August 10, 2016 9:50 am Leave your thoughts
Nigari isn’t really an impulse-buy: if you’re looking for it, then you probably know exactly why you need it! But for those of us a bit less clued-up, here’s a quick explanation as to what exactly this product is. (And note, you may also know it by its other name, ‘lushui’ in Chinese – it’s exactly the same thing!)
Nigari is composed mainly of magnesium chloride, with certain other seawater minerals likely to be present. It’s a natural product extracted from sea salt and consists of slightly crunchy, white crystal flakes. It needs careful handling: it attracts moisture, so must be moved from packet to final product very quickly. If it becomes damp, the moisture can spread rapidly throughout the whole batch, meaning that it all turns to mush! (Rest assured, at Naturally Good Food we hold special nigari-handling training sessions…)
Some other companies sell nigari in plastic tubs. We’re conscious of our customers’ desire to keep heavy plastic packaging to a minimum – and costs as well – and have found that with our careful handling, we have no problems sending out in lined paper sacks.
Who uses nigari?
Nigari’s main use is as a coagulant in the manufacture of tofu. It’s great to watch this process. Nigari is added to ordinary soy milk, transforming it into fluffy curds, which can then be pressed into blocks. It’s possible to use lemon juice or vinegar for a similar effect, but only nigari manages to bring out the sweetness of the beans without adding an overwhelming flavour of its own. Nigari also allows the tofu to maintain a firm shape, with a soft skin. We have a number of customers who make their own tofu, also buying our soya milk or soya beans to start them off.
In addition, some customers dilute nigari and take it with other mineral supplements medicinally – a number of health claims have been made for it. Most suggest dissolving the flakes and taking just a few drops in a glass of water or juice per day.
Nigari is also popular as a luxury beauty product, especially in spas. It’s said to be great for softening rough skin – and can either be dissolved in water, or used as a rub, to tone and refresh!
Click here to see our nigari.
(And if it all sounds like too much hard work, click here for our pre-made tofu!)
Tags: bulk nigari, nigari, soy milk, soya beans, soya milk, soybeans, tofu, tofu coagulant
This post was written by Yzanne