Personally, I am a big fan of chilled beancurd over the traditional beancurd as I heard that traditional beancurd contains gypsum (石膏粉), which is also used in the manufacture of casting (plaster, surgical castings). Even though the amounts used are probably negligible but it still freaks me out that I am consuming something so seemingly inedible and highly artificial.
There are many stores selling chilled beancurd these days (think Lao Ban, 51 Soy Beancurd, etc.) but the best is really home-made. It is much simpler to make than you think with several ingredients and the best part of it is that you can customise it to your taste; control the amount of sugar, experiment with different flavours. I have tried Chocolate and Green Tea but my favourite is still the original soy bean flavour.
The secret or rather open-secret to making yummy chilled beancurd is... instant jelly powder from Phoon Huat! I having been using FoodieFC's recipe and it works perfectly each time round.
(makes 1.4L of chilled soy beancurd)
*refer to original posting here
1.4 litres of water
4 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of Polleney soy bean powder (I got a box from NTUC, 500g at $6. This is only available at larger NTUC outlets)
2 packets/30g of Unisoy soya bean powder (I used those in the green packaging, sometimes you can get it on sale in NTUC at 6.95 for 12 packets. I tried the one in orange packaging (no cane sugar added) and the taste was off)
30g of Creamer/Coffee-mate (Any brand will do, e.g. Nestle, etc. but I use Super because its slightly cheaper, $2.45 for 450g from NTUC)
4 tablespoons of white sugar (Adjust to personal preference)
6 teaspoons of instant jelly powder
1. In a big pot, pour in 1.4L of water and add in soy bean powder. It is easier to pour powder into water than to add water to powder. This is to prevent clumps of soy bean powder sticking to the bottom of the pot. If that happens, use a laddle/big spoon and scrap the bottom of the pot to loosen them. This is important as you do not want the clumps to become burnt when heating up the beancurd. Stir well to ensure that powder dissolves completely. Do not worry if there are some still some small clumps of powder floating around. They will dissolve as you heat up the mixture.
2. Place pot over fire and heat up. When soy bean milk feels warm to touch, start pouring in creamer slowly mixture and stir well. Add in sugar after and mix well.
|Note: I filled up the emptied Unisoy packs with creamer (refer to Tips section below)|
3. Lastly, add in instant jelly powder and mix well. Using a whisk is more efficient but a using a laddle works well too. By this time, you should see some steam trails rising from the pot. Do not bring to a boil as this will destroy the nutrients in the soy bean milk.
4. Leave to cool to room temperature and pour into containers or bowls. Chill in the fridge for about 3 hours or leave in freezer for 1 hour before consumption.
Unlike baking, I do not use precise measuring instruments and instead gauge using tablespoons and teaspoons. To get 30g of creamer, I use the emptied packets of Unisoy soy bean powder and fill it up close to the brim; refer to marked red line in picture below.
The amount of the jelly powder you put determines the consistency of beancurd. If you like something firmer, add more jelly powder. I tend to be more heavy handed when putting the jelly powder as not all of them will dissolve, leaving mini clump residues at the bottom of pot which should be removed before you chill the beancurd. Also, the beancurd will start to lose its structure after 2 days in the fridge, meaning that the soy bean milk will start to "leak out" and you will end up with a mixture of jelly and soy bean milk. The beancurd is still edible though, albeit at a softer texture.
If you do not want to get two types of soy bean powder, feel free to use only a single brand or use pre-packed soy bean milk, e.g. vitasoy, etc. Remember to adjust sugar levels as pre-packed soy bean milk tend to come sweetened. The taste of your beancurd will vary based on the type/brand of soy bean milk chosen.
Storing Polleney soy bean powder can be problematic. I used to tie up the bag with a rubber band but realised that was insufficient in keeping out the moisture and the powder became lumpy and unusable. Now, upon opening a new packet, I tie it up after use and place it in a zip-lock bag. Thus far, my Polleney soy bean powder has remained lump-free for 6 months and counting
Experiment with different flavours! To make green tea flavoured beancurd, simply add some green tea/matcha powder to a bowl and mix well with final mixture. I added about 1 teaspoon of green tea powder to 400ml of soy bean milk. If you prefer a more intense flavour, add more green tea powder. You can use unsweetened cocoa powder to make chocolate flavoured chilled beancurd.