Baking Hermann
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Black Bean Tofu

Did you know that you can make tofu out of black beans? By extracting and heating the protein in legumes, you can change the protein bonds, causing them to firm up. Most of us have already experienced this process before when boiling an egg, turning the white from translucent to firm.
30 min

Burmese tofu is a common dish from the Shan minority in Burma (Myanmar) that is traditionally made with flour from split yellow lentils or chickpeas. It is different to traditional Chinese tofu, which is made by curdling soy milk and pressing the curds into a firm block. Instead, with Burmese tofu, the liquid is heated until it begins to coagulate and is then left to set into a soft block. Because of the difference in texture, you can’t use Burmese tofu as a substitute for firm soybean tofu, as it is rather delicate and might not withstand much stir-frying or longer cooking times in liquids. I prefer cutting Burmese tofu into cubes and shallow frying them with a bit of salt until golden brown on each side. They can then be coated in your favourite sauce or spices and used to top off dishes or served as a side.

Although Burmese tofu is commonly made with chickpea flour, you can, in essence, use any dried legume and apply the same method by soaking and blending them. Most legumes are high in protein (around 20%). By extracting and heating them, you can change the protein bonds, causing them to firm up. Most of us have already experienced this process before when boiling an egg, turning the white from translucent to firm. Although this works with any dried legume (peas, lentils, beans…), it’s slightly different with soybeans, which are even higher in protein (around 40%) and therefore begin to curdle when heated in the form of soy milk-(like in this recipe).

IMPORTANT: Raw legumes, especially certain beans, are not safe to consume, because they contain natural toxins as a defence mechanism against predators. By straining the blended legumes, you’re removing any larger particles that might not cook in time, so please don’t skip this step or the tofu might upset your stomach. Always make sure that your tofu has set properly, otherwise start over instead of eating it anyway.

One of my favourite ways to use Burmese tofu is to be inspired by other cultures who have long adapted the use of chickpea flour into creations like panisse or panelle. If you’d like to experience with other legumes, try my green lentil, red lentil or chickpea tofu.

 

Ingredients

  • 200g dried black beans

Method

Soak the beans in plenty of water overnight or for at least 8 hours.

The next day, drain the beans and pulse them in a food processor (I use Ninja) to break down slightly. Then add 500 ml of water and blend until smooth.

Filter the blended beans through a sieve into a saucepan and use the back of the spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible (You can discard the leftover pulp, or use it to thicken stews, soups or even mix it into breads like this Sourdough Rye). Add 1/2 tsp of salt to the liquid and whisk it in. You will notice that some of the protein has already sunk to the bottom of the pan. Make sure to loosen it with the whisk or it will burn.

Bring the liquid to a gentle boil, whisking constantly. Keep simmering for 1 minute, whisking every now and then, until the mixture sticks to the whisk and doesn’t instantly level out when you stir it. When you tilt the pan, the liquid should move slowly. If it feels too runny, just cook it a little longer. Once ready, pour the mixture into a mould and let it set for an hour before using.

Black Bean Tofu

Did you know that you can make tofu out of black beans? By extracting and heating the protein in legumes, you can change the protein bonds, causing them to firm up. Most of us have already experienced this process before when boiling an egg, turning the white from translucent to firm.
5 from 1 vote
Course Staples
Servings 1 block of tofu

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g dried black beans

Instructions
 

  • Soak the beans in plenty of water overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  • The next day, drain the beans and pulse them in a food processor (I use Ninja) to break down slightly. Then add 500 ml of water and blend until smooth.
  • Filter the blended beans through a sieve into a sauce pan and use the back of the spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible (You can discard the leftover pulp, or use it to thicken stews, soups or even mix it into breads like this Sourdough Rye). Add 1/2 tsp of salt to the liquid and whisk it in. You will notice that some of the protein has already sunk to the bottom of the pan. Make sure to loosen it with the whisk or it will burn.
  • Bring the liquid to a gentle boil, whisking constantly. Keep simmering for 1 minute, whisking every now and then, until the mixture sticks to the whisk and doesn’t instantly level out when you stir it. When you tilt the pan, the liquid should move slowly. If it feels too runny, just cook it a little longer. Once ready, pour the mixture into a mould and let it set for an hour before using.
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4 Comments

  1. Matt

    5 stars
    This one is my favorite, I was so excited to learn that I could make tofu from black beans! I add a little cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes before heating to give it an extra kick

    Reply
    • Julius Fiedler

      Great idea to flavour it!

      Reply
  2. Troy Butler

    I was really happy with this idea. I made it with vegan beef bouillon, then cut it into thin strips and fried it. I then used that to make black pepper green beans with “beef”.

    Reply
    • Julius Fiedler

      Oh amazing! How was it?!

      Reply

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