The Best DIY Hemp Tofu (soy-free hempfu)

The Best DIY Hemp Tofu (soy-free hempfu)

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A while ago, I found a recipe online for hemp tofu, and I tried it…and I really didn’t like it. At all. It was gritty and crumbly and really just didn’t do it for me. I also bought some hempfu at the grocery store to try and find a good alternative to soy-based tofu…and that was a bust, too. So, I decided that I would have to come up with a DIY hempfu recipe on my own…and it was surprisingly easy!

It required a few specialized tools and literally three ingredients, but within a couple of hours, I had an awesome soy-free tofu that is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What more could you want?

pinterest image for homemade hempfu

What to Expect From DIY Hempfu

This isn’t quite as durable as a standard soy-based tofu. It still feels a little delicate a crumbly in comparison, but it makes a mean scramble and roasts up nicely as well.

Mine fell apart a little bit while stir-frying, so I tend to air-fry or bake it before tossing it in with everything else for the best results.

In terms of the cooking process, I was shocked at how simple it was. Shocked. When I’ve made other soy-free tofu substitutes out of seeds, they could be a little temperamental, but the hemp milk pretty much curdled completely out of the gate. I’ve heard the nigari is necessary for it to fully curdle and firm up, so I haven’t tried it without yet. But, I’ll be sure to share those results when I do.

step by step instructions for making soy-free hempfu (hemp tofu)
It’s seriously this easy: blend, strain, simmer, strain, press, chill.

Tools Used in Making Homemade Hemp Tofu

Making your own soy-free tofu is one of those projects that does actually require a few specialized tools. Fortunately, they’re not too expensive, and the amount of money you can save over time making various types of tofu will pay for them in no time.

The first tool is a good blender. I got a Vitamix years ago, and I’ve been so happy with that decision. While I initially thought that spending a few hundred dollars on a blender was a bit insane, I use my Vitamix every day for a variety of things, and am thrilled to have it.

My one true love…

The second tool is a set of nut milk bags. You could also use cheesecloth, but I really prefer the nut milk bags. They’re not hard to clean, and they usually come in sets with different sized mesh, so you can use them to strain out bigger and smaller particles. That’s actually what I did here – I used the larger, coarser size for the initial straining of the hemp milk, and then the smaller one to actually make the hempfu.

When I worked at a health food store, I once had to witness a fellow team member answer a slew of “nut sack” questions with a straight face. Sara, you were the MVP that day for sure.

The third tofu-making tool is really the only thing that isn’t going to be used for other projects, and that’s a tofu press. I just bought a super basic and inexpensive one (this one), and it has worked great for me. There are others withi cranks and screws and springs, but really, I’d rather have a less expensive one that’s easier to clean, without the bells and whistles.

Specific Ingredients Used In Making Hempfu

These are the specific brands I used to make this soy-free hemp tofu. Of course, you don’t have to use these yourself, but It’s worth knowing for reference. As a note, I do receive a small percentage of any sales from these products that goes right back into supporting the site. 🙂

DIY Hempfu (soy-free tofu)

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Category: protein

Cuisine: vegan

Yield: 240g of tofu

Serving Size: 60g

Calories per serving: 221

Fat per serving: 19.5g

Carbs per serving: 3.5g

Protein per serving: 19.5g

Fiber per serving: 1.6g

DIY Hempfu (soy-free tofu)

This soy-free hemp tofu (“hempfu”) is easy to make and provides an excellent source of allergen-free vegan protein.


  • 1 cup (160g) hulled hemp seeds
  • 3.5 cups (840ml) water
  • 1/2 tsp nigari, dissolved in 1/2 cup water (optional, if coagulation doesn’t start on its own!) OR 1 tablespoon of either apple cider vinegar or lemon juice


  1. Blend the water and hemp seeds in a high-powered blender until totally smooth. This was about 30 seconds on 6-7 for my blender.
  2. Strain the mixture using the larger-sized mesh bag. It’s the one that is going to feel rougher to the touch. Be sure to squeeze out as much of the milk as possible, until the remaining fibrous bits are crumbly and relatively dry. I save this part to use as flour in baked goods.
  3. Heat the hemp seed milk in a medium saucepan on medium heat until it comes to a gentle boil. You may notice some curdling already at this point.
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool for a few minutes. If there are curds forming already, proceed to the next step. If no curds are present, then stir in the nigari mixture/lemon juice/vinegar and let sit for around twenty minutes.
  5. Line your tofu press with the finer mesh nut milk bag.
  6. Place the tofu press into a bowl/your sink or over a rimmed baking tray so that any liquid that drains doesn’t just spill all over your counter and scoop the curd mixture into the cheesecloth. I used a mesh scoop for this, as that seemed to help it drain the most.
  7. Fold one side of the mesh bag over the curds, and place the top of the tofu press over this. Lightly press it to help shape the curds initially. Weight the press down with something like a jar of nut butter or a couple of cans of beans, and let this sit for 30-45 minutes, until most of the water is released.
  8. Chill the tofu in the block in the fridge for about a half hour so it can set up before removing it from the press and bag.
  9. Use as you would use any tofu


The nutrition information is based off of 1/4 of the full amount of hemp seeds, and doesn’t take the processing into account (I don’t have a lab at my disposal to officially test it…)! So, it’s more of a guideline.

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28 thoughts on “The Best DIY Hemp Tofu (soy-free hempfu)”

    • Hi, Eve!! I’m so happy you’re excited! Whoops – I forgot to put a picture of the one I use! It’s this one (, I just bought it from Amazon. It’s no-frills and really basic, but works like a charm and is easy to clean (and inexpensive!!). 🙂

      • Hello Eve, Thank you for your hempteh recipe. I’d love to se a video of the different steps, would this be possible? Many thanks again!

    • Is hempfu fermented using this recipe?
      I’ve read fermented is healthier for you. Is this true?

    • Hi, Yves! This does not sound right unless you have a very thin tofu press. How thin was it exactly? The images show the recipe as it is written, made in a typical tofu press.

      • I know why! Happened to me too. You have to make sure you use enough nigiri or lemon for all the milk to curd. You should have only water coming out by the time you press it. Everything else should be tofu curd

  • Hi Laura. I have been wanting to make hemp tofu since starting the Plant Paradox way of eating, so am thrilled to find your recipe. The bought version doesn’t seen to have made it to my neck of the woods in UK. One recipe I have seen didn’t use any coagulant so didn’t see how it would work. Please can you tell me if lemon juice could be substituted as I noticed you used it in one of your other soy free tofu recipes. Many thanks, Sandy

    PS I love your Vegan Keto book b+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    • Hi again . I do apologise Liz. for saying Laura. A senior moment but was a bit confused abut the different website.

    • Hi, Sandy! Thank you so much for the kind words! I have not tried this recipe with lemon juice, though as you mentioned, it did seem to work with other soy-free tofu recipes. It might be worth a try here if you are having trouble locating the coagulant in stores!

  • Hi Liz. 😀 I made this today. The curd is being pressed right now . My curds didn’t look as big as yours in the picture. They were extremely fine. Did I not heat the milk enough? I took the temperature of the milk and it read 160 degrees F. The Nigari recommendation is to heat soy milk up to 180 degrees F. Could you please advise for when I make this again? Thank you in advance for your time.

    • Hi Marcella, how did the hempfu turn out? I’m not sure why the curds wouldn’t be as big, though I don’t think curd size impacts the final product too much. I’m curious to hear how it went!

  • Hey have you tried agar-agar for thickening any veggie tofu recipes? Just wondering ? Thanks for your post ! I’m really missing my tofu so am loving some new ideas.

    • Hi Marla! I’m so sorry I’m just seeing this now, a literal whole year later! I actually have tried agar agar, and while it binds and sets up nicely, it tends to get goopy when heated, unfortunately. 🙁

  • Hi,

    Thanks for writing this, I yet have to try it, but I was wondering, could I use gypsum instead of Nigari? I bought gypsum to make regular tofu so I already have it.


  • Liz, just came upon your recipes after researching ways to make pumfu and then found this for hemfpu…ordered a bah of stuff from Amazon and was wondering if the tofu press made of bamboo that had screw down top would be able to make a consistent firmer product? I ordered the plastic one and thought I had read where the consistently and firmness might become an issue.

  • Hi
    I was visiting Poland & my hosts made Hemp tofu. It was tasty & made a delicious scramble,
    They told me that hemp grew bacteria fairly quick & should consume same day. Also there were temperature concerns. I have googled these concerns I’ve had but not much information available. Do you have any knowledge on this.
    Thank you very much.
    Tommy Mullen

  • I had an odd experience with this: my hemp milk curdled completely just before reaching the boiling point. I thought to myself that it didn’t look like I needed to use any nigari but, since I had already dissolved it, I decided to add it anyway. Strangely, it seemed to actually cause some of the curds to re-dissolve! I ended up with a fairly thin block, but it still tastes good. 😊I’m going to try it again without the nigari and see how it turns out.

  • Wow this is great thanks! I’ve been playing around with baking the hemp seed milk in moulds.. but should have come here first. 🤦

    If anyone is based in the UK I’d love to recommend a hemp company they make great hemp hearts grown in UK with biodegradable packaging. So completely plastic free..

  • This looks fantastic. I can’t wait to give it a try. You had me LOL when you mentioned witnessing your fellow team member answering the slew of questions about the “nut sack” bags.

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