??

  2. Sharon L says

    I just found this site while doing a search for miso recipes. This sounds really great. I can’t wait to try it. Miso seems to be so healthy and I love the taste. Thanks.

  3. says

    I’m on day two! It’s still rather moist – not crumbly, but it tastes a lot like cheese to me! I haven’t had cheese in 20 years, but still – I think I remember. It’s a bit like cheddar, I think – but the texture is still pretty tofu-like.

  4. Janet says

    I’m a little late to the party, but I had to tell you how cool this is! I can’t believe how different the tofu tastes. I’m in San Diego too, near the coast, so with June Gloom it did take awhile. I was a little tentative to try it because of it sitting out for almost three days, but it tastes great. I’m going to try the falafel sliders in Chloe Coscarelli’s new book. I think it’ll be perfect with them. Thanks so much!
    p.s. I have it in the fridge now. How long do you think it’ll keep?

    • says

      Thanks Janet! It keeps for about five days, although you have to watch for mold growth. In that case, just scrape that part off, just like you would with cheese. Are you making a tahini sauce for the falafel or using this in the falafel? Keep me posted!

  5. Mimi says

    Hi there, I have a question about this recipe. Can the container only be covered with wax paper or is it okay to use other things?

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Mimi, you could use parchment paper or a paper towel. Waxed paper is good because it doesn’t stick and you can easily wipe it clean. You could use a clean kitchen towel as well. The important thing is that you want it to be able to breathe, as the air circulation and oxygen feed the fermentation process. You don’t want to seal it up, and it gets dried out fairly quickly if it’s uncovered. Let me know if this answered your question and thanks for reading!

  6. says

    We love miso cured tofu (tofu misozuke in Japanese). Pickling things in miso is common enough in Japan, but at least 1 village there figured out that pickling tofu in miso for 2 months to 2 years will result in an exceptionally creamy product, with a texture like a ripe soft blue cheese. We had this variant of tofu misozuke at a sake bar in Japan (it takes to wine just like a good cheese would) and have been working on reproducing that ever since:
    http://www.rauom.com/blog/tag/tofu-misozuke/

    • says

      Wow, thanks so much for the link! I am just now getting introduced to fermentation processes, so this is really fun to discover. I’ll make sure that Jeff (the friend who started me on this path) gets your link as well. Please visit often.

  7. says

    Thanks, Stephanie! Sally had posted a blog about making tacos with these, but I wasn’t sure how to make this essential ingredient. Your photos are helpful, and so pretty. Love that blue-y effect. Can’t wait to try ~ Laura

Trackbacks

  1. […] If you think you might be interested, here are five recipes I’ve made using the TofuXpress: Crispy tofu sticks with barbeque dipping sauce Vegan hot wings with home-made ranch dressing Spicy tofu satay Asian rice bowl salad Home-made tofu cheese […]

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